Express win streak derailed by Chiefs

The Coquitlam Express didn’t have much to show in the team’s first game at the BC Hockey League’s annual Showcase.

The Express lost to the Chilliwack Chiefs, 4-1, in the climactic game of the event’s second day, that features all the league’s teams playing regular-season games in one location to accommodate scouts. The Showcase shifts to Penticton for two more days of games beginning tonight.

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Coquitlam opened the scoring  on a powerplay 13 minutes into the first period when Connor Gregga completed a three-way passing play with Massimo Rizzo and Steven Bellini. It was Gregga’s first goal of the season.

The margin held up until early in the third period. Brett Willits tied the score 4:25 into the frame, then Joey Larson and Kyle Penney scored 15 seconds apart midway through to put the Chiefs in front. Ethan Bowen rounded out the scoring with an empty-netter with five seconds left to play.

Coquitlam’s loss was its first in six games and allowed the Chiefs to climb two points behind the Express in the Mainland division standings. Coquitlam leads with 14 points in nine games, while Chilliwack has 12 points in 10 games.

The Express will play the Salmon Arm Silverback in its second Showcase game, Saturday at 10 a.m., at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

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