First-period powerplay goals from William Lawrence and Troy Robillard, and a 30-save performance from Brock Hamm, lifted the Coquitlam Express to a 2-1 win over the visiting Vernon Vipers in B.C. Hockey League action Sunday afternoon in the Lower Mainland.
All of the scoring came in the opening 20 minutes.
Jesse Lansdell had given Vernon a 1-0 lead just 66 seconds after the puck drop, his 12th of the year. But that was all the offence the Vipers could manage against Hamm.
Lawrence tied the game at 11:52 with his third, and Robillard got the game-winner at 18:03.
Anthony Yamnitsky made 25 saves in his first start since Jan. 12.
The Express, 13-28-1-3, last in the Mainland Division and six points ahead of the Cowichan Valley Capitals for the league’s final playoff spot, swept the season series from the Vipers.
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Vernon, among four Interior Division teams that have already clinched post-season berths, is tied atop the division and the overall standings with the Penticton Vees. The Vipers are 29-12-1-4 while the Vees, who have three games in hand on Vernon, are 29-9-2-3.
The Vipers had an exhausting weekend. They arrived from Prince George (where they lost 2-1 Friday night) at about 6 a.m. Saturday, attended team owner Duncan Wray’s funeral and celebration of life that day, then got back on the bus for the 2 p.m. start Sunday in Coquitlam.
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Vernon wraps up a four-game road trip Friday in West Kelowna against the Warriors before returning to host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Saturday at 6 p.m. at Kal Tire Place.