Coquitlam Express offence shines in blowout victory over Surrey Eagles

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Story and photos by Alex Rodgerson/ISN BCHL Coquitlam Express vs Surrey Eagles
Story and photos by Alex Rodgerson/ISN
After dropping three of their first four games to start the BCHL regular season earlier this month, the Coquitlam Express have now won four straight games as the Express demolished the Surrey Eagles at the Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex on Wednesday night. For the Eagles, they came into the game having dropped all but one of their first six contests, while looking to build on their first victory of the year just a few nights prior against the Vernon Vipers. However, Coquitlam’s offence would prove to be too much, putting up a season-high eight goals on route to their fourth consecutive win.

The game would get off to a feisty start as Surrey’s Chase Stevenson would get tangled up with Express captain Troy Robillard right in front of the Coquitlam net, with Robillard putting the Eagles forward in a headlock and pulling him down to the ice. An early scrum would develop and Robillard would head to the box, putting the Eagles to their first powerplay just sixteen seconds in. The Eagles would work a strong down low play with the man advantage but would be unsuccessful in generating any serious scoring chances.

Just a few minutes later, after Coquitlam’s Drew Cooper would head to the box to put the Express down a man again, a miscue in the Eagles’ zone would lead to Minnesota native Christian Sanda stealing the puck from Surrey goaltender Daniel Davidson and depositing it into the empty net, putting the Express ahead by a one on the short-handed goal.Midway through the first period despite being down a goal, Surrey would hold a 15-5 advantage in shots. Coquitlam would press back after killing their third penalty of the period, hitting the crossbar on a deflected shot and continuing to push the pace.

Story and photos by Alex Rodgerson/ISN BCHL Coquitlam Express vs Surrey Eagles
Story and photos by Alex Rodgerson/ISN
BCHL Coquitlam Express vs Surrey Eagles
At the 14:50 mark of the period Coquitlam’s Dallas Farrell, who is committed to the University of Maine for next season, would strike to put the Express up by two. Farrell would take a feed at the bottom of the circle before snapping home a quick shot for his first of two on the night. With the Eagles still attempting to catch their breath, Coquitlam would add another when a screened shot by Cole Edgerton would find its way passed Eagles’ goalie Davidson, chasing him from the net and bringing in backup goalie Cayden Bailey with 4:04 remaining in the period. Surrey’s Corey Clifton would get the Eagles best chance of the first, breaking in alone on Express goalie Kolby Matthews and looking to go five hole before Matthews would shut the door for one of his eighteen first period saves.

The Express would come out to start the second period with the same energy as they had to end the first, nearly making it 4-0 when the Express captain Robillard would jump into the play and take a pass from Christian Sanda, only to have the puck roll off his stick at the last moment. Just minutes later an elbowing call would send the Express to their second powerplay of the evening, however they would be unable to register a shot during the advantage. As the period would progress, Surrey would continue to generate opportunities at the net, however Coquitlam’s pinching defence would constantly intercept the Eagles’ odd man rushes before they could materialize.

The Express would then explode in the late goings of the second period, scoring three times in the final 2:29 to stretch their lead to 6-0 on goals by Alex DiPaolo, Josh Wildauer and Christian Sandas’ second of the night.  With his goal Wildauer continues his point-a-game pace for the Express, while notching his fourth tally of the young season. The period would mercifully come to a close with Surrey still outshooting Coquitlam 37-33, yet with nothing to show for it. Neither team would have anything to show for their powerplay opportunities heading into the third period, with Surrey 0-4 and Coquitlam 0-3.

To start the third period both teams would exchange early opportunities with neither team able to cash in. Surrey would hit their 40th shot of the night just after the five minute mark of the final frame, but would still be unable to beat Coquitlam goaltender Kolby Matthews. At the other end, Express forward Chase Danol would find room to the left of the Surrey goalmouth and snap a high shot that would beat Cayden Bailey to officially put the game into blowout territory and putting Coquitlam ahead by a converted touchdown. Things would continue to get worse when Farrell would score his second of the night, stealing the puck right in front of the Eagles net and snapping a shot stick side to extend the Express lead to eight.

Story and photos by Alex Rodgerson/ISN BCHL Coquitlam Express vs Surrey Eagles
Story and photos by Alex Rodgerson/ISN
BCHL Coquitlam Express vs Surrey Eagles

Late in the game tempers would begin to flare, resulting in Coquitlam’s Hunter Alden getting tossed from the game with exactly sixty seconds left. As refs would attempt to get control on the very next play the nastiness would continue as Eagles’ big hitter Brayden Shaw would be shown the door for a hit to the head. After a few words were exchanged between benches, eventually cooler heads would then prevail as time would run out. The Express would take this one by a final of 8-0.

Coquitlam’s Jordan Shulting was noticeable and impressive all night, showing excellent vision and picking up three assists in the game. A native of Penticton, the play-making defenceman would lead almost every Express powerplay, executing excellent zone entry and controlling the pace. He now has seven points from the back-end in just eight games so far this season.

The Express are back in action on Friday night when they take on the Langley Rivermen at the Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex, looking to make it five consecutive victories.

ISN Scouting Report:

Coquitlam Express – F Christian Sanda
Powerful skater, strong on the puck, makes skilled plays in tight and rarely loses a puck battle in the offensive zone.
Surrey Eagles – F Eric Linell
Skilled two-way forward plays a strong 200-foot game, makes good decisions with the puck, solid board play and physicality.

Game Notes:

Coquitlam Express:
-Great team defence, good gap control and strong ability to close up passing lanes.
-Did not have a strong start to the game, but came on strong in the final forty minutes.
Surrey Eagles:
-Good forward group but d-men struggle to make plays.
-Needs to transition more quickly on offence and work to create better passing lanes on the rush.

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