The Coquitlam Express opened the second half of the season by over taking the Nanaimo Clippers in the standings with a 6-4 win and taking posession of a Coastal Conference playoff spot.
Wednesday's game was the first of 6 head to head meetings between the Express and Clippers in the second half of the season. The Express took the first meeting 5-3 at the Frank Crane Arena in Nanaimo back in November.
Taylor Bourne opened the scoring with his 8th of the season from Malcom Mckinney.
Alex Kerfoot helped set up Dante Godhino who scored his 3rd goal with the Express with a slick feed from behind the net. The assist was just the first indication that it was going to be a really good night for the first year Express forward.
Nanaimo responded 5 minutes later as Graeme McCormick blasted a slap shot past the glove of Cole Huggins on a 5 on 3 powerplay.
Just over a minute later the Express re-stored their two goal lead and it was Kerfoot scoring for his second point of the game.
The Express did take a two goal lead to the second period. It may have been a different story were it not for Cole Huggins who turned aside 18 of 19 Clipper shots in the first period.
Coquitlam opened the second period on the powerplay and made it count. John Siemer showed his great hands as he danced to the net and deked past Billy Faust and slid the puck home.
The goal spelled the end of the night for Faust who was pulled in favour of Christopher Eiserman after Faust allowed 4 goals and 14 shots.
Eiserman got a tough bounce off the hop as Zach Hodder scored from behind the net as he banked it in off the back of the goaltender and it literally had just enough steam to slide across the goal line.
Graeme McCormick scored his second of the night as he blasted another shot past Huggins to cut the Express lead to three entering the third.
Nanaimo kept pressing to open the final frame and Josh Bryan scored in the opening minute and that goal was followed 6 minutes later by a goal by Luke Gordon on a 2 on 1 to cut what was a 4 goal Express lead down to 1.
The Express got another break to give them some insurance as John Siemer banked a puck from the corner off Eiserman and in the net.
It was tough to see the goals go in for Eiserman who made a number of quality saves that allowed the Clippers to get back into the game.
Alex Kerfoot picked up his second assist and third point of the game on the Siemer goal. That capped off what may have been the best game i've seen Kerfoot play either in the BCHL or at the World Junior A Challenge. He did it all for the Express on this night. Every time he was on the ice, the puck was on his stick and the Clippers couldn't get it from him. Kerfoot's puck skills created chances what seemed like every shift on the ice. He drew a powerplay in the second period and had a key defensive play in the third period.
The Express rookie displayed puck possession and patience that resembeled the confidence of how Henrik Sedin distributes the puck. His vision and ability to create chances was something else. I can't say enough about what I saw from him on this night.
The win moved the Express into 4th place in the Coastal Conference. Nanaimo fell from 4th to 6th with the loss in addition to Cowichan Valley falling 5-0 to Victoria.
The Express will play their final game before the Christmas break Friday vs. the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.