by Eddie Gregory
Massimo Rizzo mixed in his first BCHL hat-trick as the Express scored six unanswered goals to defeat the Eagles 6-1. Click here for boxscore
The win was the 15th straight home win dating back to last season’s playoffs.
Surrey did something Friday that no team has done all year in Coquitlam and that is score first. Christophe Tellier poked home a loose puck for a powerplay goal to open the scoring. That would be the only puck to get past Jack Watson who made 23 saves for his 4th win of the season.
That goal woke the Express up who ramped up their energy and didn’t take long to tie it on a goal by Ethan O’Rourke who buried his own rebound for his 4th of the season.
The second period saw the Express pace ramp up even further and the Eagles had trouble keeping up with the hosts.
It didn’t take long for the offence to follow. A nice pass by Will Margel rink wide to Connor Gregga sprung a two on one with Massimo Rizzo, Gregga laid a perfect pass to Rizzo who showed great patience before finishing on the backhand for his first of the night.
In the dying moments of an Express powerplay Greg Lapointe walked in a ripped a shot short side over the shoulder of Tommy Scarfone for his team leading 16th of the season.
Then Rizzo showed Lapointe 45 seconds later he has a great shot as well ripping one over the shoulder of Scarfone for his second of the night and a 3-1 Express lead after two periods.
The third period had some similarities to Wednesday night vs. Penticton with a number of players dropping the gloves.
First it was Kabir Gill and Adamo Santia having a go. There was more of that to come as the period went along.
Josh Wildauer at the side of the Eagles net potted home a loose puck to open a 5-1 Express lead.
Then there was more fisticuffs. Brandon Santa Juana and Christian MacDougall went at it. That was followed just over a minute later by Steven Bellini and Christophe Tellier settling things while the Express were on the penalty kill.
The only question that remained was if Rizzo was going to get his first BCHL hat-trick. That was answered in the dying minutes of the game when Josh Wildauer dumped in the puck, Tommy Scarfone came out to play it but he had puck bounce off his stick right in front of the open net to Rizzo who pounced on the gift for his 3rd of the night. Rizzo is the first Express player this season to register a hat-trick.
The teams will get together again on Sunday afternoon in Coquitlam.