Sunday, March 10, 2013


You couldn't have asked for a better ending to the season for the Express.

The 2012-13 campaign came to an end when 20 year old Michael Maciag scored the overtime winner in the 2nd overtime on a feed from Brandon Morley to give the Express a 3-2 win over the top club in the BCHL this season the Surrey Eagles.

With 4 20 year olds and a number of other players heading off to college for next season, the Express wanted to end this season on a winning note.

For Brandon Morley who is off to the University of Alaska next season and starred at the South Surrey Arena for parts of three seasons before a trade to the Express this season had one grand finale in front of the fans that watched him and his brother Tyler leave their mark on the BCHL. Morley scored the game tying goal in the third period and set up Maciag for the overtime winner.

Surrey scored the only goal of the first period as Kevan Killistoff followed up on an Eagles rush and poked the puck past Cole Huggins. It was a fairly even first period that saw the Eagles edge the Express in shots 12-11.

In the second period the Express began to take over the game. They really began to push the pace of play and generate a good number of scoring chances. The Express were rewarded for their strong play when Mitchell Fyffe scored 7 minutes into the period to tie the game at one.

At one point in the second period the Express had a 10-0 advantage in shots.

The Eagles did strike late in the second period for their second lead of the game. Michael Stenerson scored on a re-direction of an Adam Tambellini shot on the powerplay with just 1:20 remaining.

In the final period the Express resumed their strong play especially at 5 on 5.

Cole Huggins playing in his final BCHL game came up with his best save of the game in the third period as he turned aside Trevor Cameron who was set up by Brady Shaw on a 2 on 1 break. Huggins finished with 34 saves in the Express crease.

Shortly after the save by Huggins, Brandon Morley stole the puck from an Eagles defenceman and cut in front of the Surrey net and slid the puck through the legs of Michael Santaguida and the game was even at 2.

60 minutes of hockey wasn't enough for the Express. They wanted to play a few extra minutes to extend their season.

The best chance for the Express to win the game in the first overtime came when they were awarded a powerplay when Brandon Morley was hauled down going to the net by Dan O'Keefe. But the Express couldn't convert the 4 on 3 advantage.

In the second overtime Cole Huggins had to come up with a few more saves before the game was decided.

Brandon Morley raced the puck into the Eagles zone on a 2 on 1 break. He had plenty of time to decide if he wanted to keep the puck and try and win it himself or try and hit Michael Maciag who was racing hard to the net. Morley decided to dish a perfect pass to Maciag who re-directed it home to give the Express the dramatic win.

There's no better way for a season finale to end. A 20 year old playing in his final game of junior hockey scoring the game winning goal. For Brandon Morley it couldn't have ended better for him. To be such a key contributor to the Express victory.

The Eagles showed some great class Saturday night as in the first period they took some time to recognize Brandon who was playing in his final BCHL game at the arena he called home for parts of three seasons. And the fans gave him a nice round of applause.

Morley returned the favour with his performance Saturday night. And he took the time to savior every last moment he could. He made sure to take the time to wave to some fans before stepping off the ice. He then returned to the ice for one final salute to the South Surrey Arena crowd when he was named the games first star.

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