Express wrestle down Grizzlies

Greg Lapointe scored a pair of goals and Steve Bellini scored a goal and added two assists to lead the Coquitlam Express to a 5-1 win over the Victoria Grizzlies, Tuesday in Victoria.

The win puts the Express four points ahead of the Chiiliwack Chiefs in the battle for first place in the BC Hockey League’s Mainland division. Coquitlam has played one less game.

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After the teams exchanged goals a minute apart early in the first period, Coquitlam broke the game open with three unanswered goals in the second period.

Lapointe scored his second goal of the night 3:15 in, ripping a laser shot off the goal post and past Grizzlies’ starting goalie Blake Wood to put the visitors up 2-1.

A pass by NIck Carabin that banked in off Luke Burke put the Express up by two, then Bellini capped the surge with the first goal of the BCHL career to make it 4-1.

That was enough to chase Wood from Victoria’s net as he made way for backup Joe Howe to start the third period.

Tyler Schleppe rounded out the scoring, tapping in a rebound with less than eight minutes left in the third period.

Clay Stevenson made 28 saves to earn 11th win of the season.

The Express are in Nanaimo tonight for a game against the Clippers. They return home for a game Friday against West Kelowna, 7 p.m., at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.

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