The Coquitlam Express hosted the Alberni Valley Bulldogs at the Train Station Sunday evening for ‘Autism Awareness Night’!
Once again, the Express came out and played a very strong opening period hockey. They were moving their feet and looked sharp, particularly on the powerplay where they were given a couple of opportunities.
On their second attempt, Jayden Sison picked up a loose puck and went upstairs on the Bulldogs’ netminder to give the Express the lead 9:30 into the hockey game.
As they’ve done so often, the Express went into a 1-2-2 trap once they secured their lead. With their speed, it’s very difficult for their opponents to get behind them or penetrate their trap through the neutral zone.
Through 20 minutes of play, the Express were up 1-0 and outshot the Bulldogs 18-9.
In the middle frame, the physicality was ramped up significantly. Both teams were engaged, but it was the Bulldogs were noticeably finishing every single check. One could argue this was detrimental to the Bulldogs as they were given a clock-eating five penalties in the frame.
At the 4:06 mark of the second period, Matthew Campbell ripped home a cross-ice feed from Sison on the powerplay to give the Express a 2-0 lead.
Then, 7:52 into the frame, the Bulldogs were given their first and second powerplays of the night in the form of a 5-on-3 – they made no mistake and cashed in on the opportunity to get within one goal.
Penalties ate up most of the second period and no flow was really ever able to be established. After 40, the Express were up 2-1 and continued to lead the shots department 27-25.
There was no free ice in the third period as every square inch was contested. It was a tense atmosphere and the final frame was growing increasingly more chippy as it progressed.
With 8:51 remaining, the Bulldogs found some open ice and put one past Adam Manji to tie this one up.
However, with 5:52 remaining, Campbell was dumped in the corner by a forechecking Bulldog – blood was drawn and the Express were given a five-minute powerplay opportunity.
It was the red-hot captain Ryan Tattle who fire home a screened wrister from the point to give his team the 3-2 lead. All three of the Express’ goals came on the powerplay and they collectively went 3/9.
The Express would carry that 3-2 lead until the final buzzer to secure victories on back-to-back ni
The Express have really found their game in February as their depth scoring has been on display and their defensive systems have been paying off at the other end. They are 3-1-1 in their last five outings.
They were particularly dominant at home in February as they did not lose in regulation and ended up with an impressive 4-0-2 record at the Train Station.
The Express’ March schedule will kick off on the 2nd when they host the Langley Rivermen!
#AllAboard | #WeAreAllExpress