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Skid Snapped – Express Shutout Clippers

by Eddie Gregory

Some times the most effective games for a team aren’t always the most entertaining for the fans. But that was exactly the tonic the Express needed to snap a 6 game losing streak with their 3-0 win in Nanaimo. Click here for boxscore

Coming off a loss the night before that saw Victoria score 10 times, and a total of four times during the streak the Express had allowed 6 or more goals, the Express found their way to clamp the game down defensively.

As a result Clay Stevenson made 21 saves for his first career BCHL shutout. A great confidence booster for Stevenson who will head Team Canada West selection camp for the World Junior A challenge following this Island road trip.

Connor Gregga opened the scoring for the Express with a shot from the left wing just past the 6 minute mark of the first period. For Gregga he has goals in 4 straight games.

That goal was the lone notable moment of the first period that saw the Express outshoot Nanaimo by a 5-4 count.

Clay Stevenson was tested with some of the best Clipper chances on the night in the second period. His best save came at the side of his net reaching with his glove hand to deny Marcus Mitchell of the tying goal. At the other end the Express peppered Jordan Naylor with 13 shots but couldn’t add to their lead.

Heading to the third period the Express needed to find a way to dig deep after letting numerous third period leads slip through their hands during the 6 game losing streak.

The execution was there defensively, and when needed Stevenson was there to back up the group in front of him. Stevenson made 10 saves in the third period to polish off the shutout.

Danny Pearson gave the Express some insurance converting a set up pass out of the corner from Josh Wildauer for a 2-0 Express lead. Pearson has scored 4 goals in his last 4 games.

Chase Danol iced the win with an empty net goal with 1:45 to play. That goal put the fans in Nanaimo in a tough spot as they were left having to wait until the final horn to throw their stuffed animals on the ice as the Express spoiled the Clippers teddy bear toss.

The penalty killing didn’t need to have a big effort tonight as the Express weren’t shorthanded a single time Saturday.

The road trip wraps up for the Express Sunday afternoon in Alberni Valley.