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Coquitlam Express downed by Rivermen
The Coquitlam Express are looking to find the chemistry to ignite an offensive spark as the clock ticks down on the start of a new B.C. Hockey League season.
The Express dropped a home-and-home series to the Rivermen on the weekend, falling 4-1 Saturday night in Langley before being blanked 3-0 Sunday afternoon at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex.
“When you get limited goal production in two games in exhibition when it’s usually more wide-open high scores… it’s definitely something we’re worried about,” said head coach Barry Wolff.
Adam Rockwood was the only player to find the net over the weekend for the Express, who dressed a youthful lineup both games.
“We went with some guys we wanted to get into some game situations that we felt were a year away,” said Wolff. “We dressed four guys in each game that were veteran guys, they had like 17. Not that that should be a excuse because we need to score goals.”
Of the 40 players to suit up for the Express over the weekend, Wolff said about 25 have now been released. The roster had been whittled down to 28 players when the Express squared off with the Chilliwack Chiefs Tuesday night in Hope.
While a couple of the younger players are being kept on the roster to give them valuable experience, Wolff said there are still some intense battles going on for the final couple of spots.
“We hope to (get down to the final number) as soon as possible just to get the team gelling together and start working on systems more,” said Wolff, who expects to be down to a 22-man roster for the exhibition finale against the Powell River Kings Friday night at the Poirier arena.
The first-year coach is happy with what he’s seen so far in the Express camp.
“We’ve got strong character and that’s something we tried to install from day one: hard working, the desire to compete and win the battles,” said Wolff. “So far they’ve bought in and have reached the level we were expecting, at least at practice anyway. We’ll see if we can transform that into game time.”
l The Port Moody Panthers let a 3-1 third-period lead slip away in a 5-4 loss to the Aldergrove Kodiaks Sunday afternoon at the Port Moody Arena.
The loss drops the Panthers’ Pacific Junior Hockey League exhibition record to 2-3. The Panthers opened the exhibition season with an 8-1 win over the Grandview Steelers. Port Moody lost to the Mission City Outlaws 8-4 Thursday and split a pair with the North Vancouver Wolf Pack, winning 4-2 Friday before falling 7-2 on Saturday. The Panthers are back in action Sept. 7 when they host the Abbotsford Pilots at 7:45 p.m.