Sunday, November 4, 2012


The Coquitlam Express had a three game road swing this weekend with visits to Powell River, Alberni Valley and Cowichan Valley.

The Express came home with a 2-1 record.

Friday in Powell River, it was the first meeting of the season between the two teams. And the first time the teams saw each other since the first round of last years playoffs where the Kings prevailed in 6 games.

The road trip started well for the Express with a 3-0 win over the Kings. Cole Huggins made 31 saves for his 3rd shutout of the season and his 5th in his Express career. The 5 shutouts now stands as a new Express franchise record for most career shutouts. He shared the mark with Matthew Gordon who set the mark in the 06-07 season.

The Express scored one goal in each period. Phillip Zielonka struck early in the first period on the powerplay. Zielonka along with Adam Rockwood helped set up Luca Leone midway through the second period. John Siemer then put the game away with an empty net goal in the third period. Zielonka finished the game with 3 points with 1 goal and 2 assists.

The next night the Express headed to Alberni Valley for the second meeting of the season with the Bulldogs.

Daniel Urbani got the start for the Express in between the pipes. He would wind up having a very busy night. Less than two minutes into the game the Bulldogs had opened the scoring on a goal by Dylan Haugen.

Zach Funk put the Bulldogs up a pair 12 minutes into the second period. John Siemer got the Express on the board at 17:22. But just 31 seconds later the Bulldogs had re-stored their two goal lead on a goal by Ryan Laugh.

The Express stormed back early in the third period. Phil Zielonka opened the period scoring a pair of goals just 51 seconds apart to pull the Express even by the 1:18 mark.

5 minutes later Lars Hepso put the Bulldogs up for good scoring at 6:48. Manny Galedakis rounded out the scoring with just over a minute left in the game. The Bulldogs fired 48 shots on Daniel Urbani.

The loss was the first on the road for the Express this season in 8 games.

The road trip wrapped up Sunday afternoon in Cowichan Valley.

The visitors got off to a fast start by opening up a 2-0 lead before the game was 7 minutes old on goals by Adam Rockwood and Luca Leone.

Mitch Nardi scored his third of the season late in the second period and the Express appeared to be in good shape leading 3-0 heading to the final frame.

But the Caps reminded us all that no lead is safe in junior hockey. Keyler Bruce on a powerplay scored early in the third period to get Cowichan Valley on the board.

The Express appeared to be in cruise control taking their two goal lead into the final 5 minutes of the third period. Then in a blink of an eye the game had changed. The Caps scored a pair of goals 6 seconds apart and suddenly the game was tied at 3.

Momentum appeared to be on Cowichan's side after the quick strikes. But John Siemer broke the deadlock with just 15 seconds left snapping home a wrist shot from the right wing to give the Express the lead for good.

A pretty impressive weekend from the Express where they finished 2-1 on the road when you consider the short lineup the Express dressed in all 3 games.

The Express hit the road with a long list of injuries and absences due to the World Junior A Challenge. And as the weekend went along the list of able bodies available got shorter and shorter.

After this weekend's action the Express are now tied with the Surrey Eagles for third place in the very tight Mainland division. Plus they're 1 point back of Chilliwack for 2nd and 2 points behind Prince George for first.

Next weekend the Express have 3 very important divsional games against Chilliwack, Langley and Surrey. 

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