Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Express celebrate game 4 win over Mainland division final.
The Coquitlam Express put the disappointment of a 5-0 loss the night before in the rear view mirror with a 5-3 win in game 4 of the Mainland division final.  Coquitlam now leads the best of 7, 3-1.

The fans in attendance were truly treated to an entertaining game made even better seeing the home team win.

The Express fourth line gave the big guns a boost when they opened the scoring on a Jackson Cressey goal set up by Daniel Lange with a shot that hit the leg of a Langley defenceman and got past the glove of Brock Crossthwaite.

It was the first goal of the playoffs from the Express fourth line. It's a great reward for a unit that all season long has provided such valuable minutes.

The Express had their chances to try an extended their lead with Bo Pieper walking out from behind the net to be denied by Crossthwaite. Then Joey Santucci going hard to the net had the rebound of a Jace Hennig slap shot bounce over his stick with a wide open net.

Shortly there after the Rivermen pulled even when Chris Forney fired a shot over the shoulder of a screened Gordie Defiel.

Matt Ustaski gave the Rivermen their first lead of the night when he come out from behind the Express net and was able to bounce the puck past a sprawled out Defiel.

Marc Biega continued his regular season success against the Rivermen in game 4 Tuesday. He scored pinching in from the left point and snapped a show low to the stick side on Crossthwaite.

A series is always about adjustments and the Express come out for the second period after tweaking their lines.

Captain Ryan Rosenthal was taken off line with Corey Mackin and Adam Rockwood. And he was put between the Pieper brothers to give the Express a little more size.

The new combination quickly started to click and generate chances. You couldn't not notice the Express captain on this night creating chances with his speed and powering the puck to the goal.

Before the Pieper's and Rosenthal made their mark on the score sheet the Rivermen took their second lead of the night when Tyson Witala set up Mitch McLain who had a wide open net to bury the puck a a 3-2 lead.

The lead only lasted 2:24 when the Express new line teamed up for the equalizer.

Bo Pieper set up Rosenthal who scored his 7th of the playoffs and the game was even at three.

You couldn't have asked for a more entertaining and evenly played game between these two clubs tonight. They played hard and clean. There was no extra circular activity. Neither team really gave the officials a reason to make any penalty calls.

They gave it all they had with so much on the line depending on the outcome for both teams.

The final 20 minutes was set up for the biggest period of the series for both teams. Was this series going to Langley for game 5 tied at two or with the Express leading 3-1?

The Pieper's and Rosenthal teamed up in the opening minute of the third period to give the Express their second lead of the night. Canon scored on a rebound 31 seconds into the frame for a 4-3 Express lead.

Finally the officials were forced to make a call with 4:20 remaining in the third period when Charlie Pelnik hit Joey Santucci into the boards and his head struck the glass.

On the ensuing power play Marc Biega struck for his second of the night blasting it past Crossthwaite for a 5-3 Express lead. The Express defenceman also had an assist for a 3 point night. Including the regular season, Biega has 8 goals vs. the Rivermen this season.

Gordie Defiel like the team in front of him had a bounce back performance with 31 saves.

The series now shifts back to Langley for game 5 at the Langley Events Centre Thursday with the Express looking to be the first team to punch their ticket to the third round of the playoffs.

Expect nothing more than the team with the BCHL's best record in the regular season to fight hard to defend home ice and save their season much like Prince George did in round one. 

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