Arlo Merritt’s powerplay goal in the first period, and two more in the third by Ray Hamlin and Shane Lavelle, helped the Coquitlam Express sink the Langley Rivermen, 3-0, Wednesday at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.
The win snapped Coquitlam’s eight-game losing streak and elevated the team out of last place in the BC Hockey League’s Coastal division. The Express is now two points ahead of the Cowichan Valley Capitals.
On a night Coquitlam honoured Canada’s armed forces by wearing special jerseys, the Express drew first blood when Merritt ripped a bullet over the right shoulder of Langley goalkeeper Ajeet Gundarah with just 1:19 left until the first intermission break. The team was midway through a five-minute power play after Langley’s Owen Kim was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for hitting Coquitlam winger Davis Frank from behind, sending him crashing heavily into the corner boards.
The second period was scoreless.
Hamlin then gave the home team some breathing room when he converted a pass from Kahlil Fontana to put the Express up 2-0 13:40 into the third period.
Lavelle rounded out the scoring by depositing the puck into an empty net with 2:23 left in the final frame.
Connor Mackenzie stopped 33 shots to earn his first shutout. His Express teammates fired 31 shots at Gundarah.
Coquitlam next heads up the Coquihalla to face the Merritt Centennials on Friday at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena, then on to Prince George for a game Saturday against the Spruce Kings.
The next home game for the Express is Nov. 19, when the Trail Smoke Eaters come to town. Game time is 7 p.m.