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Chiefs defeat Coquitlam in shootout thriller

Brett Rylance scored his eleventh goal of the season and also netted the shootout winner as the Chilliwack Chiefs defeated the Coquitlam Express 4-3 Friday night at the Chilliwack Coliseum. 

It was the second time in less than a week that the Chiefs (21-13-5-4) defeated the Express (38-6-0-1), who came into the night as the second ranked team in Jr. ‘A’ hockey in the country.

Clark Nelson opened the scoring for Chilliwack at the 6:22 mark of the first period with his second goal of the season beating goaltender Clay Stevenson who came into the game on a personal 19-game winning streak. Coquitlam found an equalizer at the 18:14 mark of the frame when Cooper Connell scored his 13th of the season beating Mathieu Caron to tie the game 1-1. Forty four seconds later Rylance restored the Chiefs lead to give Chilliwack a 2-1 edge after the opening twenty minutes of play.

Chilliwack outshot Coquitlam 15 – 11 in the period. 

The teams traded goals in the second period. Just a minute and fifty one seconds in Tommy Lyons deflected a blast from Cooper Moore at the point on the power-play to stretch the Chilliwack lead to 3-1. Then at the 8:16 mark Christian MacDougall scored his fourth of the season on a Coquitlam power-play to bring the Express to within one after forty minutes of play.

The Express tied the game late in the third period when Greg LaPointe fed the front of the Chilliwack goal and found the stick of Connor Gregga to redirected the puck past Caron to tie the game 3-3 and force overtime.

Rylance scored in the fifth round of the shootout to give Chilliwack the advantage and then it was up to Caron to stop the Express leading scorer LaPointe to secure the Chiefs win. LaPointe drifted in on the Chiefs goaltender and let a wrist shot go that Caron snared into his glove to end the game.

It was the fourth time in eight meetings that these two teams had to decide the game in a shootout.

The Chiefs will host the Langley Rivermen Sunday January 19th at the Chilliwack Coliseum. Game is 2pm.

You catch the play-by-play action with Vanni De Bartolo and Tyler Garrah on Produce Gone Wild Chiefs Hockey beginning with the pre-game show at 1:35pm. 

Written by: Vanni De Bartolo, Chiefs Play-by-Play broadcaster

Photo provided by Fotoshotz aka Darren Francis (