Coquitlam Express rolls past Langley Rivermen

The Coquitlam Expressed barged past the Langley Rivermen in their home-and-home, B.C. Hockey League series over the weekend.

The Express outscored the Rivermen 7-5 on Halloween night at Coquitlam’s Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre, and then doubled the ’Men 4-2 Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.

The two losses leaves the Rivermen with a .500, 6-6-1-3 record as they face a busy November schedule.

The Langley juniors will be out to snap a two-game slide tomorrow night (Wednesday, Nov. 5) when they host the Merritt Centennials at the Langley Events Centre.

Game time is 7 p.m.

Then, this Friday, the Rivermen host the Chilliwack Chiefs at the LEC. That game also has a 7 p.m. opening puck drop.

This past Friday, the Rivermen scored five times, including two from their captain Kevan Kilistoff, but it wasn’t enough as Coquitlam put up seven seven of their own.

Saturday night saw Coquitlam continue their momentum from Friday, scoring twice before the 10 minute mark of the first period to give them a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.

“We just didn’t come out to play and it showed tonight,” Rivermen assistant coach Kurt Astle said. “They jumped on us early and we were unable to climb back.”

The Express scored early in the second period on a breakaway by Brett Supinski, who netted home his 15th of the season to make it 3-0.

The Rivermen answered with Gage Torrel scoring his seventh of the year to cut the lead to 3-1 after 40 minutes.

The third period saw Matthew Graham cut the Express’s lead to one on a shot that fooled goaltender Chris Tai.

That’s as close as Langley would come as Coquitlam added an empty net goal to seal the deal. Coquitlam outshot Langley 12-4 in the final frame.

Coquitlam was led by sniper Corey Mackin who scored four goals and seven points in the two victories. Mackin now has 29 points on the season, second in the BCHL.

The Rivermen used both goaltenders in the home and home but both Bo Didur and Darren Martin came up short as Martin allowed six goals on 28 shots on Friday night and Didur played well, stopping 33 shots but lost his first game at the LEC on Saturday.

The season series is now tied at two as these teams will meet another four times before the end of the season.

“It’s a great rivalry,” Rivermen head coach and general manager Bobby Henderson said. “They always bring their best game against us and its fun for the fans.”

The Rivermen opened a stretch of three games in as many days on a winning note Thursday at the LEC, when they defeated the Mainland Division-leading Prince George Spruce Kings 5-3.

A four point night from Ben Butcher and a full 60 minute effort gave the Rivermen the edge.

The hosts never trailed, as Butcher scored his first of two on the night on a deflection from the point to make it 1-0 Langley.

“The message going in was we’re playing a conference rival and we got to make sure they know it’s not an easy place to play,” Astle said, right after the win.

“We wanted to take care of our own end, get pucks deep and limit their opportunities.”

“We’re not a one line team,” added Kilistoff, who chipped in with two assists. “All four lines contribute and we’ve got all four going right now.”

The Rivermen scored on the power play early in the second period as Torrel found the net to give Langley a 2-1 lead. Dante Hahn extended the lead to 3-1 midway through before Jordan Low scored for the Spruce Kings to cut the advantage to 3-2 going into the third period.

The third period saw goals from Evan Anderson and Ben Butcher, who scored his second of the game and fourth point of the night.

“That line is generating a lot of opportunities,” Astle said. “Ben’s getting himself in a lot of scoring positions and having Killy and Andy as linemates is a big help. All three of them are clicking and it’s fun to see.”

“I’m more confident with the puck,” Kilistoff said. “I’m making more plays and holding on to it a little longer and it’s paying off right now.”

The game turned early in the first period, as Bo Didur made one of the saves of the year, diving across the crease to stop an easy goal from Prince George.

“I think everyone’s heart beat skipped for a second,” said Didur, who stopped 23 of 25 shots. “I just dove across and it hit me and went straight down. I don’t know who the angel was that cleared it off the line but thank you to him.”

“Bo set the tone,” Astle said. “If that puck goes in it could be a different outcome. Our guys fed off that and we wanted to get one back for Bo and we did.”

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