The Coquitlam Express gave their fans exactly what they wanted in their B.C. Hockey League home opener Friday night - a 3-2 win over the visiting Langley Rivermen.
Darren Hogg received his first ever start in the BCHL for the Rivermen, while reigning player of the week Cole Huggins was between the pipes for the Express.
In the first period, the Express started the scoring early on the powerplay as John Siemer capitalized on a great passing play in front.
The Rivermen responded a shift later as Viktor Dombrovskiy bagged his first career BCHL goal off a scramble in front of the net. The young Rivermen defenceman drove the net hard and found a loose puck off an Austin Azurdia shot and put it behind Huggins, who let in his first goal in three games.
After both teams traded powerplays back and forth, it was the Express taking the lead once again on the powerplay courtesy of Malcolm Mckinney.
Hogg faced a lot of rubber in the frame, steering away 18 shots and overall was great in the opening frame.
It was a penalty-riddled period to say the least, as 16 penalty minutes were handed out.
The second period had a lot more flow between the teams as the whistle was put away.
Langley's Trevor Cope continued his torrid start, scoring in his third straight game off a great wrist shot down the right wing.
The Michigan native has been nothing short of impressive since the season-opening BCHL Showcase, and currently leads the Rivermen in goals (three) and points (five) after three games played.
Cope's marker was the only one in the stanza as the teams entered the third period tied 2-2.
Early in the third period, the 'Men had a two-man advantage but could not put the puck in the net. This turn of events turned the momentum in the Express's favour.
At the 5: 25 mark of the period, Brady Shaw scored the go-ahead tally due to a very tired group of skaters on the Rivermen side.
Alex Kerfoot was able to pick the pocket of a Rivermen defender and set up Shaw alone in front, and he made no mistake.
The Rivermen looked to tie the game on a couple of more powerplays, but fell short in defeat.
The Express outshot the Rivermen 42-31 and won the special teams battle, going two-for-five with the powerplay. The Rivermen finished scoreless on six man advantage opportunities.
The Rivermen dropped to 1-1-0-1 on the season and will look to earn their second win of the season at home this Saturday, Sept. 22, against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.
Opening faceoff for the Rivermen's home opener at the Langley Events Centre is 7: 15 p.m.
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