by Eddie Gregory |
The Cowichan Valley Capitals rode goaltender Zach Borgiel to the tune of 32 saves as the Capitals handed the Express their first home ice loss of the season in their 24th home game with a 2-1 win. Click here for boxscore
It was the first loss for the Express at home since game 3 of last years playoffs vs. Prince George to bring the 24 game home ice winning streak to an end.
Fireworks got the game off to a bang. Tyler Schleppe and Christian MacDougall started on the wings for the Express on the opening face-off and they were hacking with the Caps wingers lining up along side them forcing the officials to intervene before the game got started.
Then right off the bat Christian MacDougall was shoved into the corner boards and the Express forward was hurt on the play and didn’t return.
Dan McIntyre was given a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for the check from behind on MacDougall.
|Wyatt Head – Photo courtesy of Damon James|
On the major penalty Cowichan opened the scoring taking advantage of a turnover at the Express blueline which allowed Olivier Gauthier to walk in on a breakaway where he slid a backhand past Jack Watson to open the scoring.
Wyatt Head pulled the Express even on the powerplay snapping his 2nd Express goal past Borgiel to tie the game at one just under three minutes later.
That set the stage for a fast pace and hard fought first period between two division leaders.
The game began to turn in the Caps favour in the second period as they began to force the Express into turnovers coming out of their zone.
Cowichan took the lead when Matthew Crasa pounced on the rebound of a Tanner Sidaway shot that Jack Watson couldn’t handle with his glove.
|Connor Gregga – Photo courtesy of Damon James|
Jason Fortier wasted no time immediately pulling Watson in favour of Joe Howe after two Caps goals on 10 shots in just under 26 minutes of action. For Howe it was his first game action for the Express after being acquired from Victoria at the trade deadline.
Howe kept the Caps at bay the rest of the way finishing with 14 saves in 34 minutes.
The Express ramped up their level in the third period looking for the equalizer. But each time they were turned back by a dialed in Zach Borgiel. He finished with 20 saves in the third period to earn the win. In the dying seconds he got a little help as well as the Express on a scramble got the puck to the crease where the puck was tucked back into the pads of Borgiel by a teammate.
Prince George comes to Coquitlam Wednesday afternoon as the Express four game home stand resumes.