The Montreal Express opened up a 5-1 first quarter lead, but needed a pair of fourth-period goals by Ted Dowling to wrap up a 10-7 win over the Buffalo Bandits Friday before 8,317 at the Molson Centre.
Dowling scored his second goal of the game 54 seconds into the final stanza to leave the Express up 7-5, and finished off a hat trick at 3:15 with Montreal's pivotal eighth tally. Eric Pacey and Peter Lough added insurance goals before the buzzer.
Buffalo trailed 6-3 at halftime, but picked up some ground in the third with goals by John Tavares and Mike Accursi, while netminder Steve Dietrich blanked the Express on 10 shots. Randy Mearns and Jason Clark scored in the fourth to keep Montreal under pressure.
Seven players scored for the Express. Pacey was the only player other than Dowling to score multiple goals (2). Tracey Kelusky, Mat Giles, Brian Bendig, Lough and Crosbie each scored once, and Kelusky, Bruce Codd and Brad McArthur each posted two assists.
Tavares was the game's high scorer with five points (2 3). Mike Accursi finished with two goals for the Bandits, and Randy Mearns had one goal and two assists.
Goalie Curtis Palidwor turned away 45 Buffalo shots to help the Express to its third straight win.