When the Express and the Capitals hit the ice on Friday, the two teams were tied for the 7th and final playoff spot. Monday both teams wake up knowing that nothing has changed after they both went 1-2 on a three game weekend.
Friday saw the Express get a strong performance from Khaleed Devji, Massimo Lamacchia scored twice and Mike Krgovich added a goal in a 3-2 win over the Victoria Grizzlies.
The next night the Express fell behind by 5 to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, only to rally with three quick goals to make the game more respectable falling by a score of 6-4.
Sunday the Express traveled to Powell River to face the Kings. On this day it was the Chad Niddery show as he scored his second hat-trick of the season to lead the offensive attack for the Kings as they completed a 6 game season sweep of the Express with a 6-3 win. Niddery opened the scoring for the only goal of the first period. His final two goals came on shorthanded breakaways after Express turnovers at the Kings blueline.
Austin Carroll scored a pair of Express goals. He banged home a loose puck at the side of the net after a Riley Mcintosh point shot to put the Express on the board in the second period after falling behind 3-0. His second was a beauty as he took a fantastic stretch pass from Justin Georgeson to send Carroll in the clear who made no mistake snapping a shot through the legs of Sean Maguire.
Mitch Ball, Scott Renner and Brenden Forbes added singles for the Kings. Cole Gelley had the other goal for the Express.
Powell River was a perfect 6-0 vs. the Express this season. Here's a stat that shows the total control they had of the season series. Powell River never trailed for a single second of the 6 meetings with the Express this season. The Express haven't beaten Powell River since January 23rd 2009, a span of 14 games.
With Alberni Valley defeating Surrey on Sunday, that means this game of musical chairs for the playoff spots has just two contestants remaining with one seat available and the music stops for good on Sunday.
This week the Express have a home and home with Surrey Wednesday and Friday. They will then wrap up the season at home on Sunday vs. Salmon Arm. Cowichan Valley travels to Victoria Wednesday and will wrap up their season Friday at home to Powell River.