Coquitlam Express roll over Rivermen

The Coquitlam Express kicked off its extended exhibition schedule with a pair of wins over the Langley Rivermen.

Greg Lapointe scored 4:10 into overtime to give the Coquitlam Express a 6-5 win over the Langley Rivermen, Saturday at the Chilliwack Coliseum. 

It was the sixth straight victory for the Express over Langley stretching back to their four-game sweep over the Rivermen in the opening round of last spring’s BC Hockey League playoffs, before they were aborted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Coquitlam also prevailed in Friday’s opener of the league’s extended exhibition schedule, 6-1.

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Saturday, Lapointe wasn’t just the hero in extra time, he also scored twice in the third period to force the game into overtime after Matthew Hubbarde had given the Rivermen a 5-3 lead early in the final frame. Cooper Connell — with two goals — and Austin Fraser also scored for the Express. Joe Howe stopped 22 of 27 shots he faced in Coqutliam’s net.

Friday in Coquitlam, Lapointe scored twice, and Ryan Tattle, Dante Berrettoni, Danny Pearson and James Bohn added singles. Howe lost his bid for a shutout with just 3:17 left to play on a goal by Langley’s Ryan Helliwell.

Both games were played in empty arenas to comply with provincial health orders to limit transmission of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Those regulations will keep teams playing in limited regional cohorts until the beginning of December when the league hopes to begin its regular season schedule with limited seating capacity for fans.

That means the Express and Rivermen will be seeing a lot of each other in the coming weeks. In fact, the two teams face-off together six more times until the end of October, including a home-and-home series next Friday and Saturday beginning at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex.

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