by Eddie Gregory
Noah De La Durantaye’s powerplay goal with 3:56 left in the third period stood as the winner as the Express were victorious in their home opener 3-2 over the Chilliwack Chiefs. Click here for boxscore
It was a tight battle all night long that could have gone either way. That went the right way for the home team.
Tyler Schleppe opened the scoring for the Express tipping home a Ryan Tattle shot following a won face-off by Adam Trotman.
Just under four minutes later Cooper Moore’s screen shot from the point caught the underside of the cross bar to tie the game at 1.
Clay Stevenson made his second start of the season and had a strong outing finishing with 31 saves. He made a good save off Ethan Bowen off the rush just past the 6 minute mark.
Chilliwack took their lone lead of the night on a powerplay goal from Ethan Bowen burying a loose puck into a open net.
Tyler Schleppe tied the game with his second of the night finding a loose puck following a lengthy scramble in the Chilliwack crease to tie the game at 2.
From this point on the goaltenders Clay Stevenson and Mathieu Caron of the Chiefs took over the game.
In the second period Stevenson showed his progression absorbing the original shots and tracking deflections well.
Connor Gregga and Danny Pearson were denied by the best saves of the night midway in the second period by Caron.
Tyler Schleppe’s effort behind the net in the final minutes of the third period drew a holding penalty to Cooper Moore. Halfway through the powerplay Head Coach Jason Fortier called his timeout heading into a offensive zone face-off.
Right off the won draw the Express teed up Noah De La Durataye who unloaded a one timer for his first BCHL goal and a 3-2 Express lead with 3:56 to play.
The Express clamped the game down the rest of the way with Clay Stevenson sealing his first star performance.
Chilliwack edged the Express in shots by a 33-31 count. Special teams saw the Express go 1 for 3 and Chilliwack went 1 for 3.
The win improves the Express record to 3-1 on the young season. They will play their 3rd game in as many days Sunday afternoon when they host Prince George.