Monday, March 19, 2012


The Coquitlam Express are back in their series with a 3-2 overtime win over the Powell River Kings in game 3 of the Coastal Conference semi finals.

The Express now trail the best of 7 2-1.

Justin Georgeson was overtime hero scoring at 2:35 of the first OT.

Click to listen to the Express goals from Game 3.

The Express made a number of lineup changes entering the game.

The most notable was between the pipes where Khaleed Devji got the start in place of Cole Huggins who lost both games in Powell River.

The other change saw the Express call up Adam Rockwood to give the Express a little more skill.

Powell River started strong in the first period firing 17 shots Devji's way. The only goal to beat him was off a rebound from a point shot and Tanner Cochrane slid it home following a won faceoff in the Express zone.

Sean Maguire wasn't that busy in the first. His best save came off Alex Kerfoot as he cut to the net from the left wing but Kerfoot's World Junior A Challenge teammate got the best of him.

The Kings went to the second period with the lead for the third straight game in this series.

The Express began to pick up their game in the second period.

They pulled even on the power play midway through the frame as Clinton Atkinson's shot from the left point found the back of the net past a screened Maguire.

Cody Michelle didn't draw an assist on the play, but he played a key role in the goal setting up the screen in front of the Kings net. Following the goal, Michelle was levelled to the ice and the Kings Brendan Smith was sent to the box giving the Express their second consecutive powerplay.

They couldn't convert on that advantage however.

Maguire certainly was busier in the second period than he was in the first. He made a number of other notable saves to keep the game tied.

Entering the third period, the Express still hadn't played one second with the lead in this series in the first 8 periods so far.

That finally changed for the Express 7 minutes into the third period. Alex Kerfoot coming down the right wing used the Kings defender as a screen and fired a shot top corner far side over the shoulder of Maguire to put the Express up 2-1.

Now it was up to the Express to try and protect this lead for the final 13 minutes of the game. Goaltender Khaleed Devji stepped up with a very strong performance in the Express crease. His best save came in the third period when he fired out his left leg to make a clutch save following a Kings bid in tight.

J.P. Villeneuve finally pulled the Kings even as he was able to swipe home a loose puck in front of the net past Devji to tie the game at 2 with just 3:17 remaining in the third period.

Now with the game and possibly the series hanging in the balance, everything became that much more magnified in the final minutes of the third period.

The Express were given a chance late in the third period to try and post their first win of the series. Teal Burns was called for charging in the final minute of the frame after he took a run at Alex Kerfoot in the corner in the Kings zone after the puck had left the vicinity.

The Express couldn't score with the advantage in the final minute of the third period. Then in overtime the Express had a number of great chances to end it. Cody Michelle's saucer pass was too high for Alex Kerfoot to handle, Zach Hodder fanned on a one timer attempt, and Kerfoot fired a wrist shot high over the net glove side on Maguire.

Powell River survived the Express powerplay, but the game ended moments later. Justin Georgeson and Alex Petan broke in on a two on one. Georgeson tried to feed the puck over to Petan, but the pass was blocked and came back to Georgeson who slid in the open side to give the Express the 3-2 win at 2:25 of overtime.

With a number of key forwards out of the lineup for the Express, they had others step up and make notable contributions. Mitchell Fyffe helped out in the faceoff circle at times skating along side Alex Petan and Malcom Mckinney. Cody Michelle was most notable being a screen in front of the net on the powerplay.

And of course Khaleed Devji was very strong in the Express crease turning aside 40 of the 42 shots sent his way.

The Express will look to pull even in the series when game 4 goes Tuesday night in Coquitlam.

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