Saturday, September 21, 2013


Kevan Kilistoff's slick goal midway through the second overtime gave the Langley Rivermen a 5-4 overtime win over the Express spoiling their home opener 24 hours after the Express did the same to Langley.

In the opening seconds of the game Jace Henning would ring a shot off the goal post. That would be a rare highlight for the Express in the first period for awhile.

The Rivermen then started to take control of the first period. They opened the scoring less than three minutes in as Matt Ustaski in front of the Express net re-directed a Tony Bretzman point shot past Pierce Dushenko.

Midway through the period Langley struck again while shorthanded as Mitch McLain broke out of his own zone then rushed up the ice and slid the puck through the legs of Dushenko for a 2-0 Rivermen lead.

Then former Express Will Cook on the powerplay powered his way into the slot and snapped it home for a 3-0 Rivermen lead.

By this point the game had already had it's fair share of penalties it what would turn out to be a very emotional game all night between the two teams who are already developing quite a dislike for one another.

The home team finally responded as Adam Smith deflected a Cal Hofford point shot past James Barr to get the Express on the board.

That goal gave the Express the spark they needed to try and get back into the game.

Then on the powerplay Canon Pieper was set up at the side of the Rivermen net and roofed it on Barr and the Express had cut the lead back down to one.

1:12 later the Rivermen re-stored their two goal lead as Jakob Reichert squeezed the puck between the post and pad of Dushenko on a wrap around and Langley went to the dressing room with a 4-2 lead.

As I said, this game was very chippy all game long. And two games into the season series these divisional rivals have already established a dislike for one another,

Midway through the period Matthew Barry-Lamontagna didn't like the treatment he was getting and went after a Langley player. When the dust settled Barry was ejected with a 5 minute major for fighting, and minor penalties for instigating and slashing. Langley's Brendan Gulka was given a game misconduct for leaving the bench.

As a result the teams played 4 on 4 for two minutes then Langley had a 3 minute powerplay. Just seconds after the Rivermen powerplay started the Express cut the lead to one as Jace Henning scored his first goal of the season.

Another Express penalty to Hofford resulted on a 5 on 3 for Langley, but the Express killed off the penalties and went to the the third period only down a goal.

The third period finally saw the Express raise their game and take it to the Rivermen.

Midway through the period captain Ryan Rosenthal scored his second straight clutch powerplay goal in the third period as his one timer from the left circle broke his stick and created an off-speed shot that hand-cuffed Barr and found the back of the net and the game was tied. The Express had rallied all the way back from 3-0 and 4-2 deficits.

Nothing was decided after 60 minutes and the Express went to overtime for the first time this season.

In the first extra session Bo Pieper had the best chance to end the game. After Barr fought off a Canon Pieper shot, the puck laid in the crease and Bo tried to poke it home but Barr reached back to keep the puck out.

Off to a second overtime where the Pieper brothers again had great chances. Seconds part both Canon and Bo were able to get low hard shots away from the same spot on the left wing and just missed by inches low to the glove side.

The Rivermen got the next great scoring chance and made it count as Kevan Killistoff danced around an Expresss defender and roofed a backhand over the glove of Dushenko to give the Rivermen the 5-4 overtime win.

Despite the setback, the Express can be proud how hard they battled Langley in this game. It wasn't their best outing. But they fought through it and found a way to get a point out of it and erase a three goal deficit. It would have been better if the Express didn't find themselves in that position, but the way they responded to it and kept battling was encouraging.

Goaltender Pierce Dushenko can be proud of how he shut the door for 47 plus minutes after a rough first period allowing his team to battle back and get a point out of the game.

Next weekend the Express are in action with a pair of games vs. the Prince George Spruce Kings at home Friday night and Sunday afternoon. 

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