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Express take commanding lead
The Langley Rivermen have a tough road ahead of them after dropping the first two games on home ice in the BCHL’s Mainland Division final.
The Coquitlam Express came into the George Preston Recreation Centre — the Rivermen were forced to switch venues with the Langley Events Centre hosting provincial basketball championships last week — and skated away with 4-2 and 2-1 victories.
The series switched to Coquitlam’s Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex for games three and four last night and tonight (Tuesday).
The big difference in the series has been Express goaltender Gordie Defiel. He made 36 saves each night and is tops among all post-season goaltenders with a 1.80 goals against average and a .948 save percentage.
In game one, the teams were tied at one after two periods thanks to first-period goals from Coquitlam’s Canon Pieper and Langley’s Cameron Bertsch.
The Express turned up the heat in the third period, out-shooting Langley 15-7 and out-scoring them 3-1.
Ryan Rosenthal and Cody Boyd scored five minutes apart and after James Robinson cut the lead down to a single goal, Boyd potted his second with 2:07 to play.
Game two saw the Express score twice in the opening period — Zach Hodder on a two-man advantage 2:39 in and Rosenthal in the final minute. Kevan Kilistoff got the Rivermen on the board with 6:32 to play, but Langley was unable to muster anything else.