The Coquitlam Express will look to get back on track Wednesday when the team hosts the Prince George Spruce Kings in a special noon game at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.
The Express will be coming off its first back-to-back losses of the BC Hockey League season, 4-3 in a shootout to Chilliwack last Friday, and on Sunday the team dropped a 2-1 decision to the Cowichan Valley Capitals. The latter was also Coquitlam’s first defeat on home ice after 23 straight victories.
Cowichan’s Olivier Gauthier opened the scoring less than two minutes into the game while the Capitals were shorthanded after Dan McIntyre was sent off with a major penalty and a game misconduct for checking Coquitlam’s Christian MacDougall into the boards from behind after just 23 seconds had been played.
The Express tied it on that same powerplay when Wyatt Head was able to convert a passing play from Massimo Rizzo and Greg Lapointe.
Matthew Craza put the Capitals up 2-1 5:57 into the second period.
Coquitlam tried desperately to equalize, especially in the third period when the team fired 20 shots at Cowichan goalie Zach Borgiel, but he was equal to the task and earning the game’s first star for his efforts.
Jack Watson and Joe Howe — making his debut for the Express — stopped 22 of the 24 shots they faced in Coquitlam’s net.
Against the Chiefs on Friday, Connor Gregga scored the tying goal with 2:09 left in the third period but after neither team was able to score in the five-minute overtime, Chilliwack had the edge, 3-2, in the shootout.
Cooper Connell and MacDougall scored Coquitlam’s other goals and Clay Stevenson made 32 saves in the Express net.
It was Coquitlam’s second loss in less than a week to the Chiefs, which also beat the Express 6-1 on Jan. 11, snapping the team’s 17-game winning streak.