|Express celebrate the 8-1 win.|
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Sunday, December 21, 2014
The win gave the Express a two game winning streak heading into the Christmas break.
Saturday the Express jumped on the Spruce Kings early.
Dustin Cave got things started by scoring his first Express goal on the powerplay beating Alex Brooks-Potts on a screen shot just shy of the 5 minute mark.
Just over five minutes later the Express added to their lead. Again it was a defenceman and it was Daniel Fritz scoring a beauty shorthanded as he rushed the puck up the ice and used his speed to attack the lone defender back and cut to the net and score his 8th of the season.
The goal chased Brooks-Potts after 3 goals on 9 shots.
Despite the three goal advantage, it wasn't a true reflection of Express dominance in play. Prince George was playing fairly well despite the early hole.
Late in the first period saw the Express get into penalty trouble with infractions called on Nic Coltura and Cole Bevan 20 seconds apart giving the visitors a 5 on 3 for 1:40.
Prince George would make it count with Chad Staley scoring with 48 seconds remaining in the first period.
Braiden Epp cut the Express lead to one 2:26 into the second period as he threw the puck towards the front of the net and it bounced off something in front and slid past Chris Tai.
The Prince George comeback was complete in the opening seconds of the third period when Jeremiah Luedtke beat Chris Tai with a wrist shot over the glove from the left circle.
Braiden Epp then added his second of the night as he re-directed home a Ryan Fritz pass for the fourth straight goal by Prince George giving them their first lead of the night.
Jesse Jenks who relived Brooks-Potts in the Spruce Kings crease in the first period had shut the door allowing his team to make the comeback.
The Express finally broke through on Jenks as Corey Mackin scored his second of the game and 32nd of the season with just over three minutes remaining in the third period to send the game to overtime tied at four.
Like Friday nothing was decided after 5 minutes of four on four.
The second overtime at 3 on 3 was pretty wild. Both teams were trading two on one breaks like they were going out of style.
Finally the Express buried one of the many quality chances both teams had. Brett Supinski buried the rebound of a Corey Mackin shot out of the air for his second straight overtime winner.
Chris Tai finished with 35 saves for his 9th win of the season in the Express season.
Now the Express are on a much deserved Christmas break. And will have a week and a half off before returning to action on New Years Eve when the Express head up the Coquihalla highway to take on the Merritt Centennials.
I would personally like to take the time to thank everyone for taking the time to check out the blog and have a safe and happy holiday season.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
|Scoring twice on teddy bear toss night takes the pain away for Brendan Lamont - Photo courtesy of Damon James.|
The fantastic finish capped off a very entertaining night of hockey that wasn't worthy of seeing the teams finish tied.
Coquitlam entered the game riding a three game losing streak and looked to begin their final two games before the Christmas break on a positive note.
Brayden Krogfoss got just his second start in nearly two months. He's quietly sat and watched the majority of action since the acquisition of Chris Tai. It was understandable that there was a little rust early, but he quickly shook it off and settled in to play what would turn out to be his best game of the season.
It was teddy bear toss night Friday and the local faithful got their chance to toss their stuffed animals late in the first period when Brendan Lamont scored his first of two goals on the night on a 5 on 3 powerplay as he banged home a loose puck at the side of the Victoria net.
The opening period saw the Express get three chances on the powerplay. Things would quickly be evened up in the second period as the Grizzlies got three powerplays of their own in the first 7 minutes of the period. The man advantages allowed the Grizzlies to test Krogfoss who really settled into the game in the second period.
15 minutes into the second period Brendan Lamont was awarded a penalty shot when he was slashed cutting to the net on a chance. On the free pass Lamont initially took his time then sped up crossing up Grizzlies netminder Michael Stiliadis and Lamont slid a backhand through the five hole for his second of the game and a 2-0 Express lead.
Victoria finally broke through in the final minute as Brett Gruber scored a powerplay goal in finishing off a two on one. The Grizzlies fired 19 shots on Krogfoss in the middle frame thanks in large part to nearly 10 minutes of powerplay time in the period.
Gruber added his second of the night again on the powerplay in the third period to erase a two goal Express lead.
Fast forward to the second overtime that had some memorable moments.
On a offensive zone faceoff Corey Mackin and Brett Supinski teamed up to go straight ahead on the draw then had a quick give and go 2 on 0 chance in front of the net and left everyone in disbelief when Supinski coudn't bury the chance on an open net.
At the other end Krogfoss put the final touches on a great 46 save performance with game saving stops off Kevin Massy and Cole Pickup in the final 90 seconds of the second over time.
Following the Pickup chance, there was an faceoff deep in the Express zone with 7 seconds left on the clock. The Express lined up defenceman Daniel Fritz to take the faceoff and on the drop of the puck he quickly fired the puck forward setting up a two on one with Mackin and Supinski with time left on the clock for a chance. And Supinski scored with less than a second remaining in the game burying a Corey Mackin rebound for the 3-2 Express victory.
It was overtime dramatics that had the feel of a playoff type victory.
There's one final game for the Express before the Christmas break Saturday night vs. the Prince George Spruce Kings.
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Merritt Saturday night dropped a 8-7 goal fest in overtime in Victoria. Sunday they were in another goal fest this time knocking off the Express 8-5 Sunday.
