The Coquitlam Express entered their Thursday night meeting with the Powell River Kings coming off of an overtime victory the night before against the Surrey Eagles. The boys got the job done in the back-to-back situation, dethroning the Kings in a 5-4 shootout win.
It was a tight-checking first period that saw each team tally a goal, including Ryan Suzukovich’s first BCHL goal that came on a breakaway with just 20 seconds left on the clock.
The second frame was a sloppy one for the Express, as they took three of their seven penalties in the game and gave up two power play goals to the Kings. Undisciplined play has been a recurring theme for the Express – they are now the second-most penalized team in the BCHL, as they’ve been shorthanded a whopping 38 times in eight games.
The third period started off knotted at three and it was a period reminiscent of the first period, with the teams taking a much more passive approach than that of the wide-open second period. Each team would chalk up a goal and go into overtime tied up at four. Remarkably, this is the Express’ fourth trip to the extra frame in their last five outings. Overtime saw some great chances for both sides, but no twine was found, so the Express ended up going to their first shootout of the season. Keeton Oakley found the game-winner in the fifth round of the shootout, as he walked in and ripped a shot over the shoulder of the Kings’ netminder.
It was a night of depth, as the Express saw seven different players find the scoresheet. Notably, rookie defender Matthew Campbell had a very strong game – he was in the rush, played physically, and seemed to find his offensive touch, chipping in two helpers. The North Vancouver native earned the Sharon Perry & Associates Player of the Game Award.
Once again, Dylan Kruss was sharp between the pipes and made some timely saves, including a handful on the penalty kill in the third period to ensure his squad got into the extra period.
The Express will get tomorrow off and then get back to it on Saturday in a matinee tilt with the Surrey Eagles – the first half of yet another back-to-back situation. Puck drop is at 1:00PM.