Courtesy of Eric Welsh – Chilliwack Progress
All good things eventually come to an end, and so it was that the Coquitlam Express finally won a game at Prospera Centre.
An 18 game streak of futility (0-17-1) dating back to the 2013-14 BCHL season finale was snapped Wednesday night as Coquitlam skated off with a 4-3 win.
The Express (25-18-2-1) kept alive their slim hopes of catching Chilliwack for first place in the Mainland division, though they’re still 12 points back.
The Chiefs (32-12-1-0) saw a five game win streak snapped and missed an opportunity to extend their lead over Coquitlam and second place Prince George.
The visitors opened the scoring 3:47 into period one on a goal by Connor Gregga, who crashed the crease to bury a centering feed from Christian Sanda.
But the Chiefs answered back exactly 60 seconds later on a Carter Wilkie goal.
The Calgary kid lit the lamp for the seventh straight game. Defenceman Mitch Andres started the play with a beautiful diagonal pass from the left point to the bottom of the right faceoff circle. Skyler Brind’Amour collected the pass and put it across the goal-mouth to Wilkie, who banged it in for his 10th of the year.
Nathan Kelly gave Chilliwack the lead 118 seconds later.
The blueliner skated down from the right point and rifled a shot that missed the net and caromed off the end boards back into the blue paint.
Kelly followed his shot and punched the puck past Coquitlam keeper Kolby Matthews.
The Express tied the score at 2-2 8:30 into the middle frame on a goal by Joshua Wildauer. Chase Danol set him up, flying down the left wing and sending a centering pass through Chiefs defender Mitch Andres to Wildauer, who put the puck inside the right goal post for his team-leading 24th of the year.
Coquitlam took the lead 2:43 into period three on a lucky-bounce goal by Danny Pearson. The Vancouver native camped at the top of the goal crease and had a centering pass from Dallas Farrell hit his left skate and carom past Chilliwack goalie Daniel Chenard.
The Chiefs came back with a power play goal scored by Harrison Blaisdell.
Ex-Chief Jordan Schulting put Chilliwack on the PP, cross-checking Ethan Bowen into the boards from behind and drawing two minutes and a game misconduct for the hit.
Seconds into the power play, Matt Holmes sent a wrist shot on goal from the point and Blaisdell potted the rebound behind Matthews with a lightning quick release, netting his team-leading 29th of the year.
The see-saw battle ended with Coquitlam’s Dallas Farrell sniping the game-winning goal.
Stepping out of the penalty box after serving a high sticking minor, Express blueliner Pito Walton fed a puck into the Chiefs goal crease where Farrell lifted a top-shelf backhander over Chenard’s blocker.
Chilliwack coach Brian Maloney got Chenard to the bench with 1:02 remaining but the Chiefs couldn’t get a shot on goal.
The three stars were Blaisdell (first), Farrell (second) and Brind’Amour (third).
The Fortis B.C. Energy Player of the Game was Mitch Andres.
Chilliwack hosts Merritt Friday night at Prospera Centre with a 7 p.m. start.