by Eddie Gregory
The Express finished the pre-season with three consecutive victories to finish the exhibition with a 3-2 record.
They capped it off Saturday afternoon in Port Coquitlam with a 7-3 win over the Surrey Eagles to complete a 2 game sweep of a home and home.
The visitors delivered an early surprise blow to the Express when Matteo Pecchia scored on a set up from Matthew McKim just 14 seconds into the game.
20 year old veteran Daniel Davidson started in the Eagles cage. He was beaten by Jack Cameron who slid a puck under the Eagles netminder to tie it at 1 at 8:36.
Surrey’s quick strike attack showed up again on their first powerplay as Pecchia scored his second of the game snapping a one timer past Clay Stevenson just 12 seconds into a powerplay.
In the final minute of the first period a red hot Express powerplay got their game rolling. Regan Kimens dished the puck down low to Connor Gregga who showed great hockey IQ out waiting Davidson in front of the net and slid a puck past his left pad for a 2-2 tie after 20 minutes.
Dallas Farrell certainly has shown some promise in pre-season with some of his skill. Saturday he roofed a shot from the short side on the right wing giving the Express the briefest of 3-2 leads.
And by brief that lead only last 5 seconds as right off the draw Brandon Santa Juana surprised Clay Stevenson with a quick shot past his glove to even the game at 3.
It was at this point the Express really started to took over the game. And the scoreboard started to reflect it.
Farrell showed his great ability to make hard and accurate passes dishing a rocket through the seam to Alex DiPalo who snapped home the one timer at the side of the net for a powerplay goal giving the Express a 4-3 lead.
37 seconds later Pito Walton off a won draw in the Surrey zone cut into the slot and snapped a shot past Davidson for a 5-3 Express lead after 40 minutes.
By the third period the Express were humming along nicely. Regan Kimens scored his third goal in two games and the third Express powerplay goal of the night sliding home a great pass by Connor Gregga who showed great patience to find his spot to slide the pass the Kimens. The Express finished 3 for 8 on the powerplay.
With the three goal lead in hand the Express were really pushing the pace of play and were drawing the Eagles into taking penalties. They capped off the scoring with a delayed penalty in effect as Drew Cooper found himself open for a shot at the net and when he snapped it off Christian Sanda creeping behind Davidson got his stick on the shot to make it a 7-3 final.
The shots finished 32-17 in favour of the Express.
Now it’s time for the fun to begin as the Express and Eagles will meet again when the regular season opens up Friday night in Surrey.