Connor Gregga, Massimo Rizzo and Greg Lapointe all scored in the shootout to help the Coquitlam Express preserve its perfect home record with a 4-3 win over the Prince George Spruce Kings, Wednesday at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.
The Express has won all 11 home games so far this BC Hockey League season. The victory also solidified Coquitlam’s position atop the league standings, three points ahead of the Salmon Arm Silverback and Penticton Vees, although those teams have played one less game.
Lapointe’s goal proved to be decisive after Ryan McAllister had failed to score on Prince George’s first shot.
The defending BCHL champions had forced the game into overtime when Chong Min Lee scored unassisted with just 10 second left to play in the third period and Spruce Kings’ goalie Jett Alexander on the bench for an extra attacker. Neither team was able to score in the five minutes of extra play.
Gregga and Noah De La Durantaye scored in the first period to give the home team a 2-0 lead. But Prince George chipped away with a goal in the second and another early in the third to get back on even terms.
Joshua Wildauer appeared to have won it for the Express when he deflected a shot past Alexander with less than two-and-a-half minutes remaining in regulation.
Jack Watson stopped 18 of the 21 shots he faced in Coquitlam’s net to earn his third victory of the season.
The Express start a four-game road trip Friday in Port Alberni, where they play the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. They’ll then travel to Cowichan to face the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Saturday and then on to Power River to meet the Kings on Sunday.
They wrap up their journey on Nov. 15 at the South Surrey Arena against the Surrey Eagles.