Friday, February 26, 2016


Ryan Coghlan & Jackson Cressey -  Photo courtesy of Damon James
Kale Kane picked up three points in the third period and scored the overtime winner as the Chiefs defeated the Express 4-3 in overtime. Chillwack remained undefeated in six games vs. the Express this season. Click here for boxscore

AP Brady Lynn -  Photo courtesy of Damon James
It was the first meeting between the two teams since their first round playoff rematch was finalized earlier this week.

There wasn't much for either team to play for other than fine tune their game for the playoffs, avoid injury and rest players before it begins for real next Friday in Chiliwack.

For the Express, they wanted to have some positive things to build on heading into the upcoming series vs. a team that was 5-0 against the Express this season and outscored the Express 24-6 in the last three meetings.

Ryan Coghlan opened the scoring for the Express beating Mat Esposito with a deflected point shot  after Jackson Cressey won the face-off in the Chilliwack zone.

Chilliwack rested veterans Rylan Bechtel, Linden Hora and top scorer Jordan Kawaguchi.

But the reigning BCHL player of the week Darien Craighead picked up the slack. He cut to the net from the left wing and scored the tie the game just 2:11 after Coghlan's goal.

For the Express this was a key moment in the game to see if they would be able to not lose momentum and allow Chilliwack to take over the game and pull away like they had in previous outings.

The Express were able to do that Friday. Still tied at one late in the second period Jack Surowiec set up Nic Coltura who scored his third of the season from the slot giving the Express their second lead of the night.

When there's two games left in the regular season teams are stressing the little things that need to be done come playoff time. And part of that is learning to protect a lead in the third period. Or battling back when trailing.

We saw a little bit of both for the Chiefs and Express Friday night.

Mitch Newsome -  Photo courtesy of Damon James
Darien Craighead scored his second of the night on a scramble early in the third period to tie the game at 2.

Less than two minutes later an Express turnover in the neutral zone resulted in a 2 on 1 for the Chiefs and Craighead set up Kale Kane who snapped it home to give the Chiefs their first lead on the night.

For Express Head Coach Barry Wolff he's looking at his lineup to see who he can trust and play in key situations late in close games.

Tonight it meant that the line of Cressey, Kerfoot and McIlMurray saw limited ice time in the third period after the Express fell behind 3-2 and that line being on the ice for two Chiefs goals.

It meant more ice time for Mat Michie, Jack Surowiec, Cam Bertsch, Owen Stout, Mitch Newsome and Blake Hayward.

It was the latter two teaming up to equalize for the Express. Hayward did the work along the boards with the puck and set up Mitch Newsome racing into the play off the bench and he converted a pass in the slot to tie the game at three. Newsome has four goals for the Express since coming over from Salmon Arm. Three of those goals have either tied the game or given the Express the lead in the third period.
Jackson Cressey - Photo courtesy of Damon James
With the game hanging in the balance the Express got into penalty trouble but rose to the occasion killing off all three Chilliwack third period powerplays. Including one to the BCHL's most sportsmanlike player Colton Kerfoot for slashing. Both teams finished 0 for 4 on the power play.

It didn't take long for the Chiefs to prevail in overtime. Kale Kane walked off the boards in the Express zone and beat Lawson Fenton with a backhand from the slot to give the Chiefs the 4-3 overtime win 14 seconds into overtime. Kane tallied two goals and one assist in the third period and OT to pace the Chiefs comeback.

The Express will wrap up the regular season Saturday night in Chilliwack. 

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