Thursday, August 7, 2014

DARCY ROTA INTERVIEW

It became the end of an era on July 10, 2014 when Darcy Rota officially resigned his position as President of the Coquitlam Express. 

He sold his ownership shares of the Express organization a year ago but decided to stay on board for this past season. He goes out on top watching the Express win their second BCHL championship. The Express are tied with the Penticton Vees, Nanaimo Clippers and Surrey Eagles for second most BCHL championships won with two since the Express came in the BCHL in 2001. Only the Vernon Vipers won more with four.

Rota's resignation ends a run that saw the former Vancouver Canuck star cut all ties with a hockey team he helped build literally from nothing in 2000 and hit the ice in the fall of 2001 as an expansion team.

Over the course of the next 14 seasons, Rota was the most recognizable face of the Express franchise whether it was based in Coquitlam or Burnaby.

There were ups and downs along the road for Rota and the Express. They were highlighted by the two BCHL championships (2006, 2014) and 1 RBC Cup national championship (2006).

Plus there were plenty of other memories created at the rink and in the office as the Express went through their growth and evoloution. 

I had a chance to speak with Darcy about his decision to leave the Express. And to reflect on his time with the franchise. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

HODDER COMMITS TO ST. THOMAS

Photo courtesy of Tri Cities Now:
Defenceman Zach Hodder has committed to St. Thomas University (CIS) in Fredricton New Brunswick for next season.

Hodder had two separate stints with the Express during the 2011-12 and 2013-14 seasons. In 87 career games with the Express the Delta native accumulated 20 goals and 49 assists for 69 points. In the playoffs Hodder scored 5 goals and 9 assists for 14 points in 25 career BCHL playoff games winning the Fred Page Cup championship in 2014. He also had 2 goals and 2 assists at the 2014 Western Canada Cup in Dauphin Manitoba.

He also played 128 career WHL games with the Vancouver Giants, Saskatoon Blades, Prince Albert Raiders, Medicine Hat Tigers and Moose Jaw Warriors where he scored 8 goals and 30 assists for 38 points.

Congratulations Zach.
Click here for the STU Press Release  
Saturday, July 5, 2014

EXPRESS 2014-15 SCHEDULE RELEASED



The full BCHL schedule has now been released. The dates for the 3rd annual Bauer BCHL showcase in Chilliwack were released last week with the Express will beginning their defence of their 2nd Fred Page Cup championship Friday September 19th a road game vs. the West Kelowna Warriors.

The Coquitlam faithful will see their team at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre for the first time since they defeated the Vernon Vipers in game 4 of the Fred Page cup final in April when they host the Prince George Spruce Kings in the home opener Friday September 26th. It's the first of a pair of visits on consecutive nights for Prince George as they get re-acquainted with the defending champions for the first time since their 1st round playoff meeting that saw the Express advance in 6 games.

The Express have a great opportunity to get off to a good start on home ice with 5 consecutive games played at the Palace on Poirier following the showcase. As part of the early season home stand, the Express will play their second round playoff opponent the Langley Rivermen on Friday October 3rd.

The schedule then begins to balance out for the Express who will play 7 of their next 8 games on the road. The only home game is the front end of a home and home series with the Chilliwack Chiefs on Saturday October 17th. That is followed by 4 consecutive road games vs. Mainland division opponents Chilliwack, Langley and back to back games in Surrey on October 19th and 24th.

Coquitlam and their mainland division rivals will get very familiar with one another in October and November.

The Express will play 8 games within the division in October.

From October 17th until November 12th the Express will play 11 of 12 games against Mainland division clubs (6 road, 5 home). They will see Surrey 4 times, Chilliwack 3 times,  Langley twice and Prince George once.

Here's the breakdown by division.

Vs. Mainland division opponents 34 games.

Vs. Interior division opponents 14 games (1 home, 1 away) *Plus one additional game vs. West Kelowna (A) and Trail (H) at the Bauer BCHL showcase.

Vs. Island division opponents 10 games (1 home, 1 away).

The Express will play Langley and Surrey 8 times. And have 9 games vs. Chilliwack (4 home, 5 away) and Prince George (4 home, 5 away).

With the 5 road games vs. the Spruce Kings, it means the Express will be making 3 separate trips up north this season. They will visit for a pair of games on November 28th and 29th and February 6th and 7th. They will also have a Sunday afternoon visit on January 18th. The night before Saturday January 17th will be the first meeting between the Express and the Vernon Vipers since the Fred Page cup final. Vernon will visit the Express on Friday January 23rd.

The Express will have a 4 game home stand just before their season finale on Saturday February 28th in Chilliwack.

Three times this season the Express will have Friday/Saturday home and home series with the Chiefs. They all will start on the Friday in Coquitlam and concluding the next night in Chilliwack. They will take place on October 17th/18th, November 21st/22nd, and February 27th/28th to conclude the season.

