Sunday, February 28, 2016


On the scoreboard the Chilliwack Chiefs finished off a 7 game season sweep of the Express with a 8-4 win in Chilliwack in the regular season finale for the Express.

But this game was so much more than just who scored more goals at the end of the night. With the Express and Chiefs meeting in the first round of the playoffs starting next Friday, it was one final opportunity for either side to set the tone for the series before it counts for real.

For the Express it was about showing that this upcoming series is going to be no push over.

They proved that and then some Saturday night in a game that rekindled memories of a time when the Express and Chiefs was one of the most heated rivalries in the BCHL.

It started in the opening minute with Taylor Green and Linden Hora cross checking each other. That would only be the first act in a long and feisty night.

Jackson Cressey opened the scoring just over two minutes in converting a set up in the goal crease form Colton Kerfoot.

Aaron O'Niell quickly pulled Chilliwack even just over a minute later.

But Mitch Newsome quickly put the Express in their second lead of the night scoring 40 seconds after O'Niell's goal.

After the goal more rough stuff ensued with all the players on the ice involved around the Chilliwack net.

This game could have been even higher scoring than it finally ended up being. Jordan Kawaguchi missed an empty net. Kale Kane was robbed by a sliding Jake Brien. For the Express Jackson Cressey had two other good chances that he couldn't convert.

Late in the first period Kawaguchi made amends for his previous miss. He took no chances on a 2 on 0 break with Kale Kane and Kawaguchi went all the way with it beating Lawson Fenton for a 2-2 tie after the first period.

The first period was just the appetizer for a wild and hairy second period.

Colton Kerfoot re-directed a Alex Ambrosio set up to give the Express a 3-2 lead.

It was after this that things really got wild.

Kale Kane and Mitch Newsome with a spirited fight with each landing their fair share of shots.

Vimal Sukumaran scored to tie the game at three. But it was after the goal where things boiled over again with more pushing and shoving during the celebration. Among the combatants were Taylor Green and Rylan Bechtel getting ejected following their fight.

Midway through the second period the Express got a scare as Aaron O'Niell collided with Lawson Fenton while cutting to the net on a rush. Fenton stayed down for a extended period of time getting attention. Initially he would stay in the game. But about three minutes later Fenton left the game and didn't return forcing AP call up Clay Stevenson to enter the game under difficult circumstances.

For the Express they couldn't risk Fenton staying in the game if he wasn't 100% and the status of Tyger Howat still unknown for game 1 of the playoffs.

The collision with Fenton only helped fuel the inferno that emerged between the two teams. For the Express they didn't back down by any means.

Cohen Olishefski scored to give Chilliwack their first lead of the net shortly after Stevenson entered the game.

Jordan Kawaguchi potted his second of the night in the opening minute of the third period for a 5-3 Chiefs lead.

Blake Hayward briefly pulled the Express back within one. Chilliwack then put the finishing touches on the season series on goals from Zach Guitari, O'Niell's second of the game and a goal by Dennis Cholowski.

This emotional game was capped off by one last fight between Jake Brien and Vimal Sukumaran in the third period.

Now that everyone got that out of their system. Let's let the playoffs begin. 

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