Express vs. Wild

Tonight – Coquitlam Express (15-6-1-0) at Wenatchee Wild (11-9-2-0)
7:05 p.m. at Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee
Presented by the BCIHL

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Previous Meetings

This is the first meeting of the season between the teams. Last year, the Wild won both matchups by a combined score of 12-4.

Who’s Hot

Wenatchee forward Murphy Stratton has points in five straight games, tallying six points over that stretch. Lucas Sowder leads the Wild in scoring with 25 points (8-17-25) in 22 games, tying him for 13th overall in the BCHL. Stratton is the team’s second-leading scorer with 22 points, including 18 assists, the sixth-most in the league. Brandon Koch has 15 points (1-14-15) this year, good enough for a tie for ninth in scoring among BCHL defencemen.

Coquitlam forward Joshua Wildauer leads his team in scoring with 23 points (10-13-23) in 22 games. Regan Kimens (7-15-22) and Dallas Farrell (6-15-21) are are second and third on the team. Chase Danol leads the team in goals with 12. Jordan Schulting is tied for 12th in the league in scoring by defencemen with 14 points (1-13-14) in 22 games. Express goalie Clay Stevenson has a record of 7-1-0, a league-best goals-against average of 2.01 and the second-best save percentage at .928. Coquitlam’s other goalie Kolby Matthews has a record of 8-6-0, the fourth-highest save percentage at .922, the sixth-best goals-against average at 2.33 and one shutout.

What’s at Stake

Coquitlam is tied with the Prince George Spruce Kings for second place in the Mainland Division with 31 points. They are three points back of the division-leading Chilliwack Chiefs with two games in hand.

Wenatchee is in fifth place in the Interior Division standings with 24 points. They are one point up on the sixth-place Vernon Vipers and two points up on the seventh-place Trail Smoke Eaters. Heading into tonight, they sit one back of the fourth-place Salmon Arm Silverbacks and three back of the second-place Penticton Vees and West Kelowna Warriors.

From the Broadcast Booth

Coquitlam Express play-by-play broadcaster Eddie Gregory on the Express having four players commit to NCAA Div. I programs in the last two weeks (Kolby Matthews, Regan Kimens, Joshua Wildauer and Christian Sanda):

“It’s a reflection of how well the team has played as a whole. Kimens has fit in like a glove following his off-season acquisition. Wildauer has been one of the Express’ hardest workers dating back to last season, Sanda has really taken a positive step in his development by becoming a complete player and Kolby Matthews had a great start to the season and has never looked back with his strong play in the crease.”

Gregory on who is flying under the radar on the Express this year:

“First-year player Connor Gregga has really started to find his stride and play with speed and more confidence in recent weeks. That is reflected in his surge offensively. Danny Pearson is another first-year player who has worked hard all year and as his confidence has grown, a few more pucks have started going in for him.”

Wenatchee Wild play-by-play broadcaster Arch Ecker on the duo of Cristophe Tellier and Christophe Fillion, who both recently committed to Quinnipiac University and have been playing together for several years:

“It’s kind of a perfect storm for them. Sometimes two players just connect in a way that leads to great performances on the ice. When those two players find each other at an early age and grow and mature in the game together, it can be that much more special. That’s what you see here. Two talented players who are learning and growing together on top of a natural chemistry.”

Ecker on Wild captain Lucas Sowder:

“I’ve been able to watch him for three seasons now and I’m not at all surprised at his growth. What impresses me is his tenacity, his attack and his compete level. He has above-average skills, but it’s his work ethic that sets him apart. I like his chances in any 50/50 puck battle and his passion makes him a strong captain.”

ABOUT THE BCIHL

The British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League was created with the purpose of offering a venue for competitive, high-calibre hockey that’s close to home for players beyond their junior careers. The league was launched in 2006 and now includes five member teams: Selkirk College, Simon Fraser University, Trinity Western University, the University of Victoria and Vancouver Island University. This season, 25 graduates with over 2750 games of BCHL experience are pursuing their academic and athletic goals in the BCIHL. To learn more about the BCIHL and playing opportunities for BCHL grads, visit BCIHL.ca.