More woes for the Coquitlam Express

The Merritt Centennials beat up on the Coquitlam Express Saturday night at the Nicola Valley Arena. The home team shutout the visitors 5-0.  - IAN WEBSTER/BLACK PRESS
The Merritt Centennials beat up on the Coquitlam Express Saturday night at the Nicola Valley Arena. The home team shutout the visitors 5-0.

The Coquitlam Express’ path to the post-season has become a little more grueling after racking up three more losses on the weekend.

The Langley Rivermen, which dealt Coquitlam a 4-2 defeat on Friday night at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex, sit three points up on the Express in the B.C. Hockey League standings, giving the Fraser Valley club the fourth and final playoff berth in the Mainland Division. Langley also has four games in hand over the Express, who are tied for second to last place in the league.

Coquitlam had a strong start in Friday’s game against the Rivermen.

Ben Israel scored a goal on a feed from Travis Stephens before Adam Rossignol made it 2-0 for the Express before the end of the opening period.

But that would be the last bit of offence the young Coquitlam club could generate against the bruising Rivermen, who proceeded to score four unanswered goals, including two on the power play and one empty-netter, to win the game 4-2.

The team’s troubles continued on Saturday when they were routed 5-0 by the Merritt Centennials at the Nicola Valley Arena.

Express goalie Cole Huggins played the whole game, stopping 39 of 44 shots behind a Coquitlam defence that couldn’t find an answer for the home team’s offensive push.

On Sunday, the Express completed the three games in three nights, with a 6-3 loss to BCHL leaders the Penticton Vees.

The Vees jumped out to a two goal lead before Coquitlam Kolten Grieve got his team on the board assisted by Cal Hofford.

Penticton was able to make it 3-1 going into the middle frame, but Express forward Bradley Ryan was able to close the gap against the Vees after burying a pass from Rossignol on the power play early in the second period.

Penticton’s John Seimer, who was recently traded to the Vees from Coquitlam, scored on his former team to make it 4-2 but a power play goal from Marc Biega brought the Express to within one. But Coquitlam was unable to tie the game before Penticton’s Sam Mellor added an insurance marker and Brad McClure scored an empty-netter with 16 seconds left in the game.

The Express will hit the road this weekend to take on Prince George at the Prince George Coliseum on Saturday and Sunday.

Coquitlam’s next home game is not until Feb. 9, where they will begin an eight-game home stand.

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