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Photos: Coquitlam Express tie playoff series with 3-1 win over Alberni Valley

The Coquitlam Express and Alberni Valley Bulldogs each have two wins in their best-of-seven BC Hockey League playoff series

The Coquitlam Express scored once in the second period and added two more in the third to defeat the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 3-1 in the fourth game of their BC Hockey League playoff series, Wednesday at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.

Each team now has two wins in the best-of-seven first round showdown.

After some early mistakes cost the Express in Tuesday’s 5-3 loss in the series’ third game, Coquitlam tightened its checking, limiting the visitors to 20 shots and no goals through the first two periods of Wednesday’s tussle.

Cole Melady broke the scoreless stalemate with a power play goal 17:18 into the second period, shovelling a centering pass from Drew Garzone beneath a sprawling Callum Tung in the Alberni Valley net.

Jake Manfre doubled the Express advantage two minutes after the break but the Bulldogs got back to within a goal when Hayden Stavroff scored on a power play just over seven minutes later.

But the visitors couldn’t get the equalizer as Coquitlam continued to take the initiative on offence through the final frame with 16 shots to Alberni Valley’s six.

Their effort paid off with less than four minutes remaining in regulation time when Jacob Bonkowski knocked a loose puck over the goal line after it had just snuck through Tung’s pads.

Melady added an assist on Bonkowski’s goal to lead Express scorers with a pair of points.

Adam Manji made 25 saves while his teammates fired 42 at Tung.

The series returns to Port Alberni for game five on Friday.

Game six will be Saturday, 7 p.m., back at Poirier.