The Chilliwack Chiefs lost the only game they played last weekend, falling 5-4 to Coquitlam at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre.
Friday night marked Chilliwack’s first look at the defending BCHL champions.
The Express out-shot the Chiefs 34-28, and weathered a late rally from the visitors. Chilliwack trailed 5-2 late in the game. They scored twice in the final two minutes, but ran out of time.
The score was 2-2 through 20 minutes.
Nick Cherkowski opened the scoring for the Chiefs 3:08 into the game.
Coquitlam answered with goals 37 seconds apart by Austin Fraser (12:53) and Danny Pearson (13:30).
Connor Milburn netted his first of the preseason at 19:13.
The Express out-shot Chilliwack 13-3 in the middle frame and got the only goal off the stick of Ryan Tattle.
Noah De La Durantaye made it 4-2 Coquitlam 63 seconds into the final frame, and Pearson scored the final Express goal at 12:37. A Brett Rylance power play goal cut the lead to 5-3 at 18:12, and Tommy Lyons scored with 11 seconds remaining to wrap up the scoring.
Rookie Ethan Pearson stopped 29 of 34 pucks in the Chilliwack net while Coquitlam’s Joe Howe turned aside 24 of 28 attempts.
The three stars were an Express sweep with Pearson (first), De La Durantaye (second) and Tattle (third).
The Chiefs have another one-game weekend coming up as they host the Express Saturday night (7 p.m.) at the Chilliwack Coliseum.
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