It was a great effort from the Dogs tonight but quite simply you won't win too many games scoring just a single goal.
The Dogs came out ready to play, with Dylan Nowakowski and Josh Mitchell each having in-alone chances on the first shift of the game. As the puck went up ice Alex Petan entered the Dogs zone 1 on 3 and took a shot before being leveled with a huge check by Turner Popoff, who would in turn be challenged by Mitch Nardi as the two dropped the gloves.
No initial penalty was forthcoming on the hit but one of the two Linesmen called a 5 minute major for charging as Popoff was kicked out of the game. Petan didn't appear to miss a shift and finished the game - although Eddie Gregory reports on his blog he didn't play in the 2nd or 3rd.
The Express opened the scoring late in the first period to lead 1-0 on a horrible break as a rimmed puck hit a seam on the glass and no one knew where the puck was except Cody Michelle who put it home.
The Express took a 2-0 lead on another tough play in the second period. It may sound like sour grapes, but its just the facts - at least how I see them. Justin Morello was felled by a board/check from behind that injured him and knocked him out of the game. And maybe more games to come. No penalty was called on the play, with the game winning goal coming as play continued with John Siemer one-timing one five-hole on Max Fenkell.
The Dogs answered seconds later to get back into it when Arty Kalashnikov won a draw back to Nick Tupper who put a shot on net from the line that was tipped home by Evan Tironese as Tupper picked up a point in his BCHL debut. Minutes later it looked like the Express had a 3-1 lead when they scored on a scramble, however one of the aforementioned Linesmen reversed the original call from the Referee and saw the goal waved off.
That's as close as the Dogs would get though as the Express held on before hitting the empty net with less than 10 seconds to play despite the Dogs having a 17-4 advantage in shots on the third.
A great effort but once again painfully just short.
Shots 38-29 Dogs. Each team went 0 for 6 on the power play.
Special thanks to Express Broadcaster Eddie Gregory for bringing me back a puck from the World Juniors in Edmonton. And while I'm at it another extra special thanks to the Express organization for acting fast and assisting me in dealing with an unruly fan that was half accosting me in the Broadcast Booth during the game. You've done over 1000 games, and you STILL haven't seen it all! Class act by the organization to help me out!