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Express Fall to Chiefs in Chilliwack

The Express and Chilliwack Chiefs met for a second straight Saturday at the Prospera Centre in Chilliwack. Click here for boxscore.

Chiefs forward Harrison Blaisdell posted his second consecutive hat-trick against the Express as the Chiefs pulled away in the third period en route to a 5-3 victory.

Due to injuries and the Express losing the services of Henry Rybinski to Seattle of the WHL three AP’s were dressed for the Express.

Things started well for the Express with Connor Gregga blasting home a one timer on the powerplay just 2:07 into the first period.

Then tempers got a little short as Express captain Troy Robillard and Chiefs forward Clark Nelson dropped the gloves just past the 14 minute mark. Both players were given automatic game misconducts.

The Express lead stood until the 15:06 mark of the second period when Cole Donhauser snapped a shot past Kolby Matthews.

After a tight opening 40 minutes that saw the Chiefs with a 16-12 edge in shots, things opened up in the third period.

Skyler Brind’Amour tipped a Brody Gagno shot to give the Chiefs their first lead lead of the night at 3:58.

Harrison Blaisdell began to leave his mark on the game just past the 9 minute mark of the 3rd period. Off the face-off to start an Express powerplay, the Chiefs won the battle for the puck on the boards and then Blaisdell sped away and beat Kolby Matthews for a shorthanded goal on a breakaway.

Connor Gregga quickly responded for the Express with his second of the night snapping a wrist shot shot from the top of the left circle just 31 seconds after Blaisdell’s goal.

If there’s been one theme of the three visits for the Express in Chilliwack this season, it’s that the visitors have always made things interesting in the third period. But the hosts have found ways to get the key goals they need.

Seconds after some contact with Express goaltender Kolby Matthews, Blaisdell found himself in front of the Express net and buried the rebound of a Marcus Tesink point shot for a 4-2 Chiefs lead.

Christian Sanda pulled the Express within one with 1:28 remaining in the third period taking a stretch pass from Drew Cooper then snapping a quick shot past Daniel Chenard.

Then in the final minute of the third period Josh Bruce made contact with Chiefs goaltender Daniel Chenard which resulted in a late Chiefs powerplay. That call certainly didn’t sit well with the Express after Blaisdell made contact with Matthews earlier in the period with Kolby Matthews moments before the 4-2 goal.

With 10 seconds left Harrison Blaisdell completed the hat-trick poking a loose puck into the empty net to seal the 5-3 Chiefs win.

The Express are still seeking their first win after three games following their Christmas break.

The Express return home for a busy 6 game home stand that will start Monday night vs. the West Kelowna Warriors. Monday’s game will be the start of week that will see the Express play a home game every second night.