Sunday, February 3, 2013


A pair of games this weekend for the Express in Vernon and Penticton. The Express lost 4-3 in Vernon Friday. And then a game to forget getting blanked 11-0 by the defending national champions Saturday.

In Vernon the Express dressed 15 skaters and just 9 forwards. The game started well for the Express with Ben Israel scored his first of two goals on the night for the Express on the powerplay in the first period. The Express outshot the Vipers 15-8 in the opening 20 minutes.

In the second period former Express Jason Bird playing in his first game with the Vipers and first game since the opening game of the season at the BCHL showcase in Chilliwack, scored on the powerplay midway through the period to tie the game at one. Bird suffered a shoulder injury in overtime in the Express' 1-0 overtime win vs. Victoria. He signed with the Vipers earlier this season.

Israel scored his second of the game and 5th in his 8th game with the Express with just 10 seconds left in the second period on the powerplay to give the Express the lead heading to the third period.

Zach Pryzbek extended the Express lead with less than 7 minutes left in the third period to give the Express a 3-1 lead.

As the clock began to wind down, the short bench for the Express began to catch up with them.

Two goals 1:27 apart by Colton Sparrow and Marc Hetnik erased the Express lead and the game was tied at three. Then a powerplay goal by Dexter Dancs with 1:51 to go gave Vernon the lead for good at 4-3.

Both teams went 2 for 5 on the powerplay. Cole Huggins made 32 saves on 36 Viper shots. Danny Todosychuk made 31 saves on 34 Express shots.

Less than 24 hours later the Express rolled into Penticton.

And to be quite frank it was a game to forget for the Express. The Vees jumped on the shorthanded Express early and often. When all was said and done the Vees handed the Express their most lopsided loss in franchise history 11-0.

The Vees did all their damage in the first two periods. The Vees led 5-0 after one period on a pair of goals by Jedd Soleway and singles by Troy Stetcher, Travis Blanliel and Cody DePourcq. Penticton outshot the Express in the opening period 17-3.

The goals kept coming in the second period. Wade Murphy scored a pair, Brad McClure, Sam Mellor, James De Haas and Cam Amentea scored singles.

Penticton went 4 for 8 on the powerplay. Chad Katunar turned aside 18 Express shots for the shutout.

The loss broke or matched some dubious records for the Express. The 11 goals allowed matches the team record for most goals allowed in a game which has been two previous times when the franchise was based in Burnaby vs. Merritt in 2005 and in Powell River in 2008.

The loss by 11 goals is a new franchise record for largest margin of defeat. The previous mark was 9 when the Express lost 9-0 in Merritt in September 2002.

Up next the Express have their last head to head meeting of the season with the Langley Rivermen Tuesday night at the Langley Events Centre. The Express remain 3 points back of Langley for the final playoff spot, but Langley still has 4 games in hand on the Express with Coquitlam now having just 10 games left in the regular season. 

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