Saturday, March 7, 2015


I'm certain a week ago when he was bed ridden battling a bout of bronchitis the last thing Austin Anselmo was thinking about was returning to the lineup and playing the overtime hero in his first game back in the lineup. Video link to Anselmo goal

Well that is indeed the case. The first year Express defender 13 pounds lighter scored the biggest goal of the Express season for a 6-5 overtime win in game 3 vs. Chilliwack Chiefs in the Mainland division semi final. Click here for boxscore

The win cut Chilliwack's lead in the series to 2-1.

Things didn't start well for the Express. Rory Bell scored a pair of goals in the first 2:27 of the game to quickly give the Chiefs a 2-0 lead. Jake Hand had a helping hand in both goals.

The fast start for the Chiefs got the Express attention for sure. Michael Merulla got the comeback started for the Express banging home the rebound off the end boards of a Daniel Fritz point shot.

The top line of Mackin, Supinski and Lamont made sure they were going to be heard from all night in a game as important of game 3 for the Express.

Brendan Lamont who battled like a bulldog and a grizzled 200+ game veteran in the BCHL worked hard behind the net allowing Brett Supinski to come in and take the puck and score on a wraparound to tie the game at two.

Through the first seven periods of the series the Express hadn't yet played a single second with the lead.

That changed early in the second period.

With the Express on a 5 on 3 powerplay for over a minute, Brett Supinski added his second of the night beating David Jacobson on a wrist shot from the top of the left circle.

That goal chased the Chiefs starter after 3 goals on 12 shots and bring in Aidan Pelino into the game.

Game 3 was a roller coaster of emotions for both teams.

The ride swung back in Chilliwack's favour when Tipper Higgins started his big night by tipping a Dennis Chylowski point shot for a 3-3 tie.

Corey Mackin gave the Express their second lead of the night with a backhand rebound chance late in the second period.

Both teams had their chances in the opening minutes of the third period. Craig Puffer hit the post for Chilliwack in the opening minute of the third. Mackin then rang a shot off the post of his own. Mackin was also robbed by the left pad of Pelino with the Express on a early powerplay.

Tipper Higgins on the powerplay found himself in the slot and snapped a shot through the legs of Chris Tai to even it up at four with his second of the night.

The line of Owen Stout, Michael Merulla and Brendan Gulka rose to the occasion in game 3 to provide some secondary scoring. Gulka scored his first of the post-season with just over 7 minutes left in the third sliding it right along the ice.

Any time Jordan Kawaguchi has been on the ice against the Express he's made their observers nervous. He cut down the left wing with less than three minutes to go and found Tipper Higgins in the slot and he finished off the hat-trick to send the game to overtime.

The overtime would be the biggest period for the Express season. A Chiefs goal would give them a stranglehold 3-0 lead. An Express goal got them back in the series.

Very little seperated the teams in overtime in game 3. The OT heroics got started as Brendan Lamont powered the puck to the net, Austin Anselmo reading the play pinched in and found the puck on his stick and his wrist shot found the back of the net to give the Express the dramatic OT win.

The shots finished 42-31 in favour of the Chiefs.

The Express went 1 for 5 on the powerplay While Chilliwack was 1 for 2.

Game four goes Saturday night in Coquitlam Game 5 will be played Monday night in Chilliwack.

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