Sunday, February 24, 2013


The Express battled a short bench that got shorter as the game went on up front and posted their second consecutive win this weekend over the Prince George Spruce Kings 4-1 on Sunday.

Coquitlam started the game with 10 forwards, and by the time the game was over they were playing with only 7.

It didn't start well for the Express as Bryant Christian scored just 1:12 into the game to give the Spruce Kings the early 1-0 lead. But that goal would turn out to be one of the few things that went wrong for the Express on Sunday afternoon.

12 seconds after the goal by Christian, Zach Pryzbek leveled Skylar Pacheco and Pryzbek was assessed a 5 minute major penalty for fighting along with a major penalty for a blow to the head plus a game misconduct and the Express were down to 9 forwards with 58 plus minutes left in the game.

Prince George came out of the sequence with a 5 minute major powerplay going up against a rejuvenated Express penalty killing unit. And the penalty killers stepped up to the challenge and killed off the Prince George man advantage. And another one that would come minutes later with Malcom McKinney serving a tripping penalty.

Of the first 12 minutes of the game, 7 of those minutes for the Express were spent shorthanded. But the Express came out of it unscathed with the Spruce Kings getting very few quality chances. The Express killed off all 3 Prince George powerplays in the game. And the penalty killing unit is on one its best runs since the start of the season when the Express had the top penalty killing unit in the league. The Express have now killed off 18 straight shorthanded situations and 19 of the last 20 in the last 6 games.

Will Cook was the next Express forward to go down when he got crunched in front of the Spruce Kings penalty box by Sean Landrey. Cook tried to stick it out but couldn't and the Express were down to 8 forwards.

Landrey was assessed a 5 minute major blow to the head penalty of his own. The Express powerplay was able to do what the Spruce Kings couldn't do on their 5 minute powerplay and that is score. Adam Rockwood buried the rebound of a Marc Biega point shot that was tipped by Justin Georgeson.

Early in the second period the Express lost another forward as Garrett Forster was shaken up and didn't return to the game leaving the Express with just 7 forwards for the final 38 minutes of the game.

The short bench for the Express gave the forwards plenty of ice time. And as the game went on, the Express did a great job of managing their shifts and playing smart and not over exerting themselves the rest of the way.

Mitchell Fyffe gave the Express the lead for what turned out to be for good on the prettiest goal of the day. Malcom McKinney slid a cross ice pass to Brandon Morley who fired a rocket feed across to Fyffe who cut it across the net and slid it through the legs of Liam McLeod to give the Express a 2-1 lead.

Midway through the third period the Express were still sitting on a one goal lead. They got some much needed insurance from AP Nick Hermary who carried the puck into the Spruce Kings zone after Malcom McKinney broke up a pass. Hermary made no mistake sliding home his first BCHL goal through the wickets to put the Express up a pair at 3-1.

Justin Georgeson put some icing on the victorious cake for the Express with a powerplay goal snapping home a feed from the slot just 1:16 after Hermary's goal. Georgeson has scored goals in back to back games.

One of the more impressive stats about the game on Sunday was the Express matching a season best for fewest shots allowed in a game this season at 18 making the work load for Cole Huggins a very manageable one.

The Express will continue their season high 8 game home stand next weekend vs. Cowichan Valley and Salmon Arm.

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