The Coquitlam Express were in Merritt Friday night to take on the Centennials and they managed to come away with a 7-6 overtime victory in a nail-biter of a hockey game!
The first 20 minutes of play was fairly even, with each team controlling one half of the frame – the Centennials owned the first 10 minutes as they scored twice and the Express won the last 10 with a goal of their own. The Express got two looks on the powerplay but just couldn’t execute. With that being said, they did outshoot the Centennials 14-12 in the period and seemed to improve as the 20 minutes went on. The Centennials carried a 2-1 lead
The second period was very action-packed as six goals would end up being scored – each team found three to round out a 5-4 score after 40. The Express scored a pair of shorthanded goals and also added a powerplay goal in the period as they began to take over the special teams battle. Ryan Tattle was all over the scoresheet in this one and he added a pair of helpers in the frame. This period was wide open with both teams trading high-quality chances. The Centennials outshot the Express 11-9 in this period to even the shots at 23 aside after 40 minutes of play. The Centennials found the go-ahead goal with just 58 seconds left in the middle period and looked to carry that momentum into the final period of play.
The third period saw the Centennials extend their lead to 6-4 early in the third period but that’s where there scoring ended. The Express would go on to add another powerplay goal courtesy of James Bohn, and they also saw Jayden Sison find his second shorthanded goal of the evening to tie things up at six. This was in the midst of a five-minute penalty kill that featured both 4-on-3 and 5-on-3 stints for the Centennials – the Express were down at least a man for five of the final six minutes of regulation. After 60 minutes, the score was tied and the shots were dead even at 33 aside.
In overtime, Sison found his third goal of the night with a short side snipe over the shoulder of the Centennials netminder! It wasn’t a pretty victory by any stretch of the imagination, but the boys got the job done. In our pregame article, we talked about this being a building block game for the Express and it was – they trailed after 20 minutes, after 40 minutes, and the majority of the third period, and they still managed to find a way to get the victory. The powerplay was working as they found a pair of goals and the penalty kill wasn’t too shabby either, potting three of their own! The Express won the special teams battle, despite carrying themselves with an overall lack of discipline.
The Express will look to continue their winning ways tomorrow night when they visit the Prince George Spruce Kings!
#AllAboard | #WeAreAllExpress