Chilliwack, BC – Matteo Esposito stopped 24 shots Wednesday night earning his third shutout in just his 11th BCHL appearance.
The rookie stopper backstopped his Chilliwack Chiefs past the Prince George Spruce Kings 4-0 in a midweek clash.
Four difference Chiefs gave him offensive support as his team improved to 17-6-1-2, leap-frogging the idle Wenatchee Wild for first place in the Mainland division.
Veteran blueliner got the Chiefs on the board in this one, opening the scoring at 11:39 of period one. Taking a pass from Nolan Zweep, Esposito put a wrister on net, slipping it through a forest of legs and skates past Prince George netminder Liam McCloskey.
Chilliwack struck again late in the opening frame.
Seconds after a power play expired, Kale Kane wheeled off the right-wing wall and threw the puck on net. Camped in front of McCloskey, Jesse Lansdell got his stick on it, scoring his ninth of the year on the re-direct.
Shots on goal through 20 minutes favoured the Spruce Kings 11-7.
The visitors were buzzing to start period two, hounding the Chiefs with an aggressive and effective forecheck. While Prince George posted a donut in the middle frame, the Chiefs added one more off the stick of captain Kawaguchi.
On a Chilliwack power play, Darien Craighead threaded a pass across the goal-mouth to Jordan K. for a tap-in.
His 14th of the year had the Chiefs up 3-0 after two, out-shooting PG 22-18.
Chilliwack’s Brendan Shane added another 6:56 into period three.
D-man Austin Adam threw the puck on net from the right point, and McCloskey couldn’t find it. Shane waded into the goal-mouth scramble and whacked the puck into the cage for his second of the year and first as a Chief.
The three stars were Matteo Esposito (first), Dennis Cholowski (second) and Craighead (third).
The Fortis BC Energy Player of the Game was Mitch Skapski.
Chilliwack now looks ahead to a Saturday night home date with the Coquitlam Express (10-11-1-3) at Prospera Centre.
Game time is 7 p.m.