Express go off the rails in third period

The Coquitlam Express surrendered an unconverted touchdown in the third period and lost their sixth straight BC Hockey League game, 10-6, to the Victoria Grizzlies, Friday at the Q Centre.

It was indeed a wild and crazy night in the provincial capital, as the visitors squandered leads of 3-1 and 6-4 before floundering altogether in the final frame.

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After Victoria opened the scoring less than two minutes into the game, Coquitlam scored three straight.

They then extended their lead to 4-1 4:48 after the break when Pito Wilson scored his third goal of the season as he was being pulled to the ice by a Grizzlies defender.

Just over five minutes later, Victoria started chipping away when the BCHL’s top point scorer, Alex Newhook, scored his 18th goal of the season. Newhook then helped set up Alexander Campbell to make it 4-3, and he also had a hand in Riley Hughes’ goal that tied it with five minutes left in the frame.

But after Express coach Jason Fortier called a timeout to settle his charges, Coquitlam seemed to regain its composure and Chase Danol and Danny Pearson scored 25 seconds apart in the last minute of the period to put the visitor up 6-4.

Campbell scored his second of the game 15 seconds into the third period to again make it a one-goal game. Newhook’s second goal — and sixth point of the night — tied it and an unassisted goal by Marty Westhaver 46 seconds later proved to be the winner.

Coquitlam goalie Clay Stevenson had a rough night, stopping 32 of the 41 shots he face, while the Express directed 36 shots at Grizzlies’ goalie Kyle Dumba.

In addition to Newhook’s six points, Campbell and Riley Hughes each had five-point nights for Victoria.

Coquitlam will try to fetch its first win since Nov. 9 when the team takes on the Nanaimo Clippers at the Frank Crane Arena on Saturday. They then face the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Sunday at 2 p.m.

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