Five times the Express will play three games on three consecutive days. They will also play three games in four nights on Family day weekend with a Monday afternoon matinee in Surrey on February 9th. That game is on the heals of a pair of games in Prince George Friday and Saturday night.

Here are some highlights of the schedule.

Season opener Friday September 19th vs. West Kelowna in Chilliwack at Bauer BCHL showcase.

Home opener Friday September 26th vs. Prince George.

Home and home with the Penticton Vees Wednesday January 7th in Penticton, January 9th in Coquitlam.

Click here for the full 2014-15 Express schedule 
Monday, June 30, 2014

FORMER EXPRESS CAROLL DRAFTED BY FLAMES

Austin Caroll who played for the Express during the 2010-11 season, and spent the last two seasons with the Victoria Royals of the WHL, was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the 7th round 184th overall on day two of the 2014 NHL draft Saturday.

Carroll came to the Express part way through the 2010-11 season playing in 42 games and scoring 5 goals and 6 assists for 11 points. He also dressed for 4 playoff games. Following the season he joined a group of players that represented Canada and the BCHL and the Region Centre Cup just outside of Moscow Russia where he helped the team to a second place finish.

He spent the last two seasons with the Victoria Royals of the WHL. He scored 57 goals and 119 points in 199 games. He's coming of a 34 goal season this past season. He also has 8 goals and 12 points in 17 WHL games.

Congratulations Austin.

Click here to read a great story on Austin's excitement about learning he was picked by the Flames.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

BCHL SHOWCASE SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED


We know the date when the rest of the BCHL will begin to officially take a run at the 2014 Fred Page Cup champion Coquitlam Express with the announcement of the schedule for the 3rd annual Bauer BCHL showcase in Chilliwack.

The Express will begin the defence of their crown on Friday September 19th in a road game vs. the West Kelowna Warriors in the secondary rink at 7pm.

The next day Saturday the 20th the Express will be the home team vs. the Trail Smoke Eaters at high noon in the main rink.

Click here for the full Bauer BCHL showcase schedule

All Bauer BCHL showcase games will count in the regular season standings. The Express will also play a home and an away game in Coquitlam and on the road vs. West Kelowna and Trail.

The rest of the BCHL schedule should be announced shortly. Stay tuned. 
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

DEFIEL TO LAKE SUPERIOR STATE

Photo Courtesy of Tri Cities Now.
Goaltender Gordie Defiel has committed to Lake Superior State University for the 2014-15 season.

Moving on to an NCAA school is a great reward for a goaltender who has shown a championship pedigree in his final two seasons of junior hockey.

He was acquired by the Express just prior to the 2013-14 season from the Brooks Bandits (AJHL) in exchange for goaltender Daniel Urbani, forward Garrett Forster and the defenceman Bryce Eviston.

During the regular season he posted a 20-21-1 record with a 3.69 GAA and .887 save percentage.

The Stillwater Minnesota native raised his game in the post season posting a 14-5 record with a 2.69 GAA and .922 save percentage with one shutout while backstopping the Express to their second Fred Page cup BCHL championship.

At the 2014 Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup in Dauphin Manitoba Defiel posted a 2-3 record with a 3.21 GAA with a .913 save percentage.

Prior to coming to the Express Defiel played with the Minnesota Wilderness (SIJHL) during the 2012-13 season. He guided the Wilderness to an SIJHL championship and a berth in the RBC cup semi final.

Congratulations Gordie.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

ROSENTHAL TO ATTEND DEVILS CAMP

Coming off a season where he captained the Coquitlam Express to the BCHL title and earned an NCAA Division I scholarship to Northeastern University, Ryan Rosenthal has another impressive line to add to his hockey resume.
He'll be attending New Jersey Devils development camp this summer.
A native of Montvale, N.J., the chance to show his hockey skills for the team he followed growing up is a dream come true.
"I've always been a Devils fan," said Rosenthal. "Patrik Elias was always my favourite player, I liked watching Scott Stevens... and Zach Parise before he left.
"Having a homegrown kid is probably pretty special for them, and for me too obviously."
This was Rosenthal's first and only BCHL season. He spent last year at the University of Vermont but after getting sparse playing time, he opted to come to the BCHL in hopes of earning another NCAA opportunity. He did that and also drew increasing interest from NHL clubs as the BCHL season went along.
"For most of the playoffs, Wolffie (Express head coach Barry Wolff) and (team president) Darcy Rota were talking to me about NHL teams having interest," said Rosenthal, adding the Vancouver Canucks were another club looking closely at him. "(Devils president and general manager) Lou Lamoriello was talking to my family advisor and Glen Dirks, the regional scout, called me and told me to stay in shape and be ready to go."
Rosenthal led the Express in goals in the regular season with 34 and led the team in playoff scoring with 22 points in 19 games. He says the BCHL was the ideal place to showcase his skills.
"It's just been an amazing year, I couldn't expect anything more," he said. "I got to play in a ton of games and a ton of situations. Wolffie did so much for me; I owe a lot to the BCHL and the Express."