COQUITLAM BC – Chong Min Lee had some late game heroics’ tying the game at three with 10 seconds left, but could not find the game winner as Prince George fell to the Coquitlam Express 4-3 in a shootout.
In the opening frame, the Spruce Kings had some quality chances in the first couple of minutes, but could not solve goaltender Jack Watson. The Express started the scoring as Connor Gregga whacked a rebound out of mid air in the slot through the legs of Jett Alexander to give the Express a 1-0 lead. The Gregga marker came at 5:20. Ten minutes later, the Express found themselves on the man advantage and were pressing all over the offensive zone and were able to execute as defenceman Noah De La Durantaye fired a home a one timer from Massimo Rizzo to give the Express a 2-0 lead. Coquitlam held that two goal lead to the dressing room after the opening 20 minutes.
In the second, it didn’t take long for Prince George to find the back of the net. Preston Brodziak got his own rebound and snuck the puck past Watson to get the Spruce Kings on the board 57 seconds into the period. Both teams traded opportunites in that second frame, but both were unable to find the back of the net after the Brodziak marker. 2-1 Coquitlam after 40 minutes.
In the final frame, the Spruce Kings kept sticking around. Just over three minutes into the frame, Evan Orr jumped up into the play and got the pass around the wall from Chong Min Lee and deposited the puck top corner over Watson to tie the game at three. Prince George continued to press and had some great chances and so did Coquitlam. With 2:58 to play in the third, Joshua Wildauer redirected a point shot from Drew Cooper to regain the Express lead. Prince George then was forced to get the extra attacker out and with 10.8 seconds to play, it was Chong Min Lee who tied it up at three. Lee hammered home the rebound off a Mason Waite point shot and put the puck past Watson to tie it up and force overtime.
In the five minute 3 on 3 frame, Prince George’s best chance came from Preston Brodziak where the 20 year old forward hammered the puck off the inside of the post on a 2 on 1. Coquitlam had a few chances as well but were unable to solve Jett Alexander. No goals were scored in the extra frame, so a shootout was needed.
The Express went 3 for 3 in the shootout, getting goals from Connor Gregga, Massimo Rizzo, and Gregory Lapointe. The Spruce Kings got one goal in the shootout from Tom Richter.
The Spruce Kings take the single point to begin the three game road trip.
Next up for Prince George is the Surrey Eagles on Friday night at the South Surrey Arena. You can catch all of the action on 93.1 CFIS or on HockeyTV. Pre game will be at 6:45 with play by play at 7.
- Connor Gregga (1 G 1 A) (COQ)
- Danny Pearson ( 2 A ) (COQ)
- Jett Alexander (28 Saves) (PG)
FORTIS ENERGY PLAYER: Massimo Rizzo (1 Assist) (COQ)