Thursday, January 27, 2011


42 seconds... That's how far the Express were from picking up a vital point in the race for the playoffs.

A crucial turnover just inside the Express blue line resulted in the game winning goal for Mike Tebbutt as he scored his second of the night moments later blasting a shot over the glove of Khaleed Devji to give the Chiefs a 4-3 win over the Express.

The game started well for the road team. Mike Krgovich's first goal of the night at 7:30 capped a start that saw the Express open a 8-0 advantage in shots on goal.

From there Langley took over. A too many men penalty to the Express followed shortly there after by a double minor for high sticking to Tyler Griffith allowed Langley to rattle off the next 11 shots in the game. Mike Tebbutt tied the game with his first of the night jamming in a puck past Khaleed Devji in the second of the two penalties assessed to Griffith.

Langley continued their dominance in shots into the second period. Trevor Gerling finished off a give and go with Brandon Thompson to give Langley their first lead of the night.

At one point in the second period, Langley had a 23-3 advantage in shots on goal after the Express opened the game outshooting Langley 8-0 in the first 7:30 of the game.

The low shot total wasn't due to a lack of chances for the Express. At times it was a case of one pass too many. The chances were there for the Express, but there were a number of good shots that were passed up in favour of one more pass that more often than not was blocked or intercepted.

Josh Meyers showed the Express how it was done when you shoot the puck as he took a feed from Ryan Bakken and wired a wrist shot over the glove of Devji to give the Chiefs a 3-1 lead.

When the second period was done, the Chiefs outshot the Express 20-8 in the second period, and in the 32:30 of game play following Mike Krgovich's goal that opened the scoring, the Chiefs outshot the Express 31-9.

The play was a little more even in the third period. Moments after only the second Express powerplay expired, Jason Grecica banged home a loose puck to pull the Express within one. Then just 1:53 later the Express pulled even when Krgovich scored his second of the night blasting a one timer off the rush past Wyatt Galley.

Now that the Express had battled the game back to even. Decisions made with the puck became that much more important for the Express as they looked to at least get one point out of the game.

In the final minute a poor decision with the puck resulted in a turnover just inside the Express blueline and the puck wound up in the Express net off a blast from Mike Tebbutt for his second of the night to hand the Express a gut wrenching loss to stomach.

The Express do remain one point clear of Cowichan Valley for the 7th and final playoff spot. But every single point for both teams in the race means so much in the battle to get in.

With the loss the Express finished 2-5-0-1 in their 8 road games that had only 1 home game sandwiched between a pair of 4 consecutive road games.

There isn't much time for the Express to dwell on Thursdays set back as the Express and Chiefs get right back at it vs. each other Friday night in Coquitlam to open up a 5 game home stand for the Express.

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