It was non-stop end to end action all night long with the Battle of the Port Mann Bridge happening right here at home with the Mainland division cup winning Surrey Eagles coming to town, looking to continue their dominance of the Express at Poirier dating back to early 2020.
The Eagles came out red hot in the first period sending 10 shots Manji’s way in the first 16 minutes of action, compared to the Express’ 2 at that point. It wasn’t until just over 2 minutes remaining in the period where Tyler Kopff opened the scoring with his 18th goal of the season to send the Express to the dressing room with a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of action.
It was a quieter second period for the Eagles but the Express didn’t let their slow start get in the way of extending the lead as once again late in the period, they scored their second goal of the night with our AP call up Kye Benoche scoring his first BCHL goal to extend the lead to 2 after 40 minutes.
In the third period the Eagles stepped up their game, it felt as if the Express were put fully on their heels with the pressure and pace of play that Surrey had brought for the final 20 minutes. Numerous chances came Manji’s way very quickly to start the period and it was only a stupendous tic-tac-toe passing play, finished by Jacob Bonkowski, that broke Manji’s shutout with 12:13 remaining in the third period. The Eagles’ pressure didn’t stop there as they continued pressuring Manji and the Express but they could not get past him again, even with extended time in the offensive zone after pulling their goalie, as the Express hung on to win 2-1 in regulation.
Special congratulations to Kye Benoche for scoring not only his first goal in the BCHL but also his first game winning goal in the BCHL!
The Express take to the road for the next 2 weeks making stops in Surrey on March 3rd, Trail on the 10th, West Kelowna on the 11th and then their final regular season away game comes against Langley on March 17th.
The Coquitlam Express will return to the Train Station on March 18th to take on the Victoria Grizzlies, which could very well be their first playoff round matchup.
Be sure to skip the line at the box office and purchase your tickets for March 18th’s game online at https://www.coquitlamexpress.ca/tickets .