Friday, December 30, 2016


Fred Ewaniuck & Lorne Cardinal from Corner Gas took part in the ceremonial faceoff
Photo courtesy of Garrett James.
The Express returned to action following their Christmas break. They looked refreshed and the return to the lineup of Mitch Newsome, Alex Ambrosio and Christian Bosa gave the Express a boost. Unfortunately for it still wasn't enough to get back in the win column as they dropped a 4-3 decision to the Surrey Eagles.

The return of the three aforementioned forwards allowed Barry Wolff to dress a more balanced lineup up front.

Reid Cooper - Photo courtesy of G. James
But just 15 seconds into the game the Express got a scare as defenseman Jake Brien was shaken up in a collision along the end boards. Thankfully for a team that's had more than it's fair share of injuries this season Brien returned after a short absence in the first period.

Midway through the first period the Express opened the scoring on a power play goal by Keegan Jones. He buried the rebound of a Will Lawerence shot swatting it past Keelan Williams.

Five minutes later Jordan Robert scored with a shot from the slot up over the shoulder of Reid Cooper.

These two teams certainly were no longer in the holiday spirit when they took to the ice. It had it's fair share of chippiness throughout the night. Early in the second period Noah Turanski was given a pair of game misconducts when he was given a five minute major for a check from behind for a hit on Mike Sauer. Turanski's second game misconduct came when he had to answer the bell for his hit dropping the gloves with Tyler Cooper.

Hayden Knight - Photo courtesy of G. James
Darius Davidson gave the Eagles their first lead of the night 8 minutes into the second period banging home the rebound of a Colton Gerlib shot for Davidson's 20th goal of the season.

That goal helped propel the Eagles for a mid period push in play. Paul McAvoy then converted a pass from behind the Express net from Desi Burgart for a 3-1 Surrey lead.

The deficit didn't rattle the Express and just 23 seconds after the McAvoy goal the Express were back within one on a goal from Luca Leone who buried a backhand after taking a drop pass from Sam Kozlowski.

Jake Toor pulled the Express even just over two minutes later snapping home a quick wrist shot from the slot for just his second goal of the season. Both of his tallies have come against the Surrey Eagles this season.

Ashton Calder gave the Eagles the lead early in the third period on a power play goal just 1:38 into the period.

Cooper's best save off Paul McAvoy - Photo courtesy of G. James
The dislike between the Express and Eagles continued in the third. Christian Bosa was shaken up when he was looking back in his own zone and reached up to grab a puck in the air. It was then that he was hit in the back by Nick Minerva torquing his body in an awkward position shaking up the young forward. Immediately Keegan Jones came to his teammates defence.

As the game wound down Reid Cooper rose to the occasion with a number of key stops to keep the Express within one. Cooper finished with 42 saves.

At the other end Keelan Williams turned aside all 13 third period Express shots and finished with 36 saves in the Eagles crease.

Despite another set back they showed a lot of good signs the team can try to build on when they head into Merritt Saturday to conclude 2016.

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