by Eddie Gregory I
The Express 2001 expansion cousins the Salmon Arm Silverbacks handed the Express a 2-1 shootout loss as the Express opened a two game Interior division road trip.
Getting out of the Mainland division did little for the Express to find a way to get their offensive engine up and running again.
The chances for the Express were there in the first period, but the execution on the finish wasn’t there as Ethan Laggennagger turned aside 12 first period Express shots.
Clay Stevenson was solid in the first period with 7 saves on 8 shots. The only puck to beat him was a goal from 16 year old John Little who kept up his hot play when a puck bounced from behind the Express net to Little in front of the net who scored for the only goal of the first period.
The shots in the second period showed the Silverbacks outshot the Express 15-3, I personally don’t think they were quite that lopsided in a period with few top end chances for either team.
The Express finally broke through on a third period powerplay when Clay Stevenson quickly moved the puck up ice to Ty Westgard who skated into the zone then dropped a pass for Regan Kimens who scored his 18th of the season to tie the game at 1.
That goal sparked a push for the Express to finish the third period but they couldn’t get another puck past Laggennagger in regulation.
In overtime the Express had the better of the chances which included a breakaway for Ty Westgard that was stopped. Plus Jordan Schulting undressed a couple of Silverbacks, but he too couldn’t win the game for the Express.
Clay Stevenson at the other end turned aside both Silverbacks shots in overtime. He finished with 31 saves.
The shootout was decided ASAP. Dallas Farrell and Ty Westgard were stopped on their attempts while Nick Unruh and Matthew Verboon scored for Salmon Arm and the shootout was decided after 2 rounds.
The Express are now 2-3 in shootouts (all on the road) and have dropped their last three games that have gone to a shootout.
The mid-week road trip will wrap up in Merritt on Wednesday.