Merritt Saturday night dropped a 8-7 goal fest in overtime in Victoria. Sunday they were in another goal fest this time knocking off the Express 8-5 Sunday.
Michael Ederer and Gavin Gould each scored a pair of goals for the Cents to help pace their attack. Jivan Sidhu and Corey Mackin each struck twice for the Express in the losing effort.
Merritt showed little signs of coming off back to back games on the Island right from the start of the game. They had the jump on the Express early and were setting the pace.
Merritt sent a message to the Express early that they were serious about keeping a close eye on BCHL scoring leader Corey Mackin as he was levelled three mintues into the game by Josh Teves. There was nothing wrong with the hit, but it showed that the opposition knew who to focus on when facing the Express and make him earn any free ice he was going to get. Mackin bounced back from the hit, he didn't miss a shift. But that hit shifted the Express focus who spent more time early in the first period trying to get retribution for the hit rather than playing the game.
That lack of focus led to the game's first powerplay and Merritt quickly took advantage as Ederer scored his first of the afternoon just 7 seconds into the powerplay. That goal would be the only strike of the first period as the Express were only able to muster 5 shots in the first period.
Merritt carried over their strong start into the opening minutes of the second period buzzing in the Express end. Gavin Gould scored his first of two on the day for a 2-0 Cents lead.
That goal woke the Express up who began to turn the tide. Jivan Sidhu got Coquitlam on the board as he blasted home a slap shot off the post and in 48 seconds after Gould's goal.
Following that goal the Express had their best run of play Sunday. Building momentum and getting chances in the Cents zone. Corey Mackin found himself free of some pretty tight Merritt checking and snapped home a quick pass from former Centennial Brendan Lamont to even the score at two.
Another story from Sunday was Merritt's ability to have a good response following Express goals.
Jake Clifford and Colin Grannary scored 2:14 apart before the second period was done to give Merritt a 4-2 lead after 40.
Mackin pulled the Express back within one in the opening minute of the third period as he again snapped home a quick Lamont pass for a powerplay goal and the 30th of the season for the BCHL scoring leader.
Again Merritt responded as Ederer scored his second of the game for a 5-3 lead and the goals started really coming fast and furious in the third period.
Noah Turanski diving at a loose puck poked home his 2nd of the season and first since the second game of the season to cut the lead back to one at 5-4 with just over 13 minutes to go.
As much as the Express tried to make it a game, this was Merritt's contest. They put the game away with goals 23 seconds apart by Gavin Gould and John Schiavo for a 3 goal Merritt advantage. Those two goals essentially were the final blows to finish the Express off before the two teams finished the game by trading goals one last time off the sticks of Jivan Sidhu for his second of the game and Cole Chorney to round out the scoring.
It was the second straight game the Express played without forwards Joey Santucci, Colton Kerfoot and Cam Bertsch and their absence looked more prominent Sunday than it did in Wednesday's game vs. Surrey.
Next up for the Express are a pair of road games Friday in Chilliwack and Saturday in West Kelowna