Express keep winning at home

The Coquitlam Express ended one streak in a big way, and continued another in an even bigger, record-setting, way.

Sunday afternoon at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex, the Express won its 23rd straight home game, 8-1 over the visiting Langley Rivermen. It was the team’s 37th victory of the BC Hockey League regular season, breaking its franchise record of 36 in the 2011/’12 season. 

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The win also helped salve the sting of Coquitlam’s 6-1 loss to the Chilliwack Chiefs in Chilliwack Saturday night, the team’s first setback in 18 games.

Against the Rivermen, the Express scored five unanswered goals in the second period, including two on the power play and another shorthanded.

Two goals by Ethan O’Rourke had given Coquitlam a 2-1 lead in the first period and newcomer Wyatt Head, who scored his first goal for the Express since being acquired by the team from the West Kelowna Warriors last Thursday, added another in the third period.

Adam Trotman also scored twice for the home team, Massimo Rizzo had a goal and three assists, and Connor Gregga counted four helpers to lead Coquitlam’s offence that chased Langley’s starting goalie, Jonathan Mor, from the net midway through the second period.

Clay Stevenson stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced in the Express net to earn his 27th win of the season.

With the game out of reach for the visiting Rivermen, the third period devolved into a series of scraps that resulted in six players being ejected from the game for fights and another, Coquitlam’s Joey Berkopec, after a spearing incident. Three other players receive 10-minute misconduct penalties.

Saturday in Chilliwack, the Chiefs scored three times in the first period and three more in the third to hand the Express its first loss since Nov. 10, when the team was shut out by the Powell River Kings, 2-0.

Jack Watson faced 35 shots in Coquitlam’s net.

Nolan Wall was the only Express player to beat Chiefs’ netminder Mathieu Caron. It was his first goal in the BCHL.

The Express host the Surrey Eagles, Wednesday at 7:15 p.m., then travel to Chilliwack to play the Chiefs again on Friday.

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