Saturday, October 20, 2018


Three third period goals made for a dramatic comeback for the Express, but it wasn't enough falling 5-4 in overtime to Prince George. Click here for boxscore

Friday was the start of a two game weekend set of games for the Express vs. the Spruce Kings.

The Express entered the game with riding a three game winning streak, and the latter two outings was paced by the Express getting off to a good start.

That wasn't the case Friday night. Dustin Manz opened the scoring but cutting to the net from the left boards and burying his own rebound on Kolby Matthews.

Nick Bochen struck on a scramble for a powerplay goal and a 2-0 Spruce Kings lead after 1 period. The visitors were ready to go and it was reflected in the 14-4 advantage in shots.

The Express came out with a much better effort to open the second period. They were working the boards and spending the majority of the play in the Spruce Kings end of the ice.

Their strong play lead to the first Express powerplay of the night 5 minutes into the frame. But the powerplay couldn't set up to generate many quality chances.

Then in the dying seconds of the advantage a turnover by Jonny Sheardown who returned to the lineup from injury allowed Dustin Manz to score a shorthanded breakaway goal for a 3-0 lead.

Needing a spark, Head Coach Jason Fortier put Alex DiPaolo on a line with Christian Sanda and Chase Danol. That unit was really clicking and they finally got the Express on the board late in the frame when Danol tipped a Sanda shot for his 8th of the season and it was 3-1 Spruce Kings entering the third period.

If you were at this game and not in your seats for the opening minute of the 3rd period you missed a lot. Chase Danol's pass was tipped home by Alex DiPaolo just 9 seconds into the 3rd period to make it a 3-2 game.

31 seconds later Regan Kimens broke out two on one with Dallas Farrell and Kimens beat Bradley Cooper on the stick side and the game was tied at 3 just 40 seconds into the 3rd period.

Ben Poisson fired a heavy wrist shot from just inside the blueline over the shoulder of Kolby Matthews giving the Spruce Kings a 4-3 lead at 4:22.

The Express resiliency never wavered in this game despite the numerous defects. They just kept on working hard looking to equalize again.

That moment came with just under 6 minutes to play. Danny Pearson picked up the puck at the Prince George blueline on a turnover and in the ensuing two on one with Connor Gregga, Pearson slid a pass to Gregga who was just able to slide home the pass to tie the game at 4.

Friday was the first time this season the Express had gone to overtime. The Spruce Kings gained possession of the puck and went to work in the Express zone right off the draw. Chase Danol, Alex DiPaolo and Jack Cameron started the overtime and they also finished it.

Only problem for the Express was that trio was on the ice defending for nearly two full minutes.

During a clinical display of puck possession in the Express zone, the Spruce Kings were able to make a number of changes to get fresh players on the ice. Eventually Ben Brar found himself in the high slot with some room and he snapped a shot past the glove of Kolby Matthews to give the Spruce Kings the 5-4 overtime win.

Prince George improves to 3-1 vs. the Express this season.

The teams will meet again on Sunday afternoon. 

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