Saturday, October 3, 2015


Blake Hayward in player introductions - Photo courtesy of Garrett James

Personally I don't find tie games all that entertaining. But the home opener for the Express vs. the Cowichan Valley Capitals left the fans in attendance feeling like they got their money worth in the 3-3 final. Click here for boxscore

Forward Matt Michie - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
The game had chances, entertaining goals, big saves and left fans thinking about what if when they left the rink.

Things didn't start well for the Express as the puck came right into the slot to a wide open Patrick Geary who opened the scoring just 54 seconds into the game.

Both teams easily could have used fatigue as an excuse but that wasn't the case. The Express were playing their third game in three nights after the previous two nights on the Island. The Caps travelled to Coquitlam after playing up in Prince George the night before.

Austin McILmurray celebrates his first goal - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
Austin McIlmurray pulled the Express even taking a pass from Taylor Green and sliding the puck through Storm Phaneuf.

The Coral Springs Florida native added his second of the night midway through the second period as he found a loose puck and hammered it just inside the post for his second of the game giving the Express a 2-1 lead.

29 seconds later on the power play the Express extended their lead as the puck was worked across to Nic Coltura and his shot found the back of the net for a 3-1 Express lead.

Storm Phaneuf watches an Express goal - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
Cowichan quickly pulled back within one as Geary scoring his second of the game just 23 seconds after the 3-1 goal. All told the teams traded three goals in a 52 second span.

In the third period Cowichan Valley pulled even when Matthew Hudie scored on a one timer seconds after an Express penalty expired and the game was tied at three.

The Express have their penalty killing to thank for earning a point in this game. They killed off all 7 Caps power plays. The biggest kill coming in the final three minutes of the third period after Nic Coltura was called for boarding.

In the first overtime the Express had the game put on a platter with Adam Osczevski hauling down Charlie Barrow resulting in an Express power play.

Colton Kerfoot - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
The best chance on the man advantage came on a one timer from McIlmurray blasting a one timer wide. He had a number of quality chances on the night to complete his first BCHL hat-trick. For the most part the Express were pretty methodical working the puck around on the 4 on 3 power play.

In 3 on 3 it was Tyger Howat's time to shine. He made sparking saves on Darien Craighead on a breakaway, a bang bang play for Oszevski in front. And a scramble play that the Caps couldn't poke the puck home lying in the crease. Howat finished with 27 saves and was named the games third star.

Colton Kerfoot is going to have nightmares after the puck came to him in the dying seconds of the game and he ripped a shot high and wide.

Up next for the Express is a visit to West Kelowna Tuesday night.

No comments: