In the first 4 games of a sequence of 11 of 13 games away from home the Express are an even 2-2. Their record was evened up Saturday with a 5-4 loss to the Coastal Conference basement occupyers the Langley Rivermen.
Langley got off to a good start in the opening minutes by jumping out to a early 6-0 advantage in shots.
Jackson Playfair opened the scoring beating Cole Huggins with a wrist shot past his glove. It was the first BCHL goal for Playfair in his 37th game.
The Express had a great chance to pull even but Malcom Mckinney couldn't beat Jim Kruger who made a great save going to his left on a 2 on 1 break.
There was some controversy in the opening frame. Alex Petan had a good chance coming down the right wing. His shot was partially stopped and juggled by Kruger, but as he was going back the puck fell under the goaltender and may have crossed the goal line. The Express celebrated as they scored, the goal judge in the building ruled it to be a good goal, but referee Grant Tyson who was well behind the play waved it off without consulting the goal judge.
The Express did get on the board before the period was done as in the dying seconds Justin Georgeson finished off a 3 way passing play with Taylor Bourne and Cody Michelle.
Langley did outshoot the Express 15-11 in the 1st period.
The Express were better in the second period. Brady Shaw gave the Express their first lead 5 minutes into the period snapping a shot past the glove of Kruger following a scramble in the slot.
Alex Petan nearly put the Express up a pair as he came down the wing but snapped a shot off the post.
That turned out to be a lucky break for Langley as just over a minute later Sebastien Pare snapped a shot through a partially screened Cole Huggins to tie the game at 2.
Mitch Nardi got a gift to put the Express back in the lead as his wrist shot from just inside the blue line eluded the glove of Kruger.
The lead could have been more if the Express buried all their chances. Alex Kerfoot had a pair of similar looking chances. Both times he got in too tight on Kruger who laid down the left pad as Kerfoot was trying to tuck it in. On both occasions Kerfoot ran out of real estate.
The game was tied at 3 entering the third following Peter McMullen's goal wth just over a minute remaining in the middle frame. The Rivermen got 3 shot attempts and the 3rd finally got through to the net.
Sebastien Pare put the Riverman back in the lead as he came down the right wing and snapped a wrist shot past Huggins low to the stick side. That was followed by some insurance shortly thereafter as Chris Tracy deftly re-directed a puck through the legs of Huggins.
The Express had their chances to get back into the game including three powerplays in the third. But the execution just wasn't there on this night. The Express man advantage finished the night 0 for 4.
Brady Shaw did pull the Express within one with just over a minute to go but it was too little too late.
Langley held on to snap their 6 game losing streak and pick up just their 2nd win in their last 13. For the Express it was just their 2nd loss in their last 11.
The Express come back home for one game next Friday vs. Victoria.