Rivalry Games Always Prove Exciting
The Westshore Bears visited the Saanich Express at the “Railyard” Archie Browning Arena last evening to play the third game between the two franchises this season. What has proven to be a great rivalry over the years did not disappoint; previous matches between the two clubs have produced some intense action packed lacrosse games. Previous contests had the Express defeating the Bears 11-8 and tying 10-10.
The two teams began play with end to end action, pushing the pace for the first half of the game, which reminded fans of what good ole’ lacrosse was meant to be played like. The bear opened the scoring at 12:29 of the period but the Express reciprocated with a nice overhand shot from the 24’ dotted line by Robbie Walker, assisted by Jorden Tytget and Josh King. The locomotive followed that up with a goal 3 minutes later by two transition specialists on a 2 on 1. Matt Caseley unselfishly moved the ball to Jonny Harmsworth putting the home team up 2-1. Westshore tied it up a minute later and not 10 seconds after that, the Express’ Jorden Tytgat buried their 3 and go ahead goal on a great face-off win by Riley Condon and feed from John Etzel. The Bears scored at 5:29 on an individual effort to tie the game at 3 and head in to the first intermission.
The second period had an explosion of opportunities and each team tallied 6 each for 12 goals in the period. The Express started the scoring with a power play marker from Brayden Flynn, assisted by Condon and Walker. The Bears tied the game shortly thereafter and then took a penalty to which your freight train scored another PP goal, this time by Zach Dhillon, assisted by Condon and Etzel. Dhillon then scored again assisted by the same duo but the Bears wouldn’t quit, matching the score yet again. Then the Express unloaded some box cars and hammered in 4 straight goals to the Bears’ 1 and appeared to take control of the period; goals were scored by Dhillon, Flynn, Walker and Etzel with assists coming from the sticks of Condon (3) and Etzel. But the home team just couldn’t lock their checks for the last half of the period and allowed 3 more from the Bears to tie the period with 6 goals each and the game up at 9 goals even.
The third period was a highly spirited affair as the marginal checks and stickwork was kept to a minimum but that didn’t take away from the atmosphere. A couple of scuffles and bad use of a stick gave the Express the drive to take the lead and keep it. With goals by Flynn, Etzel and 2 by Hale with assists going to Etzel, Flynn, Hale and Davey; the game appeared to be in hand for the home team. Then the “you know what” hit the fan and the game and players appeared to lose their cool for a bit causing a change in momentum from Saanich to Westshore. A few missed assignments and slow play created opportunity after opportunity for the visitors as they eventually would tie the game up at 3:23 of the third period. Each team had more than enough changes to take the lead and win the game but Bears goalie Damien Spaven and the Express’ Max Lavoie took over and directed each shot away from their goals to finish the game tied at 14 goals a piece.
Next game for the Express is their last home game of the regular season tomorrow afternoon at 2:30pm as they host the Campbell River Ravens. This is “FAN APPRECIATION DAY” and “TACKY TOURIST DAY” as all fans, parents and players dressing up as a Tacky Tourist will be eligible for some team prizes. A secret judge will vote on all fans in attendance and during the 2nd intermission, will be awarded prizes based on appearance and participation. Players will be judged after the game by their peers.
Come one, come all… as your Express Train get geared up for the end of season sprint to the playoffs. ALL ABOARD!