Saturday, December 14, 2019


A new franchise record for regular season consecutive wins was set by the Express with their 11th in a row after a 8-5 win in Prince George Saturday. Click here for boxscore

Heading into the game it would have been understandable if this game slipped through the hands of the Express. Injuries up front and on the blueline meant that 13 forwards and 5 defence were dressed with 4 affiliate players in the lineup.

Early on the patchwork lineup showed. A Jack Watson misplay of the puck behind the net resulted in Thomas Richter opening the scoring at 1:52. That was followed by a pair of Corey Cunningham goals  two and a half minutes apart and Prince George had quickly jumped out to a early 3-0 lead.

From then on Jack Watson settled down and his team did in front of him as well. Greg Lapointe started the comeback for the Express snapping shot past the glove of Jett Alexander for his 19th of the season.

Cooper Connell cut to the net and cut the Prince George lead to 3-2 with a backhand goal before the first period was done.

Prince George native Ethan O'Rourke played a big role (pardon the pun) in helping set Express history at the expense of his former team. Early in the second he tapped home a pass to pull the Express even at 3.

Adam Trotman just past the 5 minute mark gave the Express their first lead of the net speeding in from the left wing and sliding a backhand past Alexander to make it a 4-3 game.

This back and forth game saw Prince George tie things up just a shade under 90 seconds later when Domenic Gorozzo snapped a shot past Watson.

A minute later O'Rourke struck for his second of the night dancing in and roofing a quick shot over Alexander for a 5-4 Express lead through two periods.

O'Rourke capped off his first junior hockey hat-trick potting home a loose puck despite a collision at the Prince George crease that had bumped the net and it's supports to open a 6-4 Express lead.

Now with a two goal lead in hand with just under a full period to play the shorthanded Express just had to dig in as a group and hold this thing to the finish line. Nolan Welsh made it a one goal game just shy of the 8 minute mark.

But this battle tested Express group persevered and Cooper Connell buried his second of the night on a one timer for a powerplay goal with just over six to goal. Then Josh Wildauer sealed the win with an empty net goal with just over two minutes to go.

The 11 game winning streak breaks the regular season franchise record set during the 06-07 season. The all time Express winning streak record is 13 games during 05-06 season split over the end of the regular season and into the playoffs. Overall the Express have won 18 of their last 19 games.

And by improving to 30-5 before the Christmas break, the Express have joined a special group of teams with 30 wins before Christmas.

The Express will wrap up their pre-Christmas portion of the schedule Wednesday afternoon at high noon when they will host Prince George in the first school day game of the season.

No comments: