Friday, March 21, 2014


Express and Rivermen shake hands following 5-3 Express game 6 win.

Express salute fans after winning Mainland final in 6 over Langley Rivermen.

The Express have punched their ticket to the third round of the playoffs with a 5-3 win over the Langley Rivermen eliminating the BCHL's top regular season team in 6 games.

Coquitlam didn't want to see this series be left in the hands of an anything can happen game 7 in Langley Saturday night.

They started like a team trying to make sure it ended Friday.

Ryan Rosenthal who was re-united with his regular line mates Corey Mackin and Adam Rockwood blasted home a pass after Rockwood and Mackin teamed up to win the battle for the puck behind the Rivermen net.

The Express captain scored in 5 of the 6 games of the series. Including in the final 3. He also had 2 assists for 7 points in the second round.

Just over a minute later Langley's captain responded as Mitch McLain blasted home a one timer on a feed from Tanner Johnson to even up the game at one.

Brendan Lamont scored his first goal of the playoffs when he tipped home a Cam Marks point shot after Lamont and the Pieper brothers teamed up to win a puck battle along the boards.

Gordie Defiel turned aside 30 shots for his 8th win of the playoffs. He had a key stop in the final seconds off the first period off Will Cook.

Langley started the second period on the power play and just 30 seconds into it Cook scored his 3rd goal in 4 games since returning to the line up to tie it at two.

That was followed less than 5 minutes later on another power play goal off the stick of Tanner Johnson who rang one in off the post for his second goal in as many outings.

The third period began with the Rivermen needing to play 20 good minutes to save their season. But they ran into an Express team determined to end it.

A few good shifts in the Langley zone quickly built momentum. The Express broke through at 1:52 as Jace Hennig going to the net scored after Cody Boyd threw the puck at the goal. It was the first point of the series for Hennig who waited for the perfect time to get it.

They rode that momentum throughout the course of the third period. The chances for the Express soon followed.

Another won puck battle along the boards was instrumental in getting the series win for the Express.

The Pieper brothers got the puck back to Marks, and like he did on Lamont's goal he threw it at the net and Canon scored on a tip for a 4-3 Express lead with just under 7 to play.

The two goals set up by Marks were a great example of just finding a way to just throw the puck at the net and hope good things will happen. It doesn't always have to be a hard shot.

Now it was about rolling the lines, keeping the shifts short and let the clock do the work.

The Express got the insurance they needed as Adam Rockwood and Corey Mackin teamed up to set up a pinching Zach Hodder who scored his 3rd goal of the series with 2:29 remaining to clinch the series win for the Express.

The third round will have a different playoff format. It will be a round robin that will see the Express play one home and one away game against both Victoria and either Penticton or Vernon. The top two teams after the round robin based on points will play for the Fred Page Cup and the BCHL championship.

It's the second time in Express franchise history they have advanced to the third round. In 2006 the Express met the then named Victoria Salsa eliminating them in 5 games. The Express will see Victoria again after they eliminated Powell River in 6 games.  Vernon and Penticton will crown the Interior division champion in game 7 in Penticton Saturday night.

Victoria will be the first seed, Vernon or Penticton will be the second seeed. And the Express will be the third seed based on the regular season standings.

They will start the third round on Sunday March 30th in either Penticton or Vernon.

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