by Jacob Lazare |
Jack Watson played his best game in an Express uniform Sunday afternoon in Salmon Arm, turning aside all 45 shots he faced for his first BCHL shutout in the team’s 1-0 win. Click here for boxscore.
3 in 3s are never an easy part of a junior hockey schedule. After one goal wins in West-Kelowna and Vernon on Friday and Saturday, the Express rolled into Salmon Arm with plenty of adversity present. Steven Bellini was out of the lineup after getting banged up the night before. Will Margel was also missing his second consecutive game with illness.
Salmon Arm came out firing in the first period. They managed to direct 20 shots on Watson, aided by 4 powerplays and a 5 on 3 advantage.
Not to be outdone, Watson’s counterpart Grant Adams was making his Silverbacks debut in the game. He made some key second period stops when the Express had their opportunities with the extra man. This included a solid pad save on Massimo Rizzo who cut through the slot with time and space 2 minutes into the period.
Watson’s nicest save came in the final minute in the period. After a pad save from in tight, the Silverbacks chipped away at the rebound. The puck deflected up in the air and Watson reached up over his head to make the catch just in front of the crossbar. The game remained scoreless after 40 minutes.
The Express saved their best team effort for the third period. They outshot the Silverbacks 14-9 in the frame despite being outshot 45-29 over the entire 60 minutes. The deadlock was finally broken off the rush about 9 minutes in the third period. Connor Gregga moved the puck up to Ethan O’Rourke who made a nice move before sending the puck across the ice to Greg Lapointe who buried his 3rd goal of the weekend. It extended his goal streak to 5 straight games and his point streak to 9 games.
Jack Watson held on for his first BCHL shutout as the Express downed their 2001 expansion cousins for the 3rd time in 3 meetings this season.
The Express head back on the road this Saturday January 11 for a meeting with the Chilliwack Chiefs before returning home on Sunday the 12th against Langley.