Massimo Rizzo scored the game winner 2:15 into overtime to give the Coquitlam Express a 4-3 win over the Surrey Eagles, Friday at the South Surrey Arena.
Rizzo, who missed last Sunday’s game against Powell River with an injury, swooped in from the right side and put the puck past Eagles’ goalie Thomas Scarfone for his sixth goal of the season.
The win kept the Express atop the BC Hockey League standings, one point ahead of the Penticton Vees. Both teams have played 25 games.
Surrey, in last place in the Mainland division with 20 fewer points than the Express, scored twice in the first period despite being outshot by the visitors, 15-9.
Coquitlam’s Cooper Connell halved the deficit 1:04 into the second period, just five seconds after the team wasn’t able to convert its only power play opportunity on the night.
Greg Lapointe got the Express back on even terms with his13th goal of the season but Surrey reclaimed the lead 12:08 into the third period. It lasted just a minute and 18 seconds. That’s when Danny Pearson fired a shot in from the left face-off circle that handcuffed Scarfone, bounced high into the air and then found its way into the Eagles net.
Clay Stevenson made 21 saves to earn his 15th win of the season against just two losses.
The Express return to the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex tonight after four games on the road (although the game in Port Alberni was postponed). They host the Vernon Vipers at 7 p.m. It’s the first of a five-game home stand that will take the team through the end of November.