The Coquitlam Express are set to take on the Surrey Eagles in their first regular-season contest of the 2021-22 campaign! Puck drop is at 7:00pm.
The Express posted a respectable 4-2 record in the preseason and started some very positive trends in the process, one of which was goalscoring – the Express averaged a healthy 4.1 goals per game over the preseason. Another trend that they’ll be hoping to continue from the preseason, is their victories over the Eagles as they toppled the birds in both of their meetings.
Tonight, the Express will be without the services of Matthew Campbell who is currently suspended – Lucas Lundy will be filling in on the third pairing for the Express. Also out of tonight’s lineup is Canisius College committed Christian MacDougall, 2005-born defender Brody Juck, and 2004-born forward Austin Montgomery-Parsons, who has been placed on the Express’ long-term injured reserve.
The Express’ top line is host to the Ryan Tattle & Arlo Merritt connection which had a very productive preseason and there’s no reason to expect that they can’t continue this in the regular season. This line is likely to get a lot of attention from the Eagles’ defenders, so the second line consisting of Brown-committed Tyler Kopff, Carter Cochrane, and Brendan Williams need to step up and find some offence of their own. They’re a big and fast line that should be a handful in the offensive zone if they can establish a cycle game.
This Express team’s defence is very well rounded and should be effective defensively with their size and experience, and also be able to contribute a healthy amount offensively. With Campbell out of the lineup tonight, Brown-committed Harry Meirowitz will likely see a lot of time on the man advantage for the Express.
Special teams execution on both sides of the puck will be very important this season, as it is every season. Calls are usually aplenty at the BCHL level and capitalizing on your opportunities can be the difference in a lot of hockey games.
Connor MacKenzie gets the nod for the Express between the pipes tonight – he played great in the preseason, particularly in the final game, and he’ll look to keep that going for the regular season.