Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Jordan Kawaguchi capped off a three point night by scoring the game winning goal with 8.8 seconds left in the third period to give the Chiefs a 4-3 win over the Express in Hope Tuesday night.

The Express remain winless in three pre-season games this season. Head Coach Barry Wolff has used his veterans and top recruits sparingly so far in pre-season. A few more veterans hit the ice for the Express with returnees Jivan Sidhu and Austin Anselmo seeing action on the buleline. While Daniell Lange and Michael Merulla were on a line with the PJHL's third leading goal scorer Carson Rose.

Merulla got things rolling for the Express opening the scoring on a power play with a shot from a sharp angle.

Kawaguchi picked up his first point of the night by setting up Vimal Sukumaran who scored his first of two on the night.

The Chiefs outshot the Express 17-9 in the first period.

The middle frame saw the Chiefs open up the period with a flurry but Express starter Jeff Vietsch was up to the task with a great rebound save coming to his right. Then making a save on a deflection seconds later.

Jeremy Germain gave Chilliwack their first lead of the night finding a loose puck in the Express crease.

Then midway through the second period Sukumaran scored his second of the night for a 3-1 Chiefs lead. That was the perfect time for the Express to make a change between the pipes as they split their goaltending duties equally as Jimmy Poreda played the second half of the game.

Being the most experienced forwards in the lineup for the Express, Michael Merulla and Daniell Lange were expected to be your most dangerous forwards. That was exactly the case. Most notably in the second period. They created at least four scoring chances for the Express in the second period alone.

Michael Merulla even drew a penalty shot. But was denied as he couldn't beat Chiefs started Aidan Pelino with a backhand deke.

Sam Kozlowski scored in the third period to cut the Chiefs lead to 3-2.

Then the Chiefs were called for three consecutive penalties giving the Express three power plays including a 5 on 3 for 1:05. But the Express weren't able to take advantage of the opportunity. The Express finished the game 1 for 6. The Chiefs meanwhile were 0 for 3 on the power play.

With 2:23 the Express pulled even as Merulla and Lange teamed up to tie the game at three.

Last season whenever the Chiefs needed a big goal against the Express it always seemed Jordan Kawaguchi found a way to get it. Well he picked up where he left off last season Tuesday night by finding a loose puck in the crease and poked it home with just 8.8 seconds left in the third period to give the Chiefs the win.

The Express outshot the Chiefs 38-37 and 29-20 in the final two periods.

Jeff Vietsch allowed three goals in his first half of the game for the Express. Jimmy Poreda allowed one goal in his 30 minutes of action.


3 - Michael Merulla CQ 1G, 1A
2 - Vimal Sukumaran CH 2G
1 - Jordan Kawaguchi CH 1G, 2A

The Express will play host to the expansion Wenatchee Wild Thursday night at the Burnaby Winter Club in their next pre-season game. They will round out the exhibition schedule the next night in Surrey.

The regular season opens Saturday September 12th in Chilliwack. 

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