Malcom McKinney tied an Express franchise record with a 4 goal performance in a 7-2 Express win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals. The win is the third in a row for the Express and their 4th in the last 5 games all on home ice.
McKinney who is second all time in games played in franchise history sent a message on his opening shift of the game that this was going to be a game to remember. After Brandon Morley started the shift with a big hit, that was followed by 3 hits in quick succession by McKinney as the Express set an early physical tone for the game.
Cowichan Valley looked to open the scoring with a 5 on 3 powerplay for 57 seconds. But the Express penalty killers which are on quite a roll killed off the penalties to Adam Rossignol and Brad Ryan.
Moments after the penalties expired the Express opened the scoring as Malcom McKinney scored his first of the game as he blasted a slap shot past Connor LaCouvee.
Less than two minutes later a pair of Express youngsters teamed up to add to the Express lead as Spencer Quon fired a quick pass to Jackson Cressey who re-directed it home for a 2-0 Express lead.
The goals kept coming in the second and they really started to get pretty.
Malcom McKinney scored his second of the game as he finished off a great passing play that saw Garrett Forster dish it across to Adam Rockwood who quickly tipped it to McKinney trailing who snapped home his second of the game to give the Express a 3-0 lead.
Forster and Rockwood also teamed up to set up McKinney's hat-trick goal. Again it was a thing of beauty as McKinney made a quick toe drag move then snapped it top corner glove side on LaCouvee. It was the second career hat-trick for McKinney. It's also the first hat-trick of the season for an Express player.
Justin Georgeson banged home the rebound of a Marc Biega point shot for a powerplay goal to give the Express a 5-1 lead. Georgeson has now scored goals in three straight games. He then added his second of the game off the rush as he poked home a loose puck in the crease following a pass from Adam Rossignol.
McKinney capped off is big night in the third period as he took a pass from behind the net and snapped it home for his 4th of the game. He also had an assist Friday night to finish with 4 goals and 1 assist for 5 points. It was the 5th time in Express franchise history that a player scored 4 goals in a game. Kyle Turris did it twice, Tyler McNeely and Rich Manley each did it once.
Mitch Ball rounded out the scoring in the game scoring just 7 seconds after McKinney's fourth to make it a 7-2 game.
In addition to McKinney's 4 goals and Georgeson's 2, Adam Rockwood and Adam Rossignol each had 3 assists. Garrett Forster and AP Spencer Quon each had a pair of helpers.
Cole Huggins turned aside 24 of the 26 Caps shots. The Express had another perfect night on the penalty kill shutting down all 6 Caps advantages. The Express have now killed of 24 straight shorthanded situations and 25 of the last 26 in the last 7 games.
Despite the best efforts from the Express, the Langley Rivermen continue to not do the Express any favours in the race for 4th place in the Mainland division. Langley posted their 3rd straight win with a 4-3 win over Chilliwack. The Rivermen remain 5 points clear of the Express who have just three games remaining.
The 8 game home stand for the Express resumes Sunday vs. their expansion cousins the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.