Express Tuesday: Southern Hospitality?

Rob's gonna rob. (Photo: Swamp Hockey/flickr)

First of all, I would like to thank Florida Everblades blogger and friend of ROD Swamp Hockey for letting me use the fabulous picture above, as well as her videos for this recap. You can check out her Flickr here.

Swamp Hockey was at the two preseason games the Express played against the Everblades, and, in her words, “I do not like your ECHL team. I do not like them at all.” Why? Let’s go to the recap!

Friday, October 7
Express win against the Florida Everblades 4-1. 

 The Express opened up their preseason in a big way, downing the Everblades on the scoreboard and on the ice itself, with two big fights and a lot of edgy plays. Honestly, I wouldn’t expect less from a Steve Martinson-coached team.

The Express opened up scoring at 9:54 in the first period when assistant captain Yannick Tifu put the puck past the Everblades’ Pat Nagle, with assists from Mike Embach and Tyler Johnson. Seconds later, the first fight happened between the Express’ Bobby Robins (the other assistant captain) and the Everblades’ Tyson Gimblett.

In the second period, it was all Express… but not before the second major fight of the game. This time, it was between the Express’ Blair Riley and the Everblades’ Leigh Salters, which started when Riley made contact with Nagle early on in the period.

Travis Vermeulen would put the Express up 2-0 at 7:00 in the period, assisted by Trent Palm and Drew Paris. Then Pierre-Luc Faubert decided to get in on the fun with a power play goal at 13:27 after Gimblett was sent to the box for hooking, with Kyle Ostrow and Drew Paris (again) getting the helpers. Tifu decided that just wasn’t enough, so he scored another goal at 17:48, with Embach and Johnson again assisting.

The only goal the Everblades scored was late in the third period to ruin Rob Nolan’s shutout bid, from Justin Shugg.

Saturday, October 8
Express lose to the Florida Everblades 5-2.

Florida struck fast, with two quick goals before the game was six minutes old. The Everblades put up their first goal at 4:18, when Rylan Galiardi scored on the power play after Nathan Lutz was sent off for tripping. Then, less than a minute later, the Everblades were up 2-0 when Justin Shugg scored at even strength. Two minutes later, the Express were on the board on a short-handed goal by Darcy Campbell, assisted by Yannick Tifu and Mike Embach. The Express would enter the first intermission down by just one goal.

They would enter the second intermission down by three. Late in the second period, Tyler Helfrich and Justin Shugg scored for the Everblades, making the score 4-1.

The Everblades would strike one more time, when Mathieu Roy would make the score 5-1 at 12:18 in the third period. Campbell would score one more for the Express with just over a minute left in the game, with helpers from Mike Embach and Kyle Ostrow. Express goaltender Marc-Antoine Gelinas stopped 28 out of 33 shots in the loss.

The Express open up their regular season on the road in Toledo against the Walleye on October 15 at 6:00pm before coming home on October 22 to face the Kalamazoo Wings in their home opener. Tickets are still available, so I hope to see you all there!

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