Saturday, December 2, 2017


Chilliwack scored twice in the third period for a come from behind 2-1 win over the Express Friday in Chilliwack. Click here for boxscore

The Express come away from Friday's game looking back on the number of chances they couldn't bury.

The chances for the Express started to come in the first period. Josh Bruce had a chance in the opening minutes. Then Sam Kozlowski had a pass go behind him on a 2 on 1 break.

It was a penalty filled game with the teams combining for 15 total powerplays.

Chilliwack had four advantages alone in the first period. That included a two man advantage for 1:22 after Johnathan Sheardown was called for a check from behind for a hit on Anthony Vincent. Sheardown was also given a game misconduct.

The Express limited the dangerous chances on the two man disadvantage as the Chiefs were patient moving the puck around. Things got more frantic in when the play went to 5 on 4 for the Chiefs. Chilliwack's best chance was Corey Andonovski ringing a shot off the post. Then Clay Stevenson stopping Kaden Pickering who tried to jam the puck in from the goal crease.

Chilliwack was penalized for back to back penalties in the first, but the Express couldn't strike.

The best chance for the Express came late in the period as Jordan Schulting got the puck at centre ice coming out of the penalty box and had a breakaway, but his shot hit the cross bar and went out of play.

In the second period Eric Linell was stopped on a breakaway by Mathieu Caron.

At the other end Clay Stevenson got some puck luck as Jake Gresh had his point shot hit the post and stay out. It was the same story moments later for Jared Turcotte.

Midway through the period Stevenson made the save of the night coming across to his left to rob Anthony Vincent who then crashed into the Express goaltender following the save.

Finally 17 minutes into the second period the deadlock was broken. Off a won face-off in the Chilliwack zone Haydn Delorme fired it back to Landon Fuller whose point shot was tipped by Eric Linell to open the scoring. For Linell it was his third goal in the last two games.

Chilliwack entered the third period with a power play with Fuller in the box for interference. That was followed early in the third by a interference penalty from Josh Wildauer.

Sensing the urgency of the situation with the Chiefs getting their second two man advantage of the game this time for 40 seconds Jason Tatarnic called his time out.

It only took the Chiefs 8 seconds to execute their plan and tie the game. Off the won face-off the Chiefs worked it down to the goal line to Tommy Lee who zipped a back door pass to Corey Andonovski who tied the game at 1. Chilliwack finished 1 for 8 on the power play.

Minutes later Anthony Vincent was called for roughing giving the Express another power play.

On that advantage came more great Express chances. First Alex Ambrosio ripped a one timer over the net. Then Linell was set up on a tip play and put it over the net with a half open cage.

As the third period progressed the Express had struggles coming out of their zone that led to turnovers.

One of those turnovers proved costly. Adan Berg stole the puck then dropped it back to Matt Slick who finally got some puck luck to go the Chiefs way as his shot hit the post then bounced off Stevenson and bounced in giving Chilliwack a 2-1 lead.

As the final minutes of the game ticked down the chances kept coming for the Express. Christian Sanda was stopped with a clean look from the slot. Then off the ensuing draw Colby Pederson was stopped on a backhand by Caron.

Then in the final minutes the Express had a two man advantage but wasn't able to get the equalizer. The Express finished 0 for 7 on the power play.

The shots finished 29-23 in favour of Chilliwack.

Friday was card cut down day where teams have their number of cards to add players to their roster reduced to 25 of they have that many left.

As a result the Express made a number of transactions. 20 year old blue liner Jake Brien was traded to the Pembroke Lumberkings of the CCHL for future considerations. And forward Aiden Wagner was released.

Brien dressed for 125 games in an Express uniform over parts of three seasons. He was a real warrior for the Express and deserves to be commended for how hard he played during his time with the club. He would be the first player to go down and block a shot for a teammate. On top of that he was a first class player off the ice.

Wagner only dressed for 23 games with the Express. But he certainly left a mark for being a hard working player on the ice. Off of it he has a very outgoing personality who treats everyone with the utmost respect.

Thanks to both Jake and Aiden for their contributions to the Express. 

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