Wednesday, March 21, 2012


The Coastal Conference semi final between the Express and Kings is now a best of 3 after the Express evened the series at two following a pair of wins on home ice 3-2 in game 3, and 4-2 in game 4 Tuesday night.

There were a few similarities from game 3 that also played out in game 4. The Kings got off to a fast start, Khaleed Devji was outstanding between the pipes, and Alex Kerfoot scored a big goal in the third period.

Just like game 3, the Kings jumped on the Express hard in the first half of the first period. The Kings opened the scoring on their first shot of the game when Jarryd Leung scored on a 2 on 1 firing a shot through the legs of Devji following an Express turnover at the Kings blueline.

The Kings pressure remained constant as they looked for a second goal. They got that goal when Tanner Cochrane flipped the puck high from his own zone and JP Villeneuve skated onto the long bomb when it landed in the Express zone and he quickly fired a shot past the glove of Khaleed Devji.

It was the 4th straight time in this series the Kings had forced the Express to play from behind in the first period. Powell River had jumped out to a 10-1 advantage in shots by the time the Kings had scored their second goal of the game.

Click here to listen to the Express goals from Game 4

The Express needed a response, and captain Alex Petan showed why he was the Coastal Conference MVP this season. Shortly after the Kings took their 2-0 lead, Petan cut into the Kings lead by snapping home a quick snap shot from the slot on the powerplay to get the Express on the board.

The goal game 54 seconds after Villenuve's goal. And it was a classic Express powerplay goal with quick passes by Atkinson and Siemer who eventually found Petan in the slot.

Petan struck again just 1:51 later this time it was Nicholas Wong finding the captain in the slot who snapped a quick shot past Sean Maguire. The two goals for Petan were his first of the 2012 playoffs.

In the second period, the Kings had a chance to break the tie when they got a 2 man advantage for 1:26. But the Express penalty killers clutched up and killed off the Kings advantage.

The Express took their first lead of the game midway through the second period. The goal came out of nothing. One moment Jace Hennig and Justin Georgeson are in a battle for the puck along the boards in the Kings zone, then all of a sudden the puck squirts out to Cody Michelle who quickly roofed a backhand over the glove of Sean Maguire.

Late in the second period the Express got a 5 on 3 of their own for just under a minute, but like the Kings earlier in the period couldn't score to add to their lead.

Alex Kerfoot gave the Express some much needed insurance midway through the third period when he fired a great wrist shot high over the right shoulder of Sean Maguire for the second straight game with the goal coming just seconds after a powerplay had expired.

Powell River pressed hard in the third period firing 19 shots Khaleed Devji's way, but he stopped them all. It was all part of a 48 save performance for the Express netminder who turned aside the final 40 shots sent his way after the Kings jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period.

This best of 7 has been a home team series so far with the home team winning each of the first four game. That sets up a big game 5 coming up on Thursday. The Express will need to take at least one game in Powell River if they hope to win the series.

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