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Coquitlam Express unleashes offense in big win over the Chilliwack Chiefs

The win was a bounce back from a 6-0 setback to the Surrey Eagles on Friday
Coquitlam Express forward Gavin Giesebrecht celebrates his first-period goal in the team's 7-5 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs, Saturday at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.

On country music night at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex, the Coquitlam Express offense went to town.

The BC Hockey League team scored four times in the first period, once in the second and twice in the third to defeat the visiting Chilliwack Chiefs, 7-5.

The win was a strong bounce back from Coquitlam’s effort Friday at the South Surrey Arena, when it was thumped 6-0 by the Surrey Eagles.

Saturday, it didn’t take long for the Express to light the scoreboard as Ray Hamlin connected on a power play just 2:20 after the opening face-off.

Though Chilliwack’s Dylan Kinch got that back just 34 seconds later, Coquitlam scored the next three goals to take command before Mateo Mrsic’s power play goal for the Chiefs with 34 seconds left in the frame made the score 4-2 as the teams headed to their dressing rooms for the first intermission.

The Express extended its lead to 5-2 just 1:11 into the second period when Mirko Buttazzoni scored his second goal of the game.

But the Chiefs weren’t going to go quietly as goals less than three minutes apart by Mason Kesselring and Abram Wiebe closed the gap to 5-4.

Drew Garzone gave the home team some breathing room with his fourth goal of the season 4:32 into the the third period to make it 6-4 for the Express.

It turned out to be an important goal, as Chilliwack gave Coquitlam some tense moments when it closed the gap to 6-5 with just 4:10 left in regulation time but Hamlin sealed the deal for Coquitlam with his second goal of the game into an empty net with 1:37 still on the clock.

Hamlin added an assist to this two goals to lead the Express offence, that fired 49 shots at Chiefs’ goalie Austin McNicholas.

Brady Smith made 27 saves in Coquitlam’s net.

The win closes out a successful November for the Express, which won seven of its nine games in the month.

The team opens its December schedule on Friday. Coquitlam hosts the Langley Rivermen for its first 12 Whistles of Giveways promotion when prizes will be awarded to fans at the first 12 stoppages of play in the game.

Saturday, the Express host a rematch with the Surrey Eagles at its annual home game at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre. Both games start at 7 p.m.

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