by Eddie Gregory
Victoria scored 6 unanswered goals in the third period finishing by hitting double digits in a 10-6 win over the Express who opened a three game Island division road trip.
Like a good director who uses foreshadowing early in a movie which sets the table for the finish, that’s how Victoria started the game on a goal from Riley Hughes assisted by Alex Newhook and Alex Campbell just 1:55 into the game.
Any good director can craft the story in the middle to direct the audience’s attention away from the early foreshadowing.
Alex DiPaolo would even things up for the Express just past the 6 minute mark on a deflection of a Plto Walton point shot.
Then Connor Gregga did a great job to fighting off Riley Hughes to get to the net and score for the first Express lead of the night.
Jack Cameron was the last Express regular who at least started the season with the team to score his first BCHL goal. He finally got one tonight taking a pass in the slot and snapping a shot by Kyle Dumba for a 3-1 Express lead after 20 minutes.
The director on this night planted more foreshadowing early in the second period with a strong shift by Victoria’s dynamic 5 man unit of Alex Newhook, Alex Campbell, Riley Hughes up front and Carter Berger and Jeremie Bucheler on the backend with a dominant shift in the Express zone that didn’t result in a goal.
Then Pito Walton shifted the attention back on the Express with a great individual rush and scoring his 3rd of the season at 4:48 for his second goal in as many games.
Like two weeks ago in Coquitlam, the stars of the show took over midway through the game and never looked back.
Alex Newhook, Alex Campbell and Riley Hughes all scored in a span of 5:01 to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 Victoria lead.
The Express at the other end had great chances of their own including a odd man rush for Christian Sanda that was stopped by Kyle Dumba which may have put the game in the hands of the Express for good had that chance been converted.
In the final minute of the second period provided another captivating plot turn with Chase Danol and Danny Pearson each scoring in the final minute of the second period 25 seconds apart for a 6-4 Express lead through two periods.
With 9 points combined between Newhook, Campbell and Hughes entering the third period, there was no reason to think that the foreshadowing that showed itself in spurts in the first two periods wasn’t going to fully emerge in the final act.
15 seconds into the third period it began. Alex Campbell snapped a shot past the stick of Clay Stevenson to make it a 6-5 game.
That trio teamed up for the tying goal by Alex Newhook at 3:23 of the third period to make it a 6-6 game. Victoria finished 2 for 5 on the powerplay. And the opposition has scored at least one powerplay goal against the Express in 7 straight games.
At this point even in a tie game in the third period, the horse was out of the barn.
Marty Westhaver made it a 7-6 game less than a minute after Newhook’s second the night.
That was followed by three more Victoria goals from Darwin Lakoduk, Riley Hughes third of the night and an empty net shorthanded goal by Jeremie Bucheler to make it a 10-6 final.
The 10 goals allowed is a season high for the Express who have now lost 6 straight games. Clay Stevenson was beat for 9 of those goals on 41 Victoria shots.
Alex Newhook led the way with two goals and four assists. While his line mates Riley Hughes and Alex Campbell each had five points with three goal and two assist and two goal and three assist performances respectively for a combined 16 points between the three of them. While defensemen Jeremie Bucheler had one goal and one assist and surprisingly his partner Carter Berger didn’t register a point.
The road trip for the Express continues Saturday in Nanaimo before wrapping Sunday afternoon in Alberni Valley.