The Coquitlam Express kick off their March schedule with a clash against the Langley Rivermen! Puck drop is at 7:00pm at the Train Station!
Coming off of back-to-back wins at the Train Station over the weekend, the Express are riding high and looking to pick up where they left off in February.
The Express come into this one 4-1-1 in their last six as they’ve really found their identity and have come together as a group. They’ve averaged 4.1 goals per game over that stretch and executed on 32% (8/25) of their powerplay opportunities. The Express did not lose in regulation at the Train Station in February.
Also hot as of late, the Coastal Conference-leading Rivermen are 4-2 in their last six with two of those wins going beyond 60 minutes of play.
Usually the defensive powerhouse, the Rivermen have seen an uptick in their goals-against department – they allowed five-or-more goals in 6/12 (50%) games in February, in comparison to only allowing five-or-more in 1/8 (12.5%) January contests.
Keys to Victory
The best way to defeat this club is to jump out to an early lead and then throw their own game right back in their face in the form of a neutral zone trap.
The Express’ recent elevated play of their forward group has breathed new life into this group. They are now showcasing a very fast, and very deep set of forwards that can score goals in a plethora of ways.
To illustrate their recent depth:
Captian Ryan Tattle has been an absolute menace lately as he’s tallied six goals and six assists in his last five games.
Tyler Kopff has four goals and four helpers in his last six outings.
Ray Hamlin has chalked up two goals and four assists in his previous three games.
Jayden Sison is a point-per-game in his last five.
From the back end, Matthew Campbell has three goals and five apples in his last six contests.
The Express have learned the benefit of stretching out the ice with their speedy forwards – they often send aerial passes or intentionally ice the puck for their forwards to skate onto and get behind their opponent’s defenders. As a game progresses, you’ll see the neutral zone becoming more and more open for the Express to skate through as their opponents are forced to be wary of those stretch plays.
Additionally, the Express have been deploying a 1-2-2 trap in the neutral zone once they capture a lead. With their speed, it’s very difficult for the other team to find and create open ice. Especially at the Train Station as the rink is slightly more narrow than various other barns around the league.
Tonight, Luke Roberts will be sidelined with an injury so it’ll be the previously mentioned Sison slotting in on the back end on a pairing with Campbell. It’s an interesting look, certainly, but that’s a lot of speed and skill on one pairing and one can expect the Express’ coaching staff to use that to their advantage.
Adam Manji will get the nod for the Express tonight as he seeks his second consecutive victory!
Click HERE for Game Day Program.
We’ll see you at the Train Station!
#AllAboard | #WeAreAllExpress