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Coquitlam Express clipped by Nanaimo in overtime

The Coquitlam Express lost 3-2 in overtime to the Nanaimo Clippers in a rare morning game at the annual BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack.
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Coquitlam Express goaltender Connor Mackenzie faced only 21 shots in Friday's game (Oct. 22) against the Nanaimo Clippers at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack.

The Coquitlam Express outshot the Nanaimo Clippers, 38-21, but a goal by Keighan Gerrie two minutes into overtime gave the top team in the BC Hockey League’s Coastal conference a 3-2 victory this morning (Oct. 22) at the league’s showcase tournament in Chilliwack.

After a quick start by the Clippers that resulted in a goal by Nanaimo’s Sean Donaldson 44 seconds into the game, the Express took over and tilted the ice in its favour.

Coquitlam fired 16 shots on net but only one, by Blake Green, eluded Clippers’ keeper Cooper Black.

Donaldson’s second goal of the game, 5:35 into the second period, put Nanaimo back in front.

But again the Express tied it up with an unassisted goal by Carter Cochrane, his second of the season.

Neither team scored in a tight-checking third frame. And while the Clippers managed only five shots, several of them were dangerous scoring opportunities repelled by Connor Mackenzie’s outstanding work in Coquitlam’s net.

An inability to convert power play opportunities may have been what ultimately cost the Express, as the team was unable to score on any of its five chances with the man-advantage, including a five-and-a-half-minute stretch in the second period when Nanaimo was assessed three consecutive minors.

The Express return home to host the Powell River Kings on Wednesday (Oct. 27) for its annual Pink in the Rink promotion to raise awareness about breast cancer.

Players will be wearing special pink jerseys that will then be auctioned off, with funds going to help establish a breast cancer clinic at Eagle Ridge Hospital in Port Moody.

Game time is 7 p.m. at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex. Vaccine passports are required for admittance, but for the first time this season, seating capacity will not be restricted to 50 per cent after the cap on indoor events set by the provincial health authority is scheduled to end on Monday (Oct. 25).

The Express just fell short of the arena’s restricted capacity last Friday (Oct. 15), when 1,096 attended the team’s home opener against the Chilliwack Chiefs.

It was the biggest crowd for the first home game of the season in 10 years.