Friday, October 5, 2012


On paper it had the makings to be a tight battle featuring two of the top goaltenders in the BCHL, but it never materialized as the Chiefs jumped on the Express fast en route to a 6-3 win.

The set up was supposed to be Cole Huggins vs. Mitch Gillam. The two netminders were 1-2 in the BCHL in save percentage. Huggins goals against average was #1 in the league. Gilliam wasn't that far behind with a mark below two.

Chilliwack sent a message early that it was going to be their night jumping on the Express right from the drop of the puck.

They opened the scoring 48 seconds into the game as a centering pass from behind the Express net found a pinching David Thompson who snapped a one timer past Huggins.

The Express got that one back on a goal of their own from a defenceman. Mitch Nardi won a draw in the Chiefs zone and the puck got back to Cameron Marks who snapped a shot from the right point which hit Josh Hansen and got past Gilliam to pull the Express even.

The game certainly had a physical feel that brought back a few memories of when this was one of the most fiercest rivalries in the BCHL. Brett Seldon dropped the gloves with Tanner Cochrane for a spirited tilt.

Chilliwack re-stored their lead just 50 seconds after the goal by Marks. Josh Hansen buried the rebound of a Austin Plevy shot and snapped it past Huggins.

The Chiefs struck again just over 3 minutes later. The puck wound up in the slot in the Express zone and Mathieu Tibbet chopped a backhand over the right shoulder of Huggins to put the visitors up a pair.

That goal meant the end of the night for Huggins who was relieved in favour of Daniel Urbani after allowing 3 goals on 9 shots in just 8:28 of action.

Urbani wasn't given a warm welcome to the game. He faced a two on one break with Plevy setting up Josh Hansen who made no mistake putting it home at 9:18.

The quick start from the visitors saw them up 4-1 before the midway mark of the first period. Chilliwack's physical play and ability make life difficult for the Express got them frustrated. The Chiefs were banging the Express whenever they could. Many of the whistles to stop the play were quickly followed by scrums with the Chiefs trying to do their best to get under the skin of the Express.

After allowing the goal quickly after taking over in the Express crease, Daniel Urbani quickly settled into the game. He was very steady and shut the door on the Chiefs giving his team a chance to try and get back into the game.

But there wasn't much of an attack on Gilliam. He only had 15 shots sent his way after 2 periods. And very few if any high quality scoring chances sent his way.

As has been a story pretty much all season, the penalty killing had another strong game for the Express. The league's top PK unit killed off all 5 Chiefs powerplays.

Alex Kerfoot scored on a 5 on 3 in the third period to cut the Chiefs lead to two with 12 minutes to play. The Express did pick up their game in the final frame, but it turned out to be too little too late. Austin Plevy scored with just under 3 minutes to go to put the Chiefs back up by 3.

Plevy's line along with Luke Esposito and Josh Hansen was the most dangerous all night for the Chiefs. The line combined for 11 points with 3 goals and 8 assists. With Hansen finishing with 2 goals and 2 assists, Esposito had 4 helpers and Plevy had 1 goal and 2 assists.

John Siemer scored the second Express powerplay goal of the period with 2:05 to go. He showed his slick hands as he tucked the puck around Gillam.

Ryan Donohoe rounded out the scoring by hitting the empty net in the final seconds of the game.

The Express will quicky try and forget about this one and look to re-group in the second of the home and home in Chilliwack Saturday night. 

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