|Jordan Kawaguchi scored a hat-trick - Photo courtesy of Damon James.|
Kawaguchi didn't waste time getting his big night started opening the scoring just 54 seconds into the game. It was the second straight meeting that Chilliwack scored in the opening minute. Two weeks ago it was Jake Smith opening the scoring 49 seconds into Chilliwack's 9-1 win.
The Express didn't allow the fast Chiefs start put a wrench into their plans into getting into the game right away.
Coquitlam responded with chances by Blake Hayward on a backhand, Mat Michie putting a loose puck off the post and a clean look from the slot for Nic Coltura. Coltura returned to the Express lineup after missing the last 3 plus months and 32 games with an injury. Coltura immediately gave the Express blueline a boost with his ability to quickly move the puck at both ends.
|Taylor Green - Photo courtesy of Damon James.|
Chilliwack started to turn their game in their favour in the second period. They started working the puck in the Express zone which eventually led to chances. Darien Craighead gave Chilliwack a 2-0 lead after a prolonged shift in the Express zone.
Needing a spark to get back in the game, the Express got it from a recently unlikely source. Jackson Cressey scored just nine seconds into a power play to cut the Chiefs lead to 2-1.
Prior to the goal the Express power play was 0 for their last 28 and 1 for their last 33.
In his torment of the Express the last two years, Jordan Kawaguchi has found a way to score big goals at key times. Friday was no different. He scored his second of the night just 28 seconds after Cressey's power play goal to kill any momentum the Express could have built off it.
4:34 later Kawaguchi completed his hat-trick coming off the bench, picking up the puck behind the net, cutting into the slot to beat Lawson Fenton for his 38th of the season and a 4-1 Chiefs lead.
Dating back to the start of last season Kawaguchi has 18 goals in his last 18 games regular season and playoffs.
The third period the Express used some fight to try and get physical with the Chiefs. Chilliwack took the Express lumps and just kept playing. Kawaguchi picked up his fourth point of the night setting up Jesse Lansdell's 5-1 goal with a delayed penalty in effect for a hit delivered on Kawaguchi.
|Ryan Coghlan & Linden Hora - Photo courtesy of Damon James.|
Chilliwack was 1 for 3 on the power play while the Express were 1 for 4.
Matt Esposito turned aside 18 of 19 Express shots to get the win.
The win improved Chilliwack to 5-0 vs. the Express this season.
Chilliwack remained three points up on Wenatchee for first place in the Mainland division after the Wild defeated Victoria 2-1. The Express will play the Mainland division winner in the first round of the playoffs in two weeks.
Saturday the Express play host to the Langley Rivermen. They will wrap up the regular season with a home and home with Chilliwack next weekend.