Express to open with three games on the road

Summer has just started, but the Coquitlam Express will be playing hockey in 67 days.

The Express open their BC Junior Hockey League season Sept. 7, with a game against the Langley Rivermen at the George Preston Arena.

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The team’s first home game at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex won’t come until after they’ve played on the road three times. Coquitlam will host the Chilliwack Chiefs Sept. 21. That kicks off a run of five consecutive games on home ice before the Express board the bus again.

Once again this season, the Express will host two mid-week nooners — on Dec. 18 and Jan. 22 — both against the defending Fred Page and Doyle cup champion Prince George Cougars.

Unlike last season, when the Express played six straight games on the road to open their schedule, Coquitlam’s longest stretch away from home ice this season will be four games, which they’ll do twice — Nov. 8 to 15 and Jan. 3 to 11.

The team’s longest home stand will be comprised of eight games, from Nov. 16 to Dec. 8.

Coquitlam’s regular season ends Feb. 22, with the second of two games in two nights in Prince George against the Spruce Kings.

New captain, alternates

The Express also recently announced the team’s new captain and alternate captains for the coming season.

Defenceman Drew Cooper will wear the “C”, while his alternates will be forwards Josh Wildauer and Connor Gregga. A third alternate will be named after training camp, said Express coach and general manager, Jason Fortier.

Cooper scored five goals and added 10 assists in 46 games in his first season with the Express. He was also named the team’s most improved player.

“Cooper is a warrior with offensive talent,” Fortier said, adding he’s earned respect both on and off the ice.

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