Two coastal conference teams looking to right the ship are set to lock horns at the Train Station this evening, puck drop scheduled for 7pm. The Express come back home for two games this weekend after dropping a 5-4 decision to Prince George Wednesday while Powell River is riding a four-game losing skid heading into this contest.
Both Coquitlam and Powell River share a similar goal differential, the big difference is that the Express have had a better defensive side allowing 9 less than the Kings. They’ll need that defensive acumen to hold true tonight with the opposition’s top unit of Lucarelli, Yu and Eyre having a great season together sporting 16, 22 and 23 points respectively. The wheels fell off the bus a bit on Wednesday against the Spruce Kings with the Express allowing five goals before they were able to buckle down and find their defensive rhythm. The goalscoring attempted to dig the Express out of the hole they found themselves in but it came at too late a turnaround. The good news is that this team showcased it still has the resiliency to battle back when down near the end of games, the bad news is they keep putting themselves in positions where that resiliency is tested.
Coquitlam got out of the gates on fire last time the Kings were in town. A three-goal outburst in the first 15 minutes paved the way to a 3-2 win. The offence continued to buzz for the rest of the night, they just couldn’t convert. It speaks well to the Express’ ability to read Powell River and shut down their potent offensive breakout. And as we know with the Kings, they have been a great team at breaking the ice all season, often scoring first in their contests.
Last game out between these two sides saw Ethan Simcoe put in a great performance at the back end. He stopped 31 of 33 on his way to picking up the Fortis BC Energy Player of the Game honours and keeping his BCHL record perfect so far. It will be interesting to see if Simcoe gets the nod again this evening or if Adam Manji gets a shot at redemption after the Wednesday night affair in Prince George. To Manji’s credit some of the goals were out of his control with the Express defence giving up multiple 2-on-1’s. Manji has had some great early season performances, but there’s still a couple strides left yet as he looks to return to the form he had prior to the season ending injury earlier this year (end of the 22-23 season).
Tonight also kicks off the Express’ Parents Weekend! Always an exciting time around the Train Station when the loved ones of the players from across the Globe come and watch the boys play. Expecting a lot of smiling faces and even greater memories as we welcome the people that have gone to great lengths to help these players become the standouts we see on the ice every night.
EXPRESS – 7W 7L 1OTL – 43GF 54GA – 198 PIMS
GOALS – Joseph Odyniec (7)
ASSISTS – Drew Garzone and Cole Melady (10)
KINGS – 4W 11L 2OTL – 53GF 63GA – 205PIMS
GOALS – Alexi Van Houtte-Cachero (10)
ASSISTS – Noah Eyre and Anthony Yu (16)