Express Pluck Ravens in Last Regular Season Home Game
The Campbell River Ravens and Saanich Express faced off on Sunday for the Express’ last regular season home game of the 2018 PNWJLL season yesterday. The Ravens were a few bodies short for the contest but you wouldn’t have known it by the intensity they showed from the opening whistle. The Ravens took the play to the Express while the home team appeared to be lackadaisical and uninterested for the first few minutes of the first period.
The Ravens opened the scoring 2:15 in to the period and followed that goal up with two more at 16:28 and 8:25 to take a 3-0 lead. Making an effort to right the train on the rails, Saanich’s Brayden Flynn buries a goal at 5:10 assisted by Josh King and Zack Dhillon. With the Express on the board, the Ravens scored their 4th of the game just 6 seconds after the next face-off to take momentum away from the home club. Not dropping their heads, the home club rallied back with Bryan Toth (returning from injury) dragging a Ravens defender to him on a two on one and feeding Carter Wood on the left side for a one fake goal down low for his first Junior goal. That motivated the troops and sparked defensive players to transition the ball up the floor quickly for the remainder of the period. Rookie defender Andre Snow takes a loose ball coast to coast and buries a shot top shelf where Mom hides the cookies to make the score 4-3 and close the gap heading into the first intermission. That was also his first Junior lacrosse goal of his career.
With all wheels turning now for the Express, the home club dominated the second period and completely exhausted the visitors for 20 minutes. Goaltender Nolan Tytgat was outstanding in the period making all 14 saves and shutting out the visiting Campbell River squad. The first half of the period was a stalemate with neither team scoring and each team taking their share of minor penalties that appeared to be handed out like the Dickie Dee ice cream truck driver does on a hot summer day. At the 9:34 mark of the second period, Andre Snow again transitions the ball up the floor on a three on two but no defender slides and he walks down the middle to bury his second of the game. The Ravens get in to penalty trouble in the last 5 minutes of the second period and the Express make them pay! A power play marker by Brayden Flynn, assisted by Dan Barrodale puts the home team up by one and then shortly after that, Will Hale buries the 6th Express goal of the game assisted by Jorden Tytgat and Brayden Flynn. Your hometown Express now head in to intermission with a 6-4 lead.
The third period and game was decided early as Saanich opened the scoring 90 seconds in to the period with Robbie Walker walking around a picked off defender and cutting across the crease for this first of the game, assisted by Brayden Flynn. At 14:28 and on the power play because of a back-checking call, the Express scored their first of 2 goals. Jorden Tytgat fires one at the net like a jellyfish swimming through the water which caught the Ravens goaltender off guard; that goal was assisted nicely by Riley Condon and John Etzel. Two minutes later, Etzel buries a lazer from the top assisted by Brayden Flynn and Will Hale to put the game out of reach. The Ravens would get 2 more goals late in the game to draw the score closer but it wasn’t enough as your Saanich Express defeat the Ravens 9-6.
The Express advertised “Tacky Tourist & Fan Appreciation Day” on Sunday. Names of the winning contestants were not forwarded but the first place contestant won a skim board, a lacrosse book “Underhand” and a Saanich Express woven key chain. Second place won a Saanich Express dry-fit t-shirt and a key chain and third prize was a lacrosse book and a key chain. After the game, the Saanich players were judged and the unanimous favourite was Matt Caseley and Matt won himself a skim board as well, compliments of the Saanich Express.
Next up for the Express… a visit to Kerry Park Arena on Tuesday June 26th to face Cowichan and then Thursday June 28th to the Q Centre Arena to close the season versus the Westshore Bears. Let’s step off the platform and climb aboard the “Crazy Train!”