It wasn't an oil painting, nor was it easy to come by, but the Express used a 3rd period offensive outburst to get past the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 7-4.
The Express scored 4 times in the third to put it away.
The game set up well in the Express' favour. They had won the last 5 meetings with the Bulldogs. Alberni Valley started 15 year old goaltender Nathan Alaluof who plays for the Greater Vancouver Canadians of the BC Major Midget League.
Coquitlam did jump on the youngster early when Alex Petan jumped on the rebound of a Malcom McKinney slap shot to open the scoring just 44 seconds into the game.
They couldn't build on the momentum of the early goal. Yan Kalashnikov scored just under 5 minutes later to pull the Dogs even.
Walker Hyland scored to put Alberni Valley in the lead that they would carry into the second period.
Cole Huggins needed to be sharp to keep the Express close in the first period. He had 17 shots sent his way while the Express mustered just 11.
Another opening minute goal for the Express by Brady Shaw pulled the Express even. He buried the rebound of a Joona Kunnas shot off the end boards and put it in a gaping net.
Alex Petan put the Express ahead for a second time just over three minutes later. He was set up alone in front of the goal and slid it home for his 32nd of the year.
The lead lasted only 18 seconds as the Bulldogs came back and tied it up as Evan Tironese roofed it over Huggins off the rush.
The chances were there for the Express in the second period. The powerplay had its chances but had trouble setting up due to the up ice pressure from the Bulldogs penalty killers.
Mitchell Fyffe and Cody Michelle each put shots off the post in the period.
Alberni was unfortunate to have not finished off two breakaways in the period.
Finally a bounce went the Express way in the third period. Jason Brid dumped the puck in from centre ice, it bounced off a stanchion and through the legs of Alalouf.
Then in quick succession the Express finally put the Bulldogs to rest. Alex Kerfoot scored twice in a span of 26 seconds to put the Express up by 3. Both goals were set up by Brady Shaw and John Siemer.
Trent Dorais did score shortly after Kerfoot's tallies to bring Alberni Valley back within two to cap off a run of 3 goals in 1:04.
Malcom Mckinney rounded out the scoring on a wraparoud with the Express on the powerplay late in the third period.
The top two lines did most of the damage for the Express. Alex Petan along with linemate Malcom Mckinney combined for 3 goals and 2 assists. Brady Shaw, John Siemer and Alex Kerfoot meanwhile combined for 3 goals of their own and 3 assists for 6 points.
The win was capped off a season series between the two clubs that saw the Express win the final 6 meetings after losing the first contest back in Alberni Valley.
Alberni Valley outshot the Express 37-34. And one of the strange anomalies of the season series dominated by the Express, Alberni Valley outshot the Express in each of the 7 games this season.
Coquitlam opened up a 13 point lead on Nanaimo for 4th place after they fell 6-3 in Surrey. Nanaimo has just 7 games remaining in their season. In the race for third, the Express still sit 3 points back after Cowichan Valley knocked off Vernon 6-4. The Express will have their chance to make their move on Cowichan Valley in March when they will have 3 games in hand on the Caps.
Up next for the Express is a home a home with the Langley Rivermen starting next Friday in Coquitlam.