Friday, January 17, 2014


Rookie Nic Rasovic's late third period goal broke a 2-2 tie en route to a 4-2 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs in the first of a home and home.

The goal was just the 3rd goal of the season for the Express rookie and his first goal since opening the season with goals in back to back games at the season opening showcase in Chilliwack.

Chilliwack showed early that despite their record, they were going to make the Express earn everything they got on this night.

And they proved that point by opening the scoring less than 3 minutes in as Carter Cochrane cut to the goal and slid it past Gordie Defiel at 2:52.

Canon Pieper pulled the Express even as he snapped a shot through the legs of Josh Halpenny at 7:39.

The goal was Canon's 25th of the season pulling him into a tie in that department with Ryan Rosenthal who didn't dress for the Express.

Josh Halpenny and Gordie Defiel had their moments to shine in the first period with some fine saves.

Defiel denying Andrew Silard on a 2 on 1 with a pad save coming to his right. Then Halpenny kicked out bids by Joey Santucci and Corey Mackin in quick succession.

Jace Hennig opened the second period by scoring for a third straight game and fourth time in the last five games finishing off a set up from Marc Biega behind the net.

The intensity level of this game picked up a few notches in the middle period.

Canon Pieper and Cameron Marks were on the receiving ends of big hits in the middle frame.

The biggest hit of the period was on Brendan Lamont who collided knee on knee with Cody Bardock. The Chiefs defenceman was assessed a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for the hit. Lamont didn't return to the game.

Matthieu Tibbet drew Chilliwack even as he stole the puck off Zach Hodder at the blue line and walked in alone on a breakaway and slid home his 17th of the season.

Plenty of penalties consumed the second period tonight. That included a 5 on 3 for the Chiefs for 45 seconds. But neither team was able to break through on the power play. Both squads finished 0 or 5 on the power play. Now the Express penalty killing has killed off 21 of 22 shorthanded situations in 2014.

Due to the amount of penalties, it limited some of the ice time for some members of the Express.

That includes the fourth line of Jackson Cressy, Daniel Lange and Nic Rasovic. But they got their ice in the third period and did what they do best is provide solid energy for the Express. They spent a good chunk of ice time in the offensive zone. And their play gives the coaches confidence to throw them on the ice on a regular basis no matter the situation of the game.

The youngsters were rewarded with their hard work when the puck bounced off a leg at the Chilliwack blue line allowing Nic Rasovic walk in and score on a breakaway sliding the puck through the legs of Halpenny with just 2:24 remaining.

Cody Boyd then sealed the game by scoring his third of the season into an empty net with 1:05 left.

The shots finished even at 29 apiece.

These teams will meet again Saturday night in Chilliwack at 7:00.

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