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Coquitlam Express tie playoff series with 5-2 win over Chilliwack Chiefs

The teams will play games three and four Monday and Tuesday at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.
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Coquitlam Express defenceman Luke Vardy (#4) scored a pair of goals in the team's 5-2 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs Saturday to even their best-of-seven playoff series at a win each.

Defenceman Luke Vardy scored a pair of goals and goalie Carter Woodside stopped 37 of 39 shots to lead the Coquitlam Express to a 5-2 win over the Chiefs in game two of their BC Hockey League playoff series, Saturday (April 2) at the Chilliwack Coliseum.

Each team now has one win in the best-of-seven series with games three and four to be played in Coquitlam Monday and Tuesday (April 4-5), 7 p.m., at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.

After Chilliwack’s Mateo Mrsic opened the scoring just 90 seconds into the first period, the Express responded with three straight before the game was 10 minutes old.

Mathew Campbell continued his hot play that earned him recognition as a finalist for the BCHL’s top defencemen award by getting Coquitlam back on even terms with his second goal of the post season.

Less than three minutes later, Vardy scored his first of the night to put the Express in front, 2-1.

Trevor O’Brien extended Coquitlam’s lead to 3-1, before Mrsic scored his second goal of the game on a power play to make it 3-2 heading into the first intermission.

Neither team scored in the second period, due largely to the netminding of Woodside, who stopped all 18 shots the Chiefs fired his way, including a breakaway by Chilliwack’s Kienan Draper with just 90 seconds left in the frame.

Woodside made another big save early in the third period that immediately led to an insurance goal, as Vardy scored on the transition with a snapshot from Chilliwack’s blue line that eluded Chiefs’ goalie Grant Riley.

An empty net goal by Kahlil Fontana with just nine seconds left in the third period sealed the win for the Express.

In addition to Vardy’s pair of goals, centres Ray Hamlin and Mateo Dixon each counted a pair of assists to fire Coquitlam’s offence.