by Eddie Gregory
The Express kept their strong start rolling Wednesday by defeating the Merritt Centennials by a 6-3 score to improve their record to 5-1 on the season. Click here for boxscore
Four different players paced the attack with multi point nights. Led by Adam Trotman who scored his first two BCHL goals while adding an assist.
The game marked the return to Coquitlam for the first time for Barry Wolff as the Head Coach of the Centennials. He saw his team test Clay Stevenson with the first four shots of the game. Plus a shot off the goal post by Rylan Van Unen in the opening minute.
Ryan Tattle quickly helped turn the tables in the Express favour by taking a pass from Greg Lapointe after he took a hard hit in the neutral zone and Tattle drove hard to the net from the right wing holding off a Centennials defender and stuffing it past Tanner Marshall for Tattle’s 1st BCHL goal.
Daniel Tkac pulled Merritt even following up on a Chase Nameth rush who had the puck poked off his stick by Clay Stevenson and Tkac snapped a shot past Stevenson’s glove to tie the game at 1.
An unfortunate bounce led to Merritt’s lone lead of the night. Off a won face-off by Adam Trotman in the Express zone to the right of Clay Stevenson, the puck bounced and trickled past Clay Stevenson for a 2-1 Merritt lead. Matt Osadick was credited with his first BCHL goal.
The Express entered the second period with nearly a full two minute powerplay with Rylan Van Unen in the box for high sticking. Then in the opening minute of the 2nd period Troy Quinn was whistled for boarding giving the Express a two man advantage for 1:28.
Right from the get go the Express powerplay was dialled in looking for the equalizer. Steven Bellini and Noah De La Durantaye were unloading shots from the point. Then Bellini changed things up dishing a great pass to Adam Trotman who roofed a shot from a tight angle for his 1st BCHL goal to tie the game at 2.
1:22 later James Bohn made a great play at the Merritt blueline to hold the zone, he then poked the puck to Danny Pearson who turned and scored his 4th of the season with a shot over the glove of Tanner Marshall and a 3-2 Express lead.
Noah De La Durantaye potted the third Express goal in a span of 5:20 lurking around the Merritt net where he found a loose puck bounce to him where he buried his second of the season on the powerplay and a 4-2 Express lead. The powerplay finished 2 for 6 on the night.
Each team had lengthy two man advantages in the second period. The Express made theirs count early in the period. Then when they had to defend a Merritt two man advantage the Express penalty killers rose to the occasion. Merritt’s advantage was for 1:28 and they peppered Clay Stevenson with a number of shots. But each time they were denied by a number of quality pad saves by Stevenson to preserve the Express lead. That was the highlight on a perfect 6 for 6 night for the Express penalty killers.
Midway through the 3rd Greg Lapointe took a high stick on a rush into the Merritt zone. He thought it warranted a penalty which wasn’t called. So he just kept playing and moments later he took a pass from Addison Macey alone in front of the net and beat Marshall on a backhand for a 5-2 Express lead.
Three minutes later the Express lead was again cut to a pair after Payton Matsui slid the puck under Clay Stevenson to make it a 5-3 game.
1:25 later Adam Trotman capped off his three point night taking a pass out of the corner from Ryan Tattle and snapping home his second of the game. Tattle finished with one goal and an assist. In each of the Express first 5 wins this season at least one player has scored a pair of goals.
The shots finished 39-33 in favour of the Express. The 39 shots is a season high on the young season. Saturday will see two hot teams go head to head as the Express will host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks who are a perfect 6-0 entering Wednesday’s play.