Friday, January 20, 2017


Tory Robillard and Reid Cooper - Photo courtesy of Damon James
A fast start in the first 10 minutes for the Langley Rivermen put them on the right path to a 6-2 win over the Express Friday.

The Rivermen put the Express in a hole in the opening minute on a goal by Mckay Flanagan on just the second Langley shot just 35 seconds into the game.

Alex Ambrosio - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Langley owned the puck for the first few minutes of the game. Max Kaufman converted a pass from behind the Express net for a 2-0 Rivermen lead just over 7 minutes into the game. Zac Masson set up both Langley goals in the first 7 minutes. At one point in the first period the Rivermen had a 9-0 advantage in shots.

Will Lawrence got the Express on the board just 8 seconds into a power play burying the rebound of a David Giunta point shot. Those were the first two shots of the game for the Express just shy of the 9 minute mark of the first period.

One theme from Friday's game saw the Rivermen have a quick response just when it appeared the Express might be turning the game looking to mounting a come back.

Just 1:44 after Lawrence's goal the Rivermen re-stored their two goal lead thanks to Gavin Payne whose pass intended for Max Kaufman deflected off an Express defender and past Reid Cooper for a 3-1 Langley lead just past the 10 minute mark.

David Giunta struck at 11:11 of the second period when his point shot surprised Braedon Fleming to get the Express within one a second time at 3-2.  Ginuta finished with a goal and an assist.

D. Giunta had 1G, 1A
Photo courtesy of D. James
It was a challenge for the Express to consistently generate shots in the game. Late in the second period a penalty to Langley's Cooper Leitch presented an opportunity for the Express to even the game.

But again Gavin Payne killed those hopes. With just 7 seconds left in the second period he stole the puck off Reid Cooper and beat him back to the net for a shorthanded goal for a 4-2 Langley lead through 2 periods.

The timing of the shorthanded goal and considering the circumstances was too much for the Express to overcome on this night.

Langley put the finishing touches on the game with goals by Angus Crookshank and Cooper Leitch 19 seconds apart giving Langley a 6-2 lead.

The Express were only able to muster 12 shots in the game, Langley finished with 37.

One bright spot for the Express Friday was another strong night on the penalty killing which shut down all 5 Langley advantages.

Saturday night the Express will wrap up their 4 game week when they host the Trail Smoke Eaters. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017


Highlights of the Coments 6-3 win over Cowichan Valley Friday.

Highlights courtesy of Jorge Parra & Underdog Productions.


Captain Luca Leone had 1G, 1A - Photo courtesy of Damon James
On Coquitlam Comets night the Express really began to shine as the game was hitting it's twilight in the third period in a 6-3 win over Cowichan Valley. Click here for boxscore

The win for the Express was their second in a row and third in their last six games. This mini two game winning streak is fairly impressive considering the Express schedule the last week that saw them play 6 games in 8 nights and their third game in the last three nights.

The Express did something to start that hasn't been a common occurrence this year and that's get off to a fast start. They opened up an early 5-0 lead in shots.

It wasn't long after that point that the Express opened the scoring. Luca Leone at the side of the Capitals night had his first shot blocked then chipped in the rebound for is 13th of the season.

Less than two minutes later Leone set up the 2-0 Express goal by Will Lawrence who snapped home his 5th of the season. Lawrence has goals in back to back games and three goals in his last six games.

Express mistakes in the second period allowed Cowichan Valley to claw back into the game in the second period.

Lawson Fenton made 28 saves - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Lawson Fenton trying to catch the Capitals on a change tried to quickly move the puck up the ice but fanned on his pass handing it right to Haydn Hopkins who scored a shorthanded goal at 2:41.

Then midway through the period a pass up the middle was picked off by Ayden MacDonald who ripped a wrist shot up over the blocker of Fenton from the slot.

Christian Bosa briefly restored the Express lead finding a loose puck at the side of the Caps net and scoring just his second of the season.

38 seconds later the game was tied again on Max Newton's 21st of the season.

After scoring three goals in the second period, the Caps could have taken control of the game with the Express getting themselves into penalty trouble. But the penalty killing for the Express continues to shine keeping the game tied. The Express had another perfect night on the penalty kill. They've been perfect on the PK in four of their last five games.

Midway through the second period it was the power play then making a difference for the Express.

Brandon Kennedy's point shot was tipped home by Mitch Newsome from the slot for a 4-3 Express lead. Newsome has goals in back to back games.

Will Lawrence finished with two goals - Photo courtesy of Damon James
With the lead in hand the Express settled into shutting down the Caps bids for the equalizer. Alex Ambrosio stole the puck at the Caps line and scored with just over 4 minutes to play for a 5-3 Express lead.

Then Will Lawrence iced the game for good on a late power play taking advantage of a puck handling gaffe by Adam Marcoux and he poked home his second of the game.The power play finished 2 for 4.

At the other end Lawson Fenton finished with 28 saves in the Express crease.

The Express return to action Monday night when they're in Wenatchee for a meeting on Martin Luther King day in the U.S.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Express defenceman Brandon Kennedy potted the overtime winner just 35 seconds into overtime giving the Express a 4-3 win over the Surrey Eagles.Click here for boxscore

The win gave the Express their second straight win over the Eagles.

The finish for the Express was much better than their start. Ty Westgard snapped a wrist shot past Lawson Fenton opening the scoring on Surrey's first shot just 34 seconds into the game.

Darius Davidson doubled Surrey's lead less than 6 minutes later for a 2-0 Eagles lead.

