Well, the Express aren't going to score between 8-10 goals every night. They suffered their first exhibition loss in three games Wednesday night in Langley by a 5-4 score.
It was a fairly even first period for the first 19 minutes. Thomas Wardle made his second start of the pre-season and made his best save of the opening frame on a re-direction. Connor Gregga at the other end couldn't convert a rebound opportunity.
Adam Nobles opened the scoring for Langley in the final minute of the first period. That was followed 23 seconds later on a goal from Jonathan Stein beating an Express defender to the net and tipping the feed past Wardle for a 2-0 Langley lead after the first period.
The visitors picked up their game in the middle frame. Adam Trotman continued his hot pre-season snapping home a set up from Gregory Lapointe in the slot to get the Express on the board. Trotman has scored in all three exhibition games with four goals total.
That goal sparked a run of play for the Express, but they were unable to get the equalizer.
Jonathan Stein added his second of the night on the powerplay for a 3-1 Langley lead. Then in the final minute Thomas Wardle made a key save on a two on one break for Ryley Wallack to keep the Express deficit at just two after forty minutes.
Langley opened the third period with a powerplay. They added to their lead in the opening minute on Joey Musa's goal which bounced off the skate of an Express defender and in the net.
The three goal deficit didn't dissuade the Express. Cooper Connell who has had a strong camp so far powered out of the corner and snapped a wrist shot over the shoulder of Kristian Lyon to cut the Langley lead to 4-2.
Just over two minutes later the Express cut the Langley lead to one. Christian MacDougall dangled his way to the Langley net only to get knocked down laying face down in the crease. When he got up, he found a pass coming his way from Kabir Gill to tip home making it 4-3.
Connell completed the comeback three minutes later snapping a shot past the glove of Lyon to tie the game at 4.
The tie however, didn't even last a minute. A cross ice Express pass was picked off in the neutral zone. That allowed Brian Scoville to speed the other way and he blew past an Express defender sliding a backhand under Wardle to put the Rivermen back in the lead at 5-4.
Langley held on the rest of the night. Including surviving a late Express powerplay in the final 5 minutes.
The shots finished 35-30 in favour of the Express. They will play their final exhibition game on Saturday in Delta vs. Nanaimo.
The Express are back in Langley next Friday to open the regular season.