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Coquitlam and the Moms hit the road for the Coliseum as the Chiefs and Express go back-to-back

Tonight at the Coliseum the Express and Chiefs run it back as the rematch is scheduled for 6pm in Chilliwack. Last night was nothing short of spectacular with both teams giving this rivalry another storied chapter. Now Chilliwack is the team who needs to respond after failing to put up a performance fitting of their recent form.

The Express rose from the ashes last night and played one of the best games they have put together all season. It was hard to find a weak link in the chain as they competed in the defensive end and dictated the pace on several occasions. Perhaps most impressive was their care and control in the neutral zone. They battled to win pucks and shut down drives to the offensive zone with efficiency that was applauded by the coaching staff post game. Playing on the bigger rink in Chilliwack tonight is going to mean that commitment to the neutral zone is so much more important as both teams will have extra room to operate and find ways to probe the attacking end.

The bigger rink also opens up more chances for the speed of the Express to build momentum heading downhill. Coquitlam has often faired well at the Coliseum using the big sheet to create and dazzle on the rush. Chilliwack will be tasked with containing that speed and weathering the storm that will inevitably be fed by the home win at the Train Station less than 24 hours ago.

Patrick Reilly made his debut last night for the Express and looked like he had been wearing the Train on his chest for the entire season. He fit into the system like a well-oiled cog and was exactly what he needed to be. His defence alongside Ben Feenan was superb with a calm calculated presence that shut down some of the best offensive lineups Brian Maloney crafted. Speaking of Feenan, he was one of the secret weapons for Coquitlam as the former Chilliwack Chief certainly had some insight into the minds of his opponents last night.

A player to watch tonight for Coquitlam is Jospeh Odyniec. Big Joe scored his first career shorthanded goal last night in flashy fashion to cap off a rather impressive penalty killing effort. Associate Coach Jeff Wagner highlighted in the post game interview how quickly Odyniec has taken to the PK role with the Express since being added to the special team about a month ago. With the Express sporting the second-best PK in the league up to this point, a share of that glory belongs to the recent efforts of the Washington, DC product. Odyniec’s success against the Chiefs is well documented and started all the way back in September when he notched his first two career BCHL goals out at the Coliseum.

The Chiefs are nothing if not adaptable when it comes to taking a kicking and come back firing on all cylinders. Coquitlam did a great job of shutting down the swagger Chilliwack brought with the five-game win streak, but now the Express will contend with the home side’s desire to get back on the right foot. Expect the Chiefs to make the necessary adjustments tonight at home as they still hunt for second place in the Coastal.

Make your way down to the Chilliwack Coliseum for the 6pm puck drop or tune in on FloHockey with Vanni Di Bartolo and Tyler Garrah as Coquitlam vie for another Moms’ weekend sweep just like last year.


– Ian Wilson