by Eddie Gregory
Will Margel scored on the powerplay and the shootout deciding goal in the Express 3-2 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs. Click here for boxscore
The win kept the Express undefeated on home ice at 16-0. And it was their 17th straight home ice win dating back to last years playoffs.
Each team had their chances early on. Most notably for the Express Ethan O’Rourke was stopped on a breakaway with a crafty glove save from Mathieu Caron.
Late in the frame the Express broke through with a shot from the right wing by Josh Wildauer that eluded Caron’s glove. It was the 25th time this season in 30 games that the Express have scored first.
A unique sequence midway through the second period ended up being a pivotal moment. Chilliwack dumped the puck in the corner in the Express zone. Connor Milburn won the battle and setup Clark Nelson in the slot who snapped it past Clay Stevenson in what appeared to be the goal to tie the game at 1.
But after some discussion by the referees the goal was waved off on a too many men penalty for Chilliwack. The Chiefs didn’t like the call and were then whistled for a bench minor. So instead of a tying goal, the Express came out of the situation with a two man advantage for a full two minutes.
It took 22 seconds for the Express to strike with Connor Gregga teeing up Will Margel in the slot who blasted home his first BCHL goal for a 2-0 Express lead.
The dynamic Cooper Moore pulled Chilliwack within one late in the second period on the powerplay. He did a good job first of all keeping the puck in the Express zone. Then when the puck rolled behind the Express net Moore jumped into the play and snapped the set up from Brett Rylance to cut the lead to 2-1 with just 22 seconds left in the second period.
8 minutes into the third period Tommy Lyons was whistled for a high sticking penalty setting up an opportunity for the Express to expand their lead. But it remained a 2-1 game as the Express finished 1 for 5 on the night.
Lyons then came out of the box and tied the game shortly there after to make it a 2-2 game as he snapped the feed from the slot past Clay Stevenson.
Nothing was decided after 60 minutes.
Cooper Connell had a good chance to win it but was denied by Mathieu Caron on the cross crease pass.
The shots finished 35-34 in favour of Chilliwack after 65 minutes of hockey.
The shootout saw the first 5 shooters all get turned aside by Stevenson and Caron. So Will Margel stepped off the bench as the final shooter of round three with a chance to win it. Margel didn’t waste the opportunity taking his time before lifting a backhand over the glove of Caron to give the Express the victory.
With the win the Express improved to 16 points ahead of Chilliwack for first place in the Mainland division standings. And they have won 6 straight games and 13 of their last 14 games.
The 8 game homestand for the Express continues Sunday afternoon with their teddy bear toss game vs. Nanaimo.