Saturday, October 8, 2016


Reid Cooper made 42 saves - Photo courtesy of Damon James

The fans in attendance for the Express' 2016 home opener won't forget this one any time soon.

They rallied from deficits of 3-0 and 4-3 in the third period and defeated the Langley Rivermen 5-4 in overtime. Click here for boxscore

The Express were the last team in the BCHL to play their home opener one month into the season due to the 55+ senior games.

Well it was worth the wait by the end of the night.

The teams were scoreless after the first period. Some of the highlights include Bo Didur stopping Hayden Knight on a shorthanded breakaway. And the Express killing off a Langley two man advantage for 1:41.

Max Kaufman broke the deadlock five minutes into the second period burying his own rebound and jamming it past Reid Cooper.

Trevor Ayre doubled Langley lead when he pounced on a loose puck and poked it home from the goal crease after fighting off an Express defender in front of the net.

The penalty killing kept the Express within striking distance in the final five and half minutes of the second period killing off infractions assessed to Domenic Masellis and Cam Bertsch.

Cal Walker - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Friday's game had it's moments throughout the night with some questionable hits dished out by both sides to players in vulnerable positions.

Jake Brien was handed a 5 minute major and a game misconduct in the opening minute of the third period for a blow to the head penalty to Ryan Barrow in the opening minute of the 3rd period. Barrow left the game and didn't return.

Nick Ponak struck on the power play for a 3-0 Rivermen lead early in the man advantage and at that point it appeared it was going to be the Rivermen walking away with the two points.

There was still plenty of time remaining on the Rivermen power play following the Ponak goal when this game turned three minutes later with Blake Hayward rushing the puck from the Express end all the way down to the Rivermen end and scoring a shorthanded goal to get the Express on the board.

Two minutes later the Express struck again as Luca Leone blasted a slap shot from the right wing and Cam Bertsch buried the rebound driving hard to the net. The first come back was complete midway through the period when Mitch Newsome zipped a cross ice pass to Hayden Knight who snapped a one timer past Bo Didur.

Zac Masson restored Langley's lead with just over 4 minutes remaining in the third period banging home the rebound of a Max Kaufman shot.

Troy Robillard - Photo courtesy of Damon James
That goal wouldn't deter the Express. They weren't able to pull even on a power play opportunity with three minutes to play, but in the final minute and Reid Cooper on the bench Luca Leone jammed in a loose puck with 20 seconds left for the fourth Express goal of the third period to send the game to overtime.

Early in overtime John Schuldt delivered a hit from behind on Cam Bertsch sending him face first into the boards. Schuldt was given a 5 minute major for a blow to the head of his own.

Mitch Newsome capped off the memorable come back win blasting home a one timer from the left circle for the 5-4 Express victory. The Express were 1 for 5 on the power play. Their penalty killing shut down 6 of 7 Langley opportunites.

Reid Cooper had another busy but strong night finishing with 42 saves on 46 shots for his 4th win of the season.

The teams will meet again Saturday night in Langley.

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