Michael Ederer and Gavin Gould each scored a pair of goals for the Cents to help pace their attack. Jivan Sidhu and Corey Mackin each struck twice for the Express in the losing effort.
Merritt showed little signs of coming off back to back games on the Island right from the start of the game. They had the jump on the Express early and were setting the pace.
Merritt sent a message to the Express early that they were serious about keeping a close eye on BCHL scoring leader Corey Mackin as he was levelled three mintues into the game by Josh Teves. There was nothing wrong with the hit, but it showed that the opposition knew who to focus on when facing the Express and make him earn any free ice he was going to get. Mackin bounced back from the hit, he didn't miss a shift. But that hit shifted the Express focus who spent more time early in the first period trying to get retribution for the hit rather than playing the game.
That lack of focus led to the game's first powerplay and Merritt quickly took advantage as Ederer scored his first of the afternoon just 7 seconds into the powerplay. That goal would be the only strike of the first period as the Express were only able to muster 5 shots in the first period.
Merritt carried over their strong start into the opening minutes of the second period buzzing in the Express end. Gavin Gould scored his first of two on the day for a 2-0 Cents lead.
That goal woke the Express up who began to turn the tide. Jivan Sidhu got Coquitlam on the board as he blasted home a slap shot off the post and in 48 seconds after Gould's goal.
Following that goal the Express had their best run of play Sunday. Building momentum and getting chances in the Cents zone. Corey Mackin found himself free of some pretty tight Merritt checking and snapped home a quick pass from former Centennial Brendan Lamont to even the score at two.
Another story from Sunday was Merritt's ability to have a good response following Express goals.
Jake Clifford and Colin Grannary scored 2:14 apart before the second period was done to give Merritt a 4-2 lead after 40.
Mackin pulled the Express back within one in the opening minute of the third period as he again snapped home a quick Lamont pass for a powerplay goal and the 30th of the season for the BCHL scoring leader.
Again Merritt responded as Ederer scored his second of the game for a 5-3 lead and the goals started really coming fast and furious in the third period.
Noah Turanski diving at a loose puck poked home his 2nd of the season and first since the second game of the season to cut the lead back to one at 5-4 with just over 13 minutes to go.
As much as the Express tried to make it a game, this was Merritt's contest. They put the game away with goals 23 seconds apart by Gavin Gould and John Schiavo for a 3 goal Merritt advantage. Those two goals essentially were the final blows to finish the Express off before the two teams finished the game by trading goals one last time off the sticks of Jivan Sidhu for his second of the game and Cole Chorney to round out the scoring.
It was the second straight game the Express played without forwards Joey Santucci, Colton Kerfoot and Cam Bertsch and their absence looked more prominent Sunday than it did in Wednesday's game vs. Surrey.
Next up for the Express are a pair of road games Friday in Chilliwack and Saturday in West Kelowna
Thursday, December 4, 2014
The win was the fourth straight win for the Express over their mainland division foes.
Coming off a 13 point weekend in Prince George, the top line of Corey Mackin, Brett Supinski and Brendan Lamont were at it again Wednesday.
That trio teamed up for the games opening goal as Lamont dropped it for Mackin who found Supinski going to the net and he tapped the feed into the net for his first of two on the night get the Express rolling.
With the difficult season Surrey has had, they certainly deserve credit for their ability to battle. They gave the Express a solid test right to the very end tonight.
Latrell Charleson evened the score at one as he took a pass from Joe Drapluk and a shot was wired over the shoulder of Chris Tai.
The end of the first period had a wild finish to it. Corey Mackin scored his 5th shorthanded goal of the season to give the Express a 2-1 lead at 19:39. That goal was the BCHL scoring leader's 100th career point in the BCHL. But just as quickly as the Express took the lead Surrey tied it on Joe Drapluk's powerplay goal 10 seconds later to see the score even at two after 20 minutes.
Drapluk was Surrey's most dangerous player Wednesday. He capped off a two goal and one assist performance by scoring his second of the night three minutes into the second period on a two on one down low in the Express zone.
Brett Supinski pulled the Express even five minutes later as he beat Daniel Davidson with a wrist shot over the blocker on the powerplay at 8:36.
Chris Tai turned aside 28 of 31 Surrey shots for his 8th win of the season. His best save came at a key time late in the second period as he came to his right to deny a Darius Davidson one timer. That save proved to be key as the middle period came to an end.
Moments later Owen Stout showed good poise and patience carrying the puck in the Surrey zone and finding Jackson Cressey who showed good poise and patience of his own to out wait Daniel Davidson to slide home his 7th of the season to give the Express a 4-3 lead going to the third period. The line of Stout, Cressey and Daniell Lange really got a boost following that goal creating good energy and chances for the Express in the final period.
It was the secondary scoring that carried the Express over the top and get the win after the big guns had done their thing.
Michael Merulla gave the Express some insurance by scoring his first BCHL goal with just over 6 minutes remaining. Merulla is starting to find his offensive touch in the BCHL with his first goal after picking up three helpers last weekend in Prince George.
The win for the Express handed Surrey their 16th consecutive loss. The Express return to action Sunday afternoon when they host the Merritt Centennials.