Coquitlam Express split weekend matches

Hockey fans can expect a hard-fought game when the Coquitlam Express take on the Victoria Grizzlies tonight at 7 p.m. at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex. - TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
Hockey fans can expect a hard-fought game when the Coquitlam Express take on the Victoria Grizzlies tonight at 7 p.m. at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex.
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

The Coquitlam Express gained little ground in the standings over the weekend after defeating the Victoria Grizzlies last Friday and dropping a game to the Langley Rivermen on Saturday.

Forward Brady Shaw had a five-point weekend for the Express, scoring a pair and picking up an assist against Victoria and netting two more goals at the Langley Events Centre the next day. He was named to the three stars both nights for his efforts.

Coquitlam lit the scoreboard early last Friday, when Josh Finkelstein made it 1-0 less than three minutes into the first on a feed from Jace Hennig.

A goal from Shaw and Alexander Kerfoot in the second gave the Express a 3-0 lead, however the sleepy Grizzlies began to wake up.

Victoria’s Coltyn Hansen capitalized on the powerplay before Cam Lawson, who was named second star of the night, cut Coquitlam’s lead to one goal. But Coquitlam took a decisive lead into the third period with a powerplay marker from Shaw in the dying seconds of the middle frame.

Hennig padded the Express’ lead with a late goal and the team went on to win the match 5-2.

Goalie Khaleed Devji stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced and Coquitlam’s forwards managed to pepper Grizz goalie Garrett Rockafellow for 37 shots. The Express were one-for-two with the man advantage.

The team got off to a good start in Langley on Saturday, with Justin Georgeson opening the scoring 13 seconds into the game on a feed from Cody Michelle.

But the team’s momentum slowed down after a dustup led to Connor Redmond’s ejection three minutes into the first. The Rivermen’s Jackson Playfair was able to get his team on the board a minute later on a feed from Sebastien Pare. Langley’s Peter McMullen helped his team take the lead early in the second before Coquitlam’s Mitch Nardi tied it up on a pass from Bo Pellah.

Langley’s Pare and Coquitlam’s Shaw exchanged goals in the in the final minutes of the second to knot the game at 3-3 going into the third. Shaw notched his second of the night early in the final frame but Langley responded with Chris Tracy, who knotched his first marker of the game with eight minutes left.

As the clock ticked down both teams battled hard, however it was the Rivermen who took the lead with three minutes left in the game on a goal from Pare. A strong finish by the Express was not enough to tie up the game and the Coquitlam squad was defeated 5-4.

The team plays tonight (Friday) at 7 p.m. in Coquitlam against Victoria.

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