The Coquitlam Express scored three times in the third period en route to a 4-2 win over the Rivermen to take a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-seven Mainland division final on Friday evening.
The Rivermen had a strong first two periods outshooting the Express 31-17 through 40 minutes but the game remained tied at one heading into the third.
Canon Pieper got the Express on the board six minutes into the first but the Rivermen answered back just two and a half minutes later as Cam Bertsch got his first BCHL playoff goal picking up a loose puck by the crease and putting it home to tie the game at one.
Two goals in the first nine minutes of the third from Ryan Rosenthal and Cody Boyd put the Express up by two. But James Robinson finished a nice play from Austin Azurdia to get the Rivermen back within one with his first of the playoffs with nine minutes to go in the third.
The Robinson goal seemed to give the Rivermen an extra boost as they continued to press and own possession in the Coquitlam zone, but it was Boyd who scored his second of the game with just over two minutes remaining to give the Express their two goal lead back.
Brock Crossthwaite headed to the bench for the extra attacker but the Rivermen ended up finishing the game shorthanded after a late penalty.
Langley outshot the Express 38-32 but went 0/4 on the power play while also killing off all three Coquitlam man advantages.
While the Express take a 1-0 series lead, the Rivermen have a chance to even things up right away hosting game two Saturday night, also at George Preston Recreation Centre.
Puckdrop is 7:15 pm and tickets are only available at the door.