Saturday, October 19, 2019


It wasn't the first time, nor was it the second time. It was the fourth time that Langley goaltender Braedon Fleming blanked the Express dating back to the start of the season by posting a 27 save shutout Friday in the 2-0 Langley win. Click here for boxscore

In an odd scheduling quirk it was the fourth visit already for the Express this season to Langley. And now they're done visiting that rink unless the teams meet in the playoffs.

The Express outshot Langley 11-7 in the first period. Their best sequence of pressure in the first period came after their second powerplay came to an end, but Fleming held the fort shut.

At the other end Clay Stevenson did some of his best work off Brendan Budy. First Stevenson found a way to close the pads on a Budy tip of a Tanner Versluis pass while Langley was shorthanded. Then in the dying seconds of the first period the puck bounced to Budy at the side of the net and he appeared to have a sure goal for a tap in. But somehow Budy couldn't finish. Stevenson may have gotten a piece of it as he dove to his right.

Devin Leduc opened the scoring on a second period Langley powerplay ripping a shot from the slot that went post and in past Stevenson on the stick side.

A lack of finish highlighted the Express attack Friday. On a second period powerplay Tyler Schleppe wasn't able to get his stick ready to bury a loose puck at the side of the net. By the end of the second period the Express were 0 for 5 on the powerplay. And now the powerplay has gone scoreless in the last three games.

To compound matters Langley added to their lead while the Express were on the powerplay when a pass eluded an Express defenceman at the Rivermen blueline. That allowed Leduc to walk in on a shorthanded breakaway where he scored his second of the night for a 2-0 Langley lead after two periods.

With these teams playing as much as they have, it's no surprise that tempers throughout the night were short. That was highlighted with a pair of fights in the second period. First it was Luke Burke going with Colten Kovich.  Then late in the period it was Addison Macey and Matteo Pecchia dusting it up.

The Express lack of puck luck carried over to the third period. Massimo Rizzo came the closest anyone would for the Express on this night to find the back of the net when his shot from the left wing beat Fleming but clanged off the post.

Danny Pearson had a chance where drove to the net from the left wing, but just as he went to his backhand his hands were hacked slightly preventing him from getting a shot on goal.

The season series between the teams is now even at two games apiece. And just in case the Express and Rivermen hadn't seen enough of each other already. There's two more meetings before the end of October. But before that the Express will play their pink in the rink game Sunday afternoon vs. Powell River in Coquitlam. 

No comments: