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Even teddy bears couldn't soften the blow as Coquitlam Express lose 7-4

The Coquitlam Express lost to the Surrey Eagles for the second time in a week on Friday, 7-4.
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Coquitlam Express players show off some of the teddy bears that were collected off the ice after Christian MacDougall opened the scoring just 40 seconds into their game against the Surrey Eagles on Friday.

The teddy bears rained down on the ice at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex just 40 seconds into Friday’s BC Hockey League game between the Coquitlam Express and the Surrey Eagles. But the plush toys brought little comfort to the home side, that went on to lose to the visitors for the second time in a week, 7-4.

Christian MacDougall sparked the storm of stuffies that will be donated to local kids in need at Christmas when he put the Express up 1-0 on a power play. But by the time the first period was over, Coquitlam was down 4-2.

Michael Abrgrall extended Surrey’s advantage to three goals 7:32 into the second period, but 1:05 later MacDougall’s second goal of the night had the Express back to within two.

Ryan Tattle got Coquitlam even closer with his fourth goal of the season 11:05 into the third period. But that’s as close as the Express go, as the Eagles rounded out the scoring with a pair of empty net goals by Jacob Slipec and Joel Planet.

Connor Mackenzie faced 28 shots in Coquitlam’s net, while Max Prazma stopped 26 shots for the Eagles, who leapfrogged over the Powell River Kings into sixth place in the standings of the BCHL’s Coastal division.

The Express head to Chilliwack Saturday to play the Chiefs in a game that has been moved up from Jan. 5 because of ongoing impacts on the league’s schedule after a torrential rainstorm flooded several communities in the province and damaged a number of highways.

Earlier Friday, Coquitlam acquired defenseman Luke Vardy from the Penticton Vees to complete a three-way trade that sent Shane LaVelle to the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

Vardy is originally from Nova Scotia. Prior to joining the Vees at the beginning of this season he played for St. Andrews College on Ontario where he scored nine goals and 21 assists in the 2019/’20 season.