Garrett James Photography

Express complete the sweep over the Rivermen

The Coquitlam Express headed back to Langley on Wednesday for game four with a commanding 3-0 lead. Once again Bobby Henderson juggled the lineup before the game. Jonathan Mor was back in net and Chase Sandhu drew back into the lineup in place of Kaeden Patrick. Henderson must have liked the energy affiliate player Keaton Oakley brought in game three because he was called up for game four as well.

Everything is working for the Express so there were no changes made to their lineup. Jack Watson was between the pipes looking to close out the Rivermen and move on to the second round.

First Period

Connor Gregga started the party late in the first period when he opened the scoring off a play set up by Joey Berkopec and Wyatt Head. That turned out to be the only goal of the first frame as the Express took a 1-0 lead into the intermission.

Second Period

It was an offensive outburst in the second period from both teams and it started with Sean Bunting getting a shorthanded goal to tie the game up. Massimo Rizzo needed less than two minutes to give the Express the lead again as he was set up by Steven Bellini and Will Margel on the power play.

The Rivermen went on the power play right after Rizzo scored and they wasted no time as Ryan Helliwell had a point shot get past Watson to tie the game up. Kalen Szeto and Jake Livingstone assisted on the power play marker. The Express found an answer and Ethan O’Rourke gave them the lead once again.

In the final few minutes of the second period, Tanner Versluis and Steven Bellini exchanged goals and the Express took a 4-3 lead into the intermission.

Third Period

The Rivermen came out for the third period knowing they only had 20 minutes to save their season, they had chances early, but Watson shut the door. Midway through the final frame, Rizzo scored his second goal of the night off a pass from Drew Cooper to extend their lead to 5-3.

Helliwell answered right back as he picked up his second power play goal of the night set up again by Szeto and Livingstone to make it 5-4 with eight minutes to go. But that was as close as Langley would come. The Rivermen threw everything at the net in the final minute of the game but couldn’t beat Watson to give the Express a 5-4 win.

This series was hard-fought from the beginning but the Express come away with a four game sweep. They will move on to play the winner of Chilliwack and Surrey in the second round of the BCHL Playoffs.