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Express Hold Off Silverbacks in OT

by Jacob Lazare

The Express took things beyond 60 minutes for the first time this season on Saturday night, and Cooper Connell proved to be the hero over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Click here for the boxscore. 

The teams skated to a scoreless first period, with the level of physicality creating a playoff type atmosphere on the ice. Players on both sides seemed tentative at times; they played to not make mistakes. That changed in the second period, where special teams became prominent.

Seven penalties in the second period gave each team opportunities with an extra man, and Noah De La Durantaye’s third powerplay goal of the season gave the Express at 1-0 lead after 40 minutes.

Noah De la Durantaye Coquitlam Express
Noah De la Durantaye – Photo from Damon James

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The powerplays continued for both sides into the third period. Salmon Arm tied the game up at 1 with a powerplay goal courtesy the BCHL’s leading scorer Noah Wakeford. It took all but 5 minutes for the Express to find themselves back on the powerplay, and with a 5 on 3 opportunity, Bradley Ong put the Express back ahead, albeit only briefly. The Silverbacks remained scrapy, and Jayden Price brought the visitors even once again. The 2-2 stalemate held up through regulation time.

Cooper Connell, Ryan Tattle and Noah De La Durantaye took to the ice to start 3 on 3 OT for the Express, and 29 seconds into the extra frame, Connell showed some patience off the wing and fired a shot over Dylan Kruss to win the game for Coquitlam.

The win kept the Express perfect on home ice, and improved the overall record to 6 – 1. Clay Stevenson stopped 28 of 30 shots for his 5 win of the campaign. It is a quick turnaround with Alberni Valley in town Sunday afternoon as the Express conclude their 5 game homestand.