Sunday, November 24, 2013


4 points up for grabs, and 4 points grabbed by the Coquitlam Express in their home and home series with the Penticton Vees.

The Express took the opener in Coquitlam Friday 3-1. Then took the return engagement in the South Okanagan Events Centre 2-1 in overtime Saturday.

John Saunders scored the only goal of the first period as his point shot got past Hunter Miska.

Miska came up with a great save in the first period turning aside a backhand re-direction by Ryan Rosenthal who was set up by Adam Rockwood.

The Express structure all night long never really allowed the Vees to generate many quality scoring chances in the two games this weekend.

Penticton had an edge in play in the second period outshooting the Express 12-3. Goaltender Gordie Defiel was having a strong game in the Express crease for a second night in a row. Plus he had a lot of help from his team in front of him clearing pucks away from danger.

Still holding on to the 1-0 lead going into the third period, the Express knew the Vees would come with a push looking for the equalizer. Their best chance early in the period came when Travis Blanliel was set up on a feed but Defiel came to his left and got his pad down for his second best save of the night.

The Vees finally tied it when former Express AP Anthony Conti deflected a point shot past Defiel with just over 4 minutes to go.

Nothing was decided after 60 minutes and the Express had collected 3 out of a possible 4 points vs. the Vees this weekend.

The game was still looking for a hero after 65 minutes of hockey.

In the second overtime the Vees had their chances to win it.

First Cody DePourcq found himself all alone in front of Defiel with all kinds of time. The diminutive forward skated across the crease and tried to roof the puck over the sprawled out Express netminder. But Defiel stayed with him and in pure desperation made a spectacular save stacking the pads.

Seconds later the Vees fired the puck towards the net from the point, it changed directions and found a way to trickle past Defiel. But the goal was immediately waved off when it was ruled Defiel was contacted in the crease.

Those would be the Vees best chances to win the game and they wouldn't get another.

With the puck at the Express blueline they were able to poke it free giving Bo Pieper a breakaway. He busted his tail to the Vee net and unleashed a shot only Bo Pieper can with a rocket over the glove of Hunter Miska giving the Express the dramatic overtime win.

Leading up to the games this weekend vs. the Vees, the Express had spent a lot of time working on their defensive part of the game. After the results this weekend and how they earned them, it should go a long way in the development of that aspect of the Express game this season.

Next week will be a busy one for the Express with four games in 5 nights. They have a home and home with the Surrey Eagles starting Wednesday in Surrey. Then after the return match Friday in Coquitlam, the Express are off to the island for games in Port Alberni and Nanaimo.

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