Let's see how my first re-cap after an extended break from writing them goes.
After losing 7-2 on Wednesday, it was pretty obvious the Express weren't going to lay back and allow the Blades to run roughshod over them.
They came on strong in the first. There were long stretches of intense, sustained, pressure. Thankfully, solid goaltending from John Muse, good support from the guys and maybe a bit of luck held the Express at bay. At the 13:17 mark Kory Falite was able to cash in with a goal (assists to Rutherford and Marquardt). That goal was the lone tally in the first and was one of only 7 shots the Blades were able to get on the Express' goalie.
Exactly two minutes into the second, Ryan Donald added another Blades tally to give the Blades a two goal lead (assist to Galiardi). Right after the faceoff, Scott Fletcher took on one of the Express players. I'm going to say he won as his punches actually managed to hit his intended target. The Express managed to beat Muse a about four minutes later to make it a 2-1 game. At the 13:37 mark, Matt Marquardt cashed in on the power play to retake a two goal lead (assists to Rutherford and Quick). In the closing minutes of the period, the Express got yet another goal past Muse to make it 3-2. The period ended with that score in place.
Both teams traded chances in the third and both teams had a couple of close calls. There was a scuffle late in the period when one of the Express players took a chop at Muse after the whistle had blown. This was a few minutes after a minor scuffle had happened at the benches. In the closing minutes of the game, the Express pulled their goalie for an extra attacker. Brayden Irwin was able to cash in on a neutral zone flub and earn an empty net goal (assist to Falite). When the final buzzer sounded the Blades had skated away with a 4-2 victory.
- Looks like the snowbirds have finally returned to roost. 5,740 fans in attendance. Pretty sure that's the best we've had all season.
- Ryan Donald was a +3. That's the best +/- of anyone on the ice. Awesome.
- Marquardt's (I will forever struggle with spelling his name by the way) power play goal was thanks in large part to David Rutherford's hard work. It's kind of a shame he wasn't given one of the stars. He was giving 200% last night.
- He also took on Donati twice. I will always appreciate anyone who gives one of the Donati brothers the business.
- Muse was a beast. Some of his saves were brilliant. At one point he lost his stick and grabbed and used Ryan Donalds. You can't stop the Moose guys.
- I'm glad the Checkers sent him down for some ice time. Pat Nagle needed a break and that little push Muse being around seems to give him.
- I vote we sign Scott Fletcher to a 10 year contract. Total BAMF.
- Anyone else notice the Express players complete lack of awareness to the fact they were playing a hockey game? I lost track of how many time their inattentiveness led to them dazed and sprawled on the ice.
- Along those lines... hello gritty physical Everblades. How you doin'? Wanna stick around for the rest of the season and maybe the next three or four?