Friday, December 17, 2010
EXPRESS SURVIVE MILLS PUSH
It wasn't the prettiest of wins, but the Express survived a Quesnel team that gave them all they could handle to head to the Christmas break with a 4-2 win.
The Express opened the scoring less than 90 seconds into the scoring when Malcom Mckinney wired a shot past Bryant Udy.
Mike Krgovich added to the Express lead when he banged in a loose puck at the side of the net.
The Express could have put Quesnel away in the opening 20 minutes. But couldn't convert on any of their three first period powerplays.
Quesnel entered the game with a BCHL low of just 10 goals on the powerplay all season.
On this night however, they found the right formula. Derek Huisman scored early in the second period on the powerplay to cut the Express lead to one.
The Express re-stored their 2 goal lead on a powerplay of their own when Mike Krgovich scored his second of the night tipping a Cole Gelley point shot.
But that vaunted Quesnel powerplay struck again shortly after Krgovich's marker as Skyler Smutek scored from the slot to pull the Mills back within one.
From there the pesky Mills stuck around and gave the Express a battle looking for the equalizer.
Khaleed Devji making his 7th straight start, clutched up with key saves in the 3rd period off Bradley Buckingham and Skyler Smutek's coast to coast rush to keep the Express up by a goal.
The Express had more opportunites to put the game away in the third period when the Mills were called for conseutive powerplays. But the Express couldn't convert on the opportunity that included a 5 on 3 for 28 seconds.
Then with 2:37 remaining, Mark Begert was called for interference.
This time the Express clutched up and got the penalty kill that they needed. Then as Begert's penalty expired, he came out of the box and scored his first BCHL goal into the empty net to seal the Express win.
The Express posted consecutive wins for the first time since November 10th and 12th over Nanaimo and Langley.
This month the Express have posted a very solid pre-christmas record of 4-2-0-3 picking up 11 of a possible 18 points.
The win combined with Victoria's 5-4 win over Alberni Valley has moved the Express into 6th place in the Coastal conference. But the Dogs do have 3 games in hand on the Express.
The Express are also 6 points clear of Cowichan Valley for the final playoff spot in the conference.
However, the Dogs and the Caps will wrap up their pre-christmas schedule going head to head Saturday night. I will let you decide who you want to win. All I know is I don't want a 3 point game between those two teams. Now that I say that, it will probably happen.
I will post the highlights when I get them shortly. Until then, the blog will probably be pretty quiet.
So I would like to wish you all a safe and merry christmas. And when the Express return on the 28th vs. Alberni Valley, lets have a strong finish to the season and make a push for the playoffs.