by Eddie Gregory |
Massimo Rizzo’s breakaway overtime goal gave the Express a 4-3 overtime win over the Surrey Eagles. Click here for boxscore
It was their 20th win of the season and third in four meetings in Surrey this season.
Right from the opening shift of the game it was clear that Massimo Rizzo was going to be a dangerous factor in this game. He started by speeding into the Surrey zone and setting up Connor Gregga for a chance in the slot. Later in the shift Rizzo cut to the net and rolled the puck just wide. Will Margel had a chance to clean up the chance but couldn’t quite get his stick on the puck at the side of the net.
Margel made his Express debut Friday after being signed last week out of the USHL’s Madison Capitols. The University of New Hampshire committed forward was placed alongside Rizzo and Connor Gregga.
Within the first two minutes the Express had created a number of quality scoring chances. Tommy Scarfone in the Surrey net held his ground while dealing with the Express early pressure. Other chances included a redirection off the rush by Danny Pearson. And a Connor Gregga breakaway off a set play from a defensive zone win by the Express.
Midway through the first period the Eagles opened the scoring. Holden Katzalay intercepted an Express rim around the boards and quickly set up Hudson Schandor in the slot and he snapped the pass in a hurry through the pads of Clay Stevenson.
Late in the period a turnover deep in the Express end quickly resulted in Surrey setting up Christophe Tellier for a tap in and a 2-0 Surrey lead after the first period.
The Express began the second period with a minute of powerplay time. They didn’t convert on the opportunity. But seconds after it ended Cooper Connell jammed in a loose puck in front of the net to cut the Surrey lead to 2-1.
That goal helped spark a strong second period for the Express. They cleaned up their puck management in their own zone which allowed them to spend more time in the Surrey end.
That built momentum saw the Express tie it on a deflection by Greg Lapointe of a Noah De La Durantaye shot at 13:36. That goal capped of a second period that saw the Express outshoot Surrey 12-4.
Adamo Santia and Christophe Tellier each had great chances early in the third to put Surrey in the lead but they both lifted their in tight chances too high.
At the other end Adam Trotman was denied on a breakaway opportunity by Thomas Scarfone.
Owen Nolan broke the deadlock with just under 8 minutes to play jumping into the rush and taking a pass from Kenny Riddett then snapping a shot through Clay Stevenson.
The Express got right back on their horse looking for the equalizer. It came 1:18 later. Danny Pearson from the left wing fired a shot that Scarfone stopped with his blocker. But the puck went up in the air and the Eagles goaltender couldn’t handle it coming down and it found it’s way in to tie the game at 3.
That set the stage for overtime where both sides had their chances early on. The quick transition style of 3 on 3 OT got the wheels in motion for the Express to win it. First Sean Ramsay and Carter King broke out on a two on one, when Ramsay’s shot went high the puck bounced to Rizzo who quickly sped the other way on a breakaway and he ripped a shot over the glove of Scarfone to give the Express the win in a game they never played a second with the lead.
The victors finished with a season high of 47 shots on goal. And from the start of the second period until the end the Express outshot Surrey 32-15.
It was a fairly clean game with each team only being penalized once and both infractions coming in the first period.
The Express now come home for their longest home stand of the season 8 games starting Saturday night vs. Vernon.