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Chiefs Outlast Express Comeback Bids

by Eddie Gregory  I

Matt Holmes scored a pair of powerplay goals in the third period which ended up being the difference in the Chiefs 4-2 victory over the Express Friday. Click here for boxscore

The win finished the season series between the two teams which both teams won 4 games. Chilliwack gets the slight edge by picking 9 points head to head against the Express who had 8.

Clark Nelson scored the only goal of the first period following a turnover by the Express inside the Chiefs blue line allowing the Chiefs to go the other way and Nelson snapped a shot short side past the pad of Kolby Matthews. That would be the only goal of a first period that saw Chilliwack outshoot the Express 13-4.

The Express picked their game up in the second period, and right away they were rewarded. Regan Kimens’ pass hit the stick of a Chiefs player and the puck just crossed the goal line to tie the game at one.

Regan Kimens – Photo courtesy Damon James

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From there, the Express rode that goal and carried the play to start the second period. Jared Power and Ty Westgard appeared to have a great chance shaping up as they rushed over the blueline, but Power inexplicably dropped the puck back instead of giving it to Westgard who would have a great chance, the drop pass allowed Kevin Wall to go the other way and snap a shot over the glove of Kolby Matthews for the Chiefs second lead of the night.

Power made up for it by taking a Jordan Schuting pass and blasting a one timer over the glove of Daniel Chenard to tie the game at 2. If you combine Power’s goals 11 goals with Grande Prairie and 9 with the Express he now has 20 on the season.

This game was similar to a lot of recent outings for the Express that was tight with both teams having to fight for find any open ice.

Josh Bruce was whistled for a double minor high sticking penalty with 7 minutes left in the second period. That was shaping up to be a key moment for the Express by killing off the 4 minutes in penalties pretty effectively.

Chilliwack pushed the pace to open the third period, that combined with some turnovers coming out of the defensive zone the Express eventually were penalized.

With Juliano Santalucia in the box for slashing, Matt Holmes scored from the top of the right circle  to give the Chiefs 3-2 lead.

The best chances for the Express to tie came on a powerplay midway through the period. First Alex DiPaolo was denied by Chenard as DiPaolo tired to slide it home on the backhand.

Then DiPaolo was stopped by Chenard on a good setup in the slot.

Santalucia was whistled for his second penalty of the third period for kneeing with 1:58 remaining in the 3rd period.

Matt Holmes sealed the game with his second of the night with just 51 seconds remaining in the game. The Chiefs finished 2 for 5 on the powerplay while killing off 3 Express powerplays.

The Express have now lost 5 of their last 6 games. They will visit Langley on Saturday night where the Express will look for just their 2nd victory of the season vs. the Rivermen.

Kolby Matthews = Photo courtesy Damon James