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Postgame Thoughts – Coquitlam Express @ Prince George Spruce Kings (11/13/21)

The Coquitlam Express were in Prince George Saturday night to take on the Spruce Kings and they came away with another victory to extend their winning streak!

The first period was relatively uneventful, but the Spruce Kings certainly had the edge in the period. They outshot the Express 14-5 in the opening frame and found the period’s lone goal on the powerplay – their man advantage came into this as the second-best in the BCHL, operating at 35.5%. The Express didn’t really find their footing in the first period, but they also didn’t lose it, as this game could have slipped away early if not for some timely saves and strong defensive play.

The second period, however, was extremely eventful. 12 penalties would end up being called in the period with a large portion being called in the final six minutes, causing a lot of delays. Confusion was abundant for both teams as they watched a seemingly endless parade to the sin bin. The Express would get a five-minute powerplay look to close out the period that featured extended 5-on-3 and 4-on-3 time – the Express would find a pair of goals on the man advantage, courtesy of Ryan Tattle and Matthew Campbell. After 40 minutes of play, the Express headed to the room leading by a score of 2-1. To this point in the contest, the Spruce Kings were 1/2 on the powerplay and the Express were 2/6 with their seventh powerplay spilling over into the third period.

The third period was truly the Connor Mackenzie show as the Toronto product held off a 15-minute push from the Spruce Kings – he made 18 of his 40 saves in the final 20 minutes of play. The captain, Arlo Merritt would eventually add an empty-net goal to seal the deal.

Mackenzie has been incredible as of late as he’s gone 2-0-1 in his last three starts and posted a remarkable .968 SV% over that stretch, accompanied by a 1.25 GAA over the same trio of games. He’s been the backbone of this team during this stretch of solid Express hockey.

Campbell had himself a terrific effort, too. He potted a goal and a helper in this one and now has three goals for six points in his last five games – not too shabby for a defender. Also on a tear lately is Tattle, who has chalked up one goal and four helpers in his last two games.

This Express group won the special teams battle once again Saturday night, as they potted two powerplay goals and only surrendered one to the second-best powerplay in the BCHL.

The boys are doing the little things right and as long as they keep that up, the wins will keep coming. Their next test will be on the 19th when they host the Trail Smoke Eaters.

#AllAboard | #WeAreAllExpress