Saturday, January 4, 2014


You can't say a tie is like kissing your sister after watching the Express and Cowichan Valley Capitals finish to a pretty exciting 4-4 draw Saturday night.

The Express are now unbeaten in 3 games (2-0-1) following their Christmas break.

The home team came out flying in the first period. Robin Gusse was the reason why the Express couldn't break through early despite opening up a 7-0 advantage in shots just over 4 minutes into the game.

It was the visitors who opened the scoring while a man down as Jarrett Brown wired a shot through the wickets of Gordie Defiel.

But the Express pulled even on the power play just 38 seconds later as Adam Rockwood set up Joey Santucci with a great cross ice feed for his 18th of the season. Rockwood, the Express scoring leader has 6 assists in his last 3 games.

56 seconds later the Express would take what would be their only lead of the night as Canon Pieper helped set up Ryan Rosenthal who scored his first of two on the night at the 16:00 mark.

The Express couldn't hold their lead going into the second period.

Mason Malkowich off the rush chopped the puck through the legs of Gordie Defiel with just 55 seconds remaining in the opening period. And despite a 19-8 advantage in shots the game was even at 2.

Cowichan Valley came out with more jump in the second period.

Mason Malkowich opened the period scoring his second of the night firing a shot top corner past the glove of Defiel.

That was followed 2:10 later by Matthew Berry-Lamontagna finding a loose puck and banging it home in the crease in his first game vs. his former mates following his trade to Penticton and eventually Cowichan Valley in late November.

Trailing by two the Express had their chances to try and rally back but didn't like how it sounded ringing three shots off the post.

Newcomer Brendan Lamont who was acquired earlier this week from Penticton made an impact in his first Express game helping set up Jace Henning to pull the Express within one.

In the dying seconds of the second period Gordie Defiel made his best save of the night kicking out the right pad to deny Matthew Berry's bid for his second of the night at 19:59. That would turn out to be a huge save in the final outcome as Defiel finished with 32 saves on 36 Caps shots.

Captain Ryan Rosenthal led the charge in the third as the Express looked for the equalizer. He was turned aside on a great chance and followed that up seconds later with another and made no mistake on the second try burying his second of the night to complete the comeback for the Express.

Gordie Defiel was called upon late in the third period to preserve the tie for the Express with a pair of saves off Kyle Horsman with less than 10 seconds in the third period.

Each team had their chances in overtime.

The best one to decide it came with controversy in the second overtime with the Caps being called for too many men nullifying a 2 on 1 break for the Express. But it did result in a penalty shot for Adam Rockwood who was denied by Robin Gusse as Rockwood tried to pull of the Pavel Datsyuk moved he scored on a penalty shot in overtime last year.

This was the only game for the Express this weekend who hit the road next weekend for games in West Kelowna and Vernon.

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