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Coquitlam Express bounce back with win over Surrey Eagles

Coquitlam Express evened its record early in the BC Hockey League season at two wins and two losses with a 7-4 victory over the Surrey Eagles on Saturday.
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Coquitlam Express forward Arlo Merritt, right, scored a pair of goals to lead the team to a 7-4 win over the Surrey Eagles on Saturday.

Arlo Merritt scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Coquitlam Express to a 7-4 win over the Surrey Eagles Saturday at the South Surrey Arena.

The win evens Coquitlam’s record early in the BC Hockey League season at two wins and two losses. Both of its victories have been over the Eagles.

Although early on, it looked like the hosts might prevail in this encounter, as Surrey jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead before the game was four minutes old.

But the Express bounced back with three straight goals to wrest the advantage, 3-2. Hamlin scored his fourth of the season at 5:51 on the power play, then Christian MacDougall and James Bohn tallied less than two minutes apart.

A goal by Surrey’s Jacob Bonkowski late in the frame evened the score heading into the second period.

Merritt put Coquitlam back in front 9:25 after the break with a shorthanded goal as MacDougall cooled his heels in the penalty box serving a two-minute minor for slashing. Just over four minutes later, Ryan Tattle scored what would prove to the game-winner, burying his second goal of the season. He also had two assists in the game, improving his season points total to 10, third best in the BCHL.

Hamlin increased the advantage to 6-3 after only 34 seconds had been played in the third period.

Surrey made it 6-4 with just 5:44 left on the clock, but Merritt’s second goal of the game with 2:06 remaining in regulation time sealed the deal for the visitors.

Connor Mackenzie stopped 25 shots in the Express net to earn his second win of the season, while Coquitlam fired 27 shots at Eagles’ keeper Max Prazma.

The Express now head to Chilliwack where the team plays Salmon Arm Wednesday afternoon and the Nanaimo Clippers next Friday morning at 10 a.m. as part of the BCHL’s annual showcase that gathers all the league’s teams in one location to allow players to put their best foot forward to college recruiters and scouts.