Friday, September 7, 2012


It wasn't the prettiest game, but what mattered is that the Express came away with the two points to open their 2012-13 season at the inaugural BCHL showcase in Chilliwack.

 Brady Shaw was the lone goal scorer in the game giving the Express a 1-0 overtime win over Victoria.

 Click below to hear Shaw's winner It was a goaltenders duel all game long between Cole Huggins of the Express and Brady Rouleau of the Grizzlies.

The Express had their chances in the opening minutes of the game to get a jump on Victoria but couldn't convert on back to back powerplays.

Victoria started to take over the play after killing off the two penalties and began to build a lead in shots. But Cole Huggins wouldn't crack after facing 12 Victoria shots. The Express managed only 4 shots on Rouleau in the opening 20 minutes.

The Fitzgerald triplets Myles, Leo and Gerry were dangerous all game long forcing the Express to chase them in their own zone.

The Express picked up their tempo and workload of Rouleau in the second period. One of the best chances they had came on the powerplay as rookie Cameron Marks was set up on a backdoor pass but he was robbed by Rouleau turning aside his one timer coming to his right.

Brady Shaw and John Siemer had some of the other good chances for the Express in the second period.

At the other end Huggins was steady as a rock turning aside each Victoria attack.

Late in the period saw the two captains Mitch Nardi and Zach Urban drop the gloves as Urban came to the defence one of the Fitzgerald triplets after he was hit by Nardi. Each player would receive 17 minutes in penalties.

The game entered the third period scoreless.

Both goaltenders held strong into the third period. Malcom McKinney had a great chance to break the ice as he split the Victoria defence and cut in on a breakaway, deked to his right but was denied by the left leg of Rouleau.

Late in the third period each team had a chance with the man advantage. 2011 WHL Bantam 1st overall draft pick Matthew Barzal playing for the Express as an AP drew a powerplay with just under 5 minutes left in the 3rd. Then with just under 2 minutes remaining in the third, Jason Bird was sent off giving Victoria a powerplay to round out regulation. Like the Express,  Victoria couldn't break the ice. Both teams finished 0 for 5 on the powerplay.

60 minutes decided nothing without a single goal scored. In the first minute of OT it was decided. Mark Biega fired a great pass up to Brady Shaw who powered the puck through Rouleau on a breakaway and gave the Express a 1-0 win.

Cole Huggins finished with 40 saves for the shutout. His 3rd in his Express career. He was very steady all game long in the Express crease. His counterpart Brady Rouleau at the other end had a strong performance as well in a losing cause.

The Express will play their second game of the inaugural BCHL showcase Sunday afternoon vs. Cowichan Valley at 2PM.

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