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Back at it against the Grizzlies on the Express’ Fan Appreciation Day

One last chance to get your ducks in a row for the playoffs. One last chance to tune up and show out before the intensity kicks it up to another gear. One last chance to show how you have the ability to get going when the going gets tough.

It’s the final game of the regular season for both Coquitlam and Victoria as they go at one another again at the Train Station. Fan Appreciation is the sentiment from the Express this afternoon as there will be a BBQ pregame, plenty of giveaways throughout and then after the contest will be the player awards.

A six goal first period kicked off last night’s game and the seesaw never stopped tilting till the final whistle. The Express had a game their defense would like back with multiple of the goals Victoria managed coming off second and third chance opportunities. With the offence scoring four goals for the first time since January 26th, that game should have been open and shut if the usual goals against average was realized. Slip ups happen and that’s ok, the real test is taking the game last night in stride and buckling down today. If you have a rough game in the postseason there is no time to fret.

A player to watch for the Express this afternoon will be Sebastian Bradshaw. Last night he was helping drive the offence with his ability to carry the puck with speed. Combine that with his size and strength to attack the larger Grizzlies squad, it was a welcome sight. Bradshaw hasn’t been lighting up the scoresheet this season but has certainly contributed in other ways. To see his game show offensive flashes like that and generate scoring chances is a great sign with the hunt for the Fred Page looming.

Another guy who will without a doubt have a jump in his step is Cale Colwell. The former Fraser Valley Thunderbird scored his first BCHL goal last night and then 10 minutes later added another. Both goals came from going hard to the net and finding the puck through the chaos and traffic. A big night to say the least and a glimmer of the depth scoring the Express have been yearning for.

Richard Baran had a great game for the Grizzlies on the back end. He notched two primary assists and contributed a solid defensive showing. The Slovakian made it tough for the Express to cleanly enter the zone with several solid poke checks to the players entering over the blueline. That was a common theme amongst the Grizzlies blueliners. Being very smart with the placement of their sticks made Coquitlam work hard to protect the puck upon zone entry.

Board battles will also be important this afternoon. The Express did a great job of winning the competitions for the puck along the boards, especially in the offensive zone to generate more opportunities. Victoria will need to leverage their size advantage and earn more victories in that area if they want repeated success today.

If you aren’t able to make it out for the Fan Appreciation festivities, then be sure to join myself and the broadcast crew on FloHockey for the 3pm opening faceoff.


– Ian Wilson