Friday, October 25, 2013


Reid Simmonds scored his second goal of the game with just 22 seconds remaining in the third period to give the West Kelowna Warriors a 4-3 win over the Express Friday night.

The loss was the third straight for the Express. And they still have just 1 win on home ice in 7 games played at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre.

The Express couldn't have asked for a better start to the game as they opened the scoring just over a minute in. Ben Isreal's shot from the right wing got through Andy Desautels and Canon Pieper followed up on the play and poked it home for his 10th goal of the season.

The first half of the game was filled with penalties. The Express had 4 powerplays in the first period but couldn't use any of them to extend their lead.

It took a 5 on 3 for the Express in the second period to finally put them up a pair. In his last game before heading off to Calgary for Team Canada West selection camp, Adam Rockwood set up Zach Hodder blasted home a one timer past a screened Desautels for Hodder's second goal of the season.

One does have to wonder what could have been for the Express on this night if they were more powerful on the powerplay. They finished the night 1 for 7 with the extra man. And all 7 powerplays came in the first half of the game. On the penalty kill it was a good night for the Express however killing off all 5 Warrior powerplays.

The Warriors cut the deficit to one before the second period was done. Moments earlier goaltender Gordie Defiel was bumped and had a tough time getting back on his feet and re-establishing his crease. No goaltender interference penalty was called and seconds later the puck was in the Express net as Jason Cotton scored at 17:22.

West Kelowna came out strong in the third period looking for the equalizer. They opened up a 5-0 advantage in shots. Reid Simmonds pulled the visitors even as he roofed a shot over the glove of Defiel at 6:26.

That was followed 1:07 later with David Pope cutting to the net and sliding a backhand past the glove of Defiel to put the Warriors in the lead for the first time.

West Kelowna's come back was all part of a back and forth finish in the third period.

With less than 3 minutes to go the Express pulled even as Zach Hodder's snap shot hand cuffed Desautels and Bo Pieper followed up to score on the rebound to tie the game at 3.

That goal didn't rattle the Warriors who kept pushing forward. Carl Hesler was robbed by Defiel with just over a minute to go as he came across the crease and got his pad down to make at the time a game saving stop.

But with 22 seconds left the Warriors decided the contest. Simmonds cut in from the left wing, his shot couldn't be corralled by Defiel and rolled in to give the Warriors a 4-3 lead with their third goal of the final frame.

It's a day of rest and recovery for the Express before they play host to the only team they've been able to defeat on home ice so far this season the Chilliwack Chiefs Sunday afternoon.

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