For the first time this season the Express have lost consecutive games.
They dropped a pair of 4-3 decisions to the Westside Warriors in regulation Friday. And to the Merritt Centennials in overtime Saturday.
Friday, the Express had the lead on 3 seperate occasions, only to let it slip away.
Jason Grecica and Alex Petan scored first period powerplay goals.
But by the time the third period began, the Express were trailing 4-3. And the Warriors stifled the life out of the Express in their attempt to mount a comeback.
The Warriors aggresive forechecking and up ice pressure prevented the Express from getting a shot on goal until the 16 minute mark of the third period. And when they did get shots through, Kevin Boyle was there to shutdown the the Express attack. Boyle had 22 saves for his second win of the season.
Grayson Downing and Tyler Brickler each had 1 goal and 1 assist for the Warriors. Zac Ashdown led the Express attack with 3 points. 1 goal and 2 assists.
To quote Jon Calvano about the effort from his hockey club Friday, "Worst game of the season."
Well if Friday was bad in the eyes of the coach, the performance Saturday wasn't much better in Merritt.
The one win Centennials jumped all over the Express from the drop of the puck. Forcing them into defensive zone turnovers, bad break out passes and icings.
As a result, the Cents had jumped out to a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes. Merritt coming off 2 OT losses to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and Penticton Vees were gaining confidence, and they were rewarded for their hard work vs. the Express.
Matt Mazzarolo looked to spark his team by fighting Dylan Playfair early in the 2nd period.
The fight appeared to have the desired effect. Garrick Perry scored seconds later off a faceoff in the Merritt zone to get the Express on the board. Then just 10 seconds following Perry's goal, Massimo Lamacchia scored to pull the Express within one.
The two goals gave the Express life and they started to turn their play around. But weren't rewarded with the equalizer.
That didn't come until the final minute of the third period off a won faceoff in the Merritt zone. Alex Petan tipped a Garrick Perry shot to tie the game at 3 and force overtime.
The extra session didn't last long however. Brandon Pfiel the former Express AP came down the left wing and roofed a shot over the shoulder short side on Luke Hernandez for his second of the game to give Merritt just their 2nd win this season.
The two losses for Coquitlam was an opportunity lost to stay within striking distance of the Langley Chiefs and Powell River Kings for the top 2 positions in the Coastal Conference standings.
The Express are now 6 points back of Langley and are 2 back of Powell River. The Alberni Valley Bulldogs and Victoria Grizzlies are just 4 points back of Coquitlam but they have 4 and 3 games in hand on the Express.
The schedule doesn't get any easier for the Express as they travel to Langley to face the Coastal Conference leaders Thursday night.