|Defiel with one of his 36 saves in game 1. Photo courtesy of Garrett James.|
The Express used 3 third period goals and another strong performance from Gordie Defiel who finished with 36 saves.
Defiel set the tone for what would be a very strong night in the opening minute with a great glove save off Marcus Vela.
Canon Pieper opened the scoring for the Express when he was set up by Brendan Lamont and scored on a backhand deke past Brock Crossthwaite following a Langley turnover at their own blue line.
An unlikely source tied the game for Langley 2:31 later when AP Cameron Bertsch scored poking the puck past Defiel following a face-off in the Express end.
Langley peppered the Express crease with 19 shots in the first period but were only able to get the lone goal.
Gordie Defiel continued to punctuate his strong night in the second period and looked as calm and composed as ever turning aside the next 12 Langley shots in the second period. They had a 31-17 edge after two periods.
Coquitlam began to turn the game in their favor in the third period.
Ryan Rosenthal on a set up from Corey Mackin slid home his 5th of the playoffs for a 2-1 Express lead at 3:32.
Cody Boyd provided the goal from the third different line for the Express when he threw the puck at the net and it hit the leg of Rivermen defenceman Chris Forney and bounced in at 8:44.
2:04 later it was back to a one goal game when James Robinson took a drop pass from Austin Azurdia and snapped a wrist shot low to the stick side past Gordie Defiel.
Boyd then sealed the win for the Express when he struck for his second of the night with just over two minutes remaining when he converted a set up from Joey Santucci and deked past Crossthwaite and slid the puck home.
The strong finish in the third period saw the Express outshoot the Rivermen 15-7. Langley finished with 38 shots compared to 32 for the Express.
Coquitlam also killed off 4 Langley power plays and weren't able to convert on any of the 3 man advantages they had.
Game 2 of the series is back at the George Preston Rec Centre Saturday night with the Express looking to bring a 2-0 series lead back to Coquitlam.