Sunday, August 25, 2019


It was a goal filled affair as the Express opened their 2019 exhibition in Delta coming away with a 8-5 win over the Wenatchee Wild.

The hosts showed some early rust that Wenatchee, playing their third game of the pre-season already took advantage of.

An attempted reverse behind the Express net went awry and the puck bounced right in front of the net and was snapped home by Matt Dorsey for a 1-0 Wild lead just 35 seconds into the game.

35 seconds later it was 2-0 when former Express Dallas Farrell acquired by Wenatchee via Surrey came down the right wing and fired a shot over the shoulder of Thomas Wardle.

Once the initial shock wore off, the Express began to find their game. Austin Fraser used his speed to get in on the forecheck behind the Wild net then set up Tyler Schleppe to cut the lead to 2-1 at 3:24 on the first Express shot of the game. Schleppe was acquired in the off-season as the future considerations in the Sam Kozlowski trade to Prince George a year ago. That goal would be the start of a strong game at both ends for the former Spruce King.

Four minutes later Ryan Tattle set up defenceman Noah De La Durante to pull the Express even at 2.

Schleppe picked up his second point of the opening frame setting up Logan Kurki whose off-speed shot handcuffed Wild starter Michael Brown.

The Express were whistled for four penalties in the first period. In the final minute they were down two men and Tyler Young powered the puck to the net to make it a 3-3 tie after a high scoring first period.

With the Express still shorthanded to open the second period, Luke Burke who was delivering hits all game made a good play to force a turnover at the Express blueline that allowed Adam Trotman to walk in on a breakaway and score for a 4-3 Express lead. Burke officially didn't get an assist on the play. But his hard work made the play happen. Trotman spent last season with the Newmarket Hurricanes of the OJHL.

The Wild made it a 4-4 game on a wrist shot from Jack Bayless that eluded Wardle. From this point going forward the Express young goaltender who played Midget last year with Notre Dame in Saskatchewan began to settle down. He finished the game with 25 saves on the afternoon while going the distance.

As the second period went on the Express slowly began to take over the game. Ryan Tattle picked his second assist of the contest laying a pillowy soft saucer pass on the tape of Trotman for his 2nd of the game and a 5-4 Expess lead. Then in the final minute Gregory Lapointe scored for a 6-4 Express lead set up by Connor Gregga and Kabir Gill.

2003 born Wild goaltender Michael Brown was finished after 40 minutes following 6 goals on 25 shots. Veteran Daniel Chenard acquired from Chilliwack in the off-season played the final 20.

Nico Chmelevski from the slot scored for the Wild to make it 6-5 with just under 8 minutes to play.

But the Express were never rattled and they sealed the game with a pair of powerplay goals from Gregory Lapointe with a quick snap shot from the slot. And Tyler Schleppe burying his second of the game on a feed into the slot to round out the scoring.

The shots finished 32-30 in favour of the Express. The powerplays saw the Express go 2 for 3 while Wenatchee went 1 for 4.

The exhibition continues for the Express Tuesday night in Surrey.

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