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Former Coquitlam Express player comes back to haunt his old team

The Coquitlam Express lost 5-2 to the visiting Nanaimo Clippers on Friday
Former Coquitlam Express forward Emmett McHardy (#29) scored twice to lead his new team, the Nanaimo Clippers, to a 5-2 over the Express Friday at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.

Former Coquitlam Express winger Emmett McHardy came back to haunt his old team, scoring twice to lead the Nanaimo Clippers to a 5-2 win over the Express Friday at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.

McHardy, who was dealt to the Clippers last September in exchange for future considerations, scored 3:42 into the second period to tie the game at one goal each then added his second late into the empty net late in the third period to help ice Nanaimo’s first win in three games.

Express associate coach Jeff Wagner said he had mixed emotions about McHardy’s impact in the game.

“Anytime you get traded you’re going to come back with something to prove,” he said. “Part of us is really happy for him but at the same time we don’t like him to do that against us.”

Coquitlam’s Michael Rubin opened the scoring one minute into the second period with his fifth goal of the season.

Drew Garzone restored the Express advantage just 1:07 after McHardy had tied it at 3:42 of the middle frame.

The Clippers then scored the next four goals. Two were into an empty net as Coquitlam pressed for the comeback with goalie Adam Manji on the bench for an extra attacker.

Wagner said his charges didn’t dictate the game.

“I thought we really got away from our game,” he said. “We felt like we were just trading chances and that’s something we try to avoid.”

Manji stopped 29 shots in Coquitlam’s net while Nanaimo goalkeeper Chazz Nixon made 26 saves.

The Express, which has lost three of its last four games, has a tough order to try to get back on a winning track as the team hosts the BC Hockey League leading Penticton Vees, Saturday at 7 p.m. at Poirier.