Saturday, January 29, 2011


24 hours earlier the home town Langley Chiefs used home ice to pick up a 4-3 win over the Express. Friday, the Express protected their home ice and came up with a 4-3 win of their own to split a home and home with the Chiefs.

For the second straight night the Express got off to a good start and scored the games first goal when Mike Krgovich re-directed a Matt Hutchinson point shot.

Josh Meyers pulled Langley even in the opening minute of the second period when he snapped a quick shot past Khaleed Devji.

Three minutes later the Express re-stored their lead when Alex Petan banged home a rebound of a Riley Mcintosh shot to finish off a 3 on 2 rush. The goal for Petan was his first goal in 8 games.

Then the game slowed down to almost a snails pace. Josh Hansen tied it for the Chiefs off a cycle play and Hansen poked it by Khaleed Devji.

That goal didn't give the game much of a boost. The malaise continued and perhaps it played a role allowing the Express to go back into the lead. Destry Straight's shot from the wing was stopped, then it bounced off the end boards and handcuffed Chiefs goaltender Cole Huggins who appeared to be caught off guard as the puck bounced off him and in.

In the final moments of the second period Massimo Lamacchia was given a double whammy when he was called for both a slashing and a roughing penalty giving Langley a double minor powerplay to work with for a second straight night.

The penalty trouble for the Express continued into the third when Riley Mcintosh was called for a hook to give the Chiefs a 5 on 3 for a full two minutes.

With the Express protecting a one goal lead, they dug in as the Chiefs pressed looking for the equalizer. This is when Khaleed Devji stepped to the forefront and made a name for himself on this night. He made a number of fine saves to keep the Express in the lead.

Much thanks to Devji's efforts, the Express killed off all the penalties. Then they got an opportunity of their own on the powerplay to turn the momentum in their favour when Josh Hansen was called for interference.

Then came a scare for the Express when Josh Meyers collided knee on knee with Massimo Lamacchia. The Express top scorer was down for awhile, but fortunately returned minutes later. Meyers meanwhile was given a 5 minute major for kneeing and a game misconduct.

That gave the Express a 5 on 3 of their own. Mark Begert extended the Express lead when his screen shot got past Huggins for Begert's third of the season and second powerplay goal this season vs. the Chiefs.

Mike Krgovich thought he added his second of the night seconds later when he tipped home a Riley Mcintosh point shot. But after some discussion, the goal was waved off as it was ruled he contacted the puck with a high stick.

Tim Daly made for a nail biting finish when he blasted home a powerplay goal with 1:25 remaining the pull the Chiefs back within a goal.

Langley pressed looking for the tying goal, but the Express made sure to protect the puck along the boards as much as possible to kill as much time as they could and eventually held on for the win.

The Express did get some help on the out of town scoreboard when Powell River erased a 6-4 deficit to score twice in the final 2 minutes to pull the Kings even with Cowichan Valley. The Kings then completed the comeback to win in overtime 7-6. The Express are now 2 points clear of Cowichan Valley for the 7th and final playoff spot.

The 5 game home stand for the Express resumes Wednesday vs. Surrey.

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