Column: Chilliwack Chiefs own rivalry with Coquitlam Express

Is it even a rivalry if one team dominates another like the Chiefs have owned the Express?

Jacob Bestebroer writes a weekly column for the Chilliwack Progress during the hockey season discussing the Chilliwack Chiefs, BCHL and goings on around the junior A world.

Déjà vu is defined as ‘a feeling of having already experienced the present situation,’ and if you were at Prospera Centre for Saturday’s Chilliwack Chiefs game versus the Coquitlam Express, there is a good chance you experienced that feeling.

Going into the game I knew the head-to-head history, especially that recent history has been one-sided in favor of the Chiefs. In a pre-game discussion with Eddie Gregory, the play by play voice of the Express, I learned just how one-sided it was.

Of course I had to dig deeper and some of the numbers are staggering.

The Chiefs won Saturday’s game 7-1, increasing their winning streak over the Express to 22 straight games, including six playoff games.

In those 22 games, the Chiefs have out-scored Coquitlam 126-42, with their power play clicking at a ridiculous 26.8 per cent (26 for 97). They’ve allowed just 14 power play goals against in 95 opportunities, a penalty kill success rate of 85.3 per cent.

The Express haven’t won a game at Prospera Centre since Mar. 1, 2014. Since then they’ve lost 18 straight, including five playoff games in the Chiefs home building. They’ve scored just 36 goals during that streak while giving up 97.

Looking back over the entire history of the rivalry, not including the Chiefs five year stay in Langley and Coquitlam’s six seasons in Burnaby, the two teams have faced each other 83 times during the regular season. Chilliwack has won 58, tying two and losing five in overtime.

That’s a winning percentage of 70.5 per cent while outscoring the Express 410-263.

The two teams have met in the playoffs six times with the Chiefs winning each of those series. Three best-of-seven series have gone the full seven games. One of them, in 2003, took an overtime goal by Tyler Burton to decide.

No Chiefs player enjoyed playing Coquitlam more than Jordan Kawaguchi.

In his four seasons with the Chiefs, he faced them 28 times during the regular season. In those games he scored 24 goals, including his first BCHL marker and added 19 assists.

In nine playoff game he added an additional seven goals and ten assists.

jb@chilliwackchiefs.net

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