Express have Rivermen on the ropes

A pair of third-period goals snapped a 3-3 tie and have the Coquitlam Express one victory away from eliminating the Langley Rivermen.

The teams were tied at three in game four of the BCHL Mainland Division best-of-seven finals at Coquitlam’s Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre on Tuesday night (March 18).

And Canon Pieper scored 31 seconds into the third period and Marc Biega struck for his second of the night — on the game’s only power play  with 3:19 to play — to give the Express a 5-3 victory and a commanding three games to one series lead.

Game five of the series is March 20 at the Langley Events Centre with the Rivermen hoping to stave off elimination.

Should Langley win, game six would be Friday (March 21) back in Coquitlam. If necessary, game seven would be at the LEC on Saturday (March 22).

The Express struck first in game four with Jackson Cressey opening the scoring at 7:06.

But the Rivermen scored twice before intermission with both Chris Forney and Matt Ustaski finding the back of the net.

Biega’s first of the night tied the game at two early in the second and Rivermen captain Mitch McLain restored the one-goal lead five minutes later. But a few minutes after that, Ryan Rosenthal netted the tying goal for the Express.

Ustaski (one goal, one assist) and Jakob Reichert (two assists) both had multi-point games for the Rivermen.

Langley, which dropped the first two games of the series on home ice, had gotten back in the series after a 28-save shut-out performance from Brock Crossthwaite in game three on Monday night in Coquitlam.

In that game, Reichert scored on the opening shift and the team never looked back on their way to the 5-0 victory.

Reichert, Kevan Kilistoff and Austin Azurdia finished with a goal and an assist apiece while James Robinson chipped in with a pair of assists.

Will Cook and McLain had the other goals.

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