by Eddie Gregory I
Ty Westgard picked up four assists and Regan Kimens scored twice while adding a helper as the Express doubled Alberni Valley 8-4. Click here for boxscore
The Express started the game as if they were shot out of a cannon playing a high tempo pace that the road weary Bulldogs looked like they would have trouble keeping up with.
Defenceman Pito Walton followed the play right to the Bulldogs net and converted a Regan Kimens pass for a 1-0 Express lead just 30 seconds into the game.
And from there the Express were buzzing in the Bulldogs zone and it took until the 8 minute mark of the game before Alberni Valley was credited with their first shot, while the Express had 8 on John Hawthorne at the other end.
Alberni Valley pulled even taking advantage of an Express turnover at the Bulldogs blueline allowing Issac Tonkin-Palmer to be quickly sprung the other way and snapping a shot in off the glove of Clay Stevenson to tie the game at 1.
Jordan Schulting restored the Express lead late in the period, heading to the net and converting a tip in pass from Ty Westgard for Schulting’s 2nd of the season.
Christian Sanda was robbed in the final minute of the period by John Hawthorne who stretched out as far as he could to keep the Express lead at just 2-1 after the Express outshot Alberni Valley 15-4 in the first period.
Dawson Tritt thought he tied the game at two on a powerplay goal he jammed in from under the glove of Clay Stevenson. After discussion by the officials, the call was overturned on coincidental contact.
Regan Kimens potted his first of the net converting from the slot for the second two goal Express lead of the night at 3-1.
The second period wasn’t quite as uptempo as the first period. That allowed Alberni Valley to claw their way back in the game at moments.
Mitch Deelstra cut in the Express zone with speed and did a good job to fight off Jack Cameron then slide home his 15th of the season.
Josh Wildauer had the response for the Express just 30 seconds later snapping home his 22nd of the season from the right circle.
The pesky Bulldogs made it a one goal game for a third time two minutes later on a goal by Stephen Castagna.
It was at this point the Express would shake off the Bulldogs and pull away for good.
Regan Kimens from just inside the blueline took a drop pass and ripped home his 5th goal against Alberni Valley this season. Then exactly one minute later Dallas Farrell found himself alone in front of the net and took a backhand from Danny Pearson and Farrell put the Express up 6-3 after 2 periods.
Danny Pearson 5 minutes into the third scored for a second straight game in which he dressed going to the net and converting a set up from Farrell to make it a 7-3 game.
Ryan Novecosky surprised Clay Stevenson snapping a shot from the point for his first of the season to make it a 7-4 game.
That was followed by Alex DiPaolo finishing the scoring tipping home a heads up pass from Jack Cameron.
John Hawthorne then denied Regan Kimens second hat-trick of the season vs. the Bulldogs with a great glove save on a late third period powerplay.
The Express finished the game outshooting Alberni Valley 34-23. Both teams went 0 for 2 on the powerplay.
The win improves the Express to 3-0-1 in their 6 game home stand picking points in all 4 games so far. It will continue Wednesday afternoon when the Express host the Surrey Eagles.