I could insert my story on the 6-4 loss to Cowichan Valley Sunday and only make a few tweaks this time around and it would be the same story Saturday as the Express fell 5-4 in overtime in Cowichan Valley.
Like last Sunday, the Express played a strong 40 minutes and had a lead this time 2-1 going into the third period.
Like last Sunday, the Express did a good job of shutting down Mike Hammond and Jordan Grant through 40 minutes. They were disciplined and focused to make sure they got the match up they wanted out on the ice getting Mike Krgovich, Jason Grecica and Jake Charles on the ice when the Caps sent out their big guns.
Like last Sunday, things fell apart in the third period. An Express turnover in the opening seconds of the third period resulted in Jordan Grant setting up Mike Hammond for the tying goal at the 14 second mark.
Like last Sunday, the Caps big guns continued their assault in the third period. 5 minutes later a turnover by Mike Krgovich at the Caps blueline allowed Mike Hammond to spring Jordan Grant on a breakaway and he made no mistake beating Khaleed Devji with a wrist shot high glove side.
Cowichan extended their lead to two when the Caps waited an extra shift to get Hammond and Grant on the ice after a shift for Grecica, Krgovich and Charles had ended and Grant and Hammond were on the ice when the puck came back to Troy Paterson who wired a slap shot past Khaleed Devji to give Cowichan Valley a 4-2 lead.
To the Express credit they didn't quit. Massimo Lamacchia who scored the Express first two goals, made a nice cross ice pass to Alex Petan who wired home a wrist shot to pull the Express within one with just under four minutes remaining.
That trio was on the ice again in the final minute and with 50 seconds left Alex Petan found a loose puck and scored his second of the game to tie the game at four. Petan has scored 3 goals in his last 2 games.
Massimo Lamacchia and Destry Straight each assisted on Petan's two goals. Lamacchia finished the game with 2 goals and 2 assists. His four point performance capped off a dominant season vs. Cowichan Valley this season in which he scored 7 goals and 5 assists for 12 points in 4 games.
The Express at least got the point as regulation ended tied at 4. Then came the dreaded overtime session. And it was the same old song and dance for the Express as Tyler Jones scored at 2:39 of the first overtime to give the Caps a 5-4 win and hand the Express their 9th overtime loss this season. This season the Express are now 0-9-1 in overtime this season. And all 9 losses have come in the 4 on 4 first overtime.
The 9 overtime losses sets a new Express franchise record for most overtime losses in a season. Eclipsing the mark of 8 set by the inaugural Express team in 01-02.
The win allowed Cowichan Valley to move 2 points clear of the Express for the 7th and final playoff spot.
The two teams split the 4 game season series at two wins apiece. But the Express finished with a slight edge with the overtime loss picking up 5 points in the head to head series compared to Cowichan's 4 points picked up vs. the Express this season.
The island road swing resumes today in Nanaimo. The season series is tied at 1 with the home team winning each time.