Friday, November 20, 2015


Blake Hayward celebrates his 1st period goal - Photo courtesy of Damon James
On the first game of parents weekend for the Express, the players put on a good show for the moms and dads in attendance taking care of Wenatchee 4-1 in Coquitlam. Click here for boxscore

Lawson Fenton making his first start in two weeks had one of his best outings of the season turning aside 37 of 38 Wild shots.

Coming a solid effort Wednesday night in Penticton, the Express were looking to build off that outing despite the 1-0 2OT setback.

Right from the start the Express showed they were ready to play.

The top line of Jackson Cressey, Colton Kerfoot and Austin McIlMurray were buzzing in the Wild end. It didn't take long for them to break through with McIlMurray sliding the puck under Chase Perry for a 1-0 Express lead just 1:03 into the game.

Defenceman Taylor Green - Photo courtesy of Damon James
That goal put the game in motion and both teams were skating at a fantastic pace providing great entertainment for those in attendance.

Midway through the first period the Express added to their lead.

Jake Brien pinched in from the right point and got down the wall then fired the puck at the net and Blake Hayward found a loose puck in the crease and poked it home for a 2-0 Express lead.

Friday's game may have been Brien's best in the BCHL to date. He moved the puck confidently and was very active from the backend for the Express. He was also very rock solid in his own end of the rink. He also made sure to get at least one of his trademark hits on the Wild coming down the wing and connecting on the hit at the Express blueline.

Up 2-0 late in the first period the Wild pressed looking for a goal to get within at least one after 20 minutes. Matt Baker was thwarted by Fenton as the puck came to him alone in front of the Express net.

Lawson Fenton earned 1st star honours - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Fenton came up with a number of key saves late in the first period to preserve the Express lead.

In the second period the quality of saves from Fenton only improved.

Fenton's best save of the night came off Mike Coyne with Fenton firing out his glove to rob Coyne who pounced on the rebound of a Bryan Yoon point shot.

That was followed in quick succession off a reach back save with his stick off Tyler Rockwell. Then another save off Joe Drabin who found himself alone in front on a Wild power play.

Coquitlam extended their lead in the second period on the power play with Taylor Green sliding the puck across to Kerfoot who went to his backhand then slid the puck under Chase Perry for Kerfoot's Express leading 12th goal of the season.

Wenatchee finally got a puck past Fenton early in the third period. Logan Milliken from the slot snapped a shot low past the glove for Fenton just shy of the three minute mark.

That goal really sparked a Wenatchee push. But each time they were turned back from the rock solid play from Fenton.

Owen Stout - Photo courtesy of Damon James
The Express as a team bent in the third period as Wenatchee fired 16  shots but they never broke. They were content to relieve the Wild pressure immediately by icing the puck repeatedly. But they were never hanging on for dear life in the third period. The shots finished 38-24 in favour of the Wild. But that was more of a product of the Express sitting back and protecting their lead.

The penalty killing unit was stellar for the Express. They capped off a great night by going a perfect 6 for 6 by shutting down the Wild one final time in the third period with Owen Stout in the box shortly after the Wild got on the board.

Then Jarrell Pinchuk iced the game with just under 5 minutes to go snapping a shot past Chase Perry for his 3rd goal of the season and second against Wenatchee this season.

Colton Kerfoot picked up an assist on the goal and finished with three points with 1 goal and 2 assists. He now has 32 points on the season in 24 games which surpasses his rookie season total of 31 points in 40 games.

Jackson Cressey - Photo courtesy of Damon James
In their first two games against two of the top teams in the BCHL, the Express have been able to pick up 3 out of a possible 4 points. They're now 3-0-0-1 in their last four games. They've played two of their best games of the season to date. They've shown how they can compete against the best of the BCHL when they execute a game plan and truly play as a team.

Up next the Express will get another crack at the Penticton Vees. But the Express won't have a chance to snap the Vees streak as their run of 23 straight games came to an end with a 4-2 loss in Langley Friday.

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