Surrey started 2000 born AP goaltender Lukas Shaw called up from the Greater Vancouver Canadians of the BC Major Midget league. He had his ups and downs in the game. He came close to ending up on a blooper reel, with the Eagles on the power play the Express sent the puck down the ice, Shaw came out of his net to sweep the puck away from an oncoming Blake Hayward and in the process Shaw nearly put the puck in his own net.

After the Express fell into the 2-0 hole Lawson Fenton really settled into the game allowing the Express to mount a come back. He made 18 saves in the second period keeping the Eagles lead at just two. His best saves of the period came off Ashton Calder with a right pad save on a shot from the slot. Then moments later another save off Desi Burgart with the glove on a close play in front of the net. Fenton finished with 39 saves.

Moments later David Guinta raced after a loose puck and split the Eagles defense and was hauled down and the Express defenseman was awarded a penalty shot. With the ice in poor conditions late in the period Giunta took no chances with a deke, he instead snapped a low and hard wrist shot off the post and in getting the Express on the board trailing 2-1 after 2 periods.

One of the best aspects of the Express game since their return from the Christmas break has been their penalty killing. It was sharp again Thursday killing off all 4 Surrey powerplays. Including a early power play for the Eagles in the third period. The Express have been perfect on the penalty kill in 4 of their last 5 games and have killed off 21 of 24 shorthanded situations in that time.

Eight minutes into the third period the Express pulled even. Alex Ambrosio set up Mitch Newsome who scored from the slot to tie the game at 2.

The tie only lasted 1:21. Jeffrey's Stewart's shot from the right wing went wide of the net and bounced off the boards to the other side of the net where Nick Fea quickly slid the puck across the crease back to Stewart who snapped it home for a 3-2 Eagles lead.

Another third period deficit didn't faze the Express. With just over 5 minutes to go Will Lawrence found a loose puck and roofed it over a sprawled out Shaw to tie the game at 3.

The Express had their chance to win it late in regulation with Paul McAvoy getting called for tripping. But they couldn't convert on the power play. Both teams finished 0 for 4 on the power play.

Overtime didn't last long, Mitch Newsome carried the puck into the Eagles zone and left the puck for Cal Babych who quickly zipped a pass over to Brandon Kennedy who tapped it home to give the Express the 4-3 overtime win. The goal by the Express defenseman wearing number 4 rekindled memories of Bobby Orr's most famous goal as Kennedy flew through the air while celebrating his overtime goal. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017


Highlights of the Express 5-2 win over Surrey Friday night.

Highlights courtesy of Jorge Parra and Underdog Productions. 


It was a way too long of a time coming. 24 games in fact, but the Express snapped their 23 game winless streak with a 5-2 win over Surrey Friday night.

During the streak the Express posted a 0-21-1-1 record. The road between victories was long, laborious and painful at times. And that's what made Friday's victory that much more satisfying when you consider what the team had endured. Prior to Friday the Express last tasted victory October 21st 5-4 vs. Wenatchee.

Alex Ambrosio - Photo courtesy of Damon James
The team was ravaged with injuries cutting into the depth and experience of the team. There were nights with up to 10 regulars out of the lineup and 5 or 6 affiliate players in the lineup as Barry Wolff tried to dress as full of a lineup as possible. Those challenges led to some long nights with some lopsided losses handed to the Express.

But now that streak is a thing of the past.

The seeds for this victory may have been planted when the Express returned from their Christmas break a week ago vs. Surrey. Some of the injured players started to slowly filter their way back in the lineup with the returns of Domenic Masellis, Mitch Newsome, Christian Bosa and Alex Ambrosio. Friday the Express got another key body back tonight with Cam Bertsch dressing for his first game since the home opener in early October.

Lawson Fenton made 36 saves  - Photo courtesy of Damon James

Bertsch's return had an immediate impact. His first shift of the game saw him block a shot and block a pass. That all set the tone for a strong night for the 20 year old forward. Bertsch didn't hit the scoresheet, but his finger prints were all over the game. He made some key defensive plays, used his speed to help get in on the forechek. It was pretty easy to see what the Express were missing in Bertsch.

Will Lawrence opened the scoring for the Express. He was in perfect position to steal a Surrey D to D pass and tuck the puck past Michael Botiz for Lawerence's 4th goal of the season.

Another Surrey turnover along the boards in the Surrey zone led to the second Express goal. Mitch Newsome then set up Alex Ambrosio who snapped a shot up over the glove of Botiz for 2-0 Express lead after the first period.

 Photo courtesy of Damon James
Surrey ramped up their game in the first half of the second period. Darius Davidson got the Eagles on the board in the opening minute beating Lawson Fenton with a wrist shot up over his glove.

The Eagles had the edge in play for the first 10 minutes of the period but Lawson Fenton shut the door to keep the Express in the lead. Fenton would finish with 36 saves for his third win of the season.

Midway through the second period the Express restored their two goal lead. On the power play Jake Brien unloaded a slap shot past Botiz for a 3-1 Express lead on Brien's 2nd goal of the season.

The line of Mitch Newsome, Alex Ambrosio and Cal Babych teamed up late in the second period to give the Express some insurance going into the third period. Newsome picked the puck off the boards and set up Ambrosio in the slot, his shot was blocked but the puck bounced right to Newsome who scored for a second straight game and a 4-1 lead.

The third period saw the Express focus on their play on the defensive side of the game to bring home the victory. Surrey made it a 4-2 game when Ty Westgard potted home a loose puck with 11 minutes to go. From there Surrey never really threatened to complete the come back.

Cal Babych sealed the win for the Express picking up his third point of the night on a empty net goal with just over two minutes remaining in the third period. Babych finished with one goal and two assists. His line along with Ambrosio and Newsome each picking up a goal and an assist help that unit combine for seven points with three goals and four assists.

The Express will hit the road this weekend for a pair of games against Island division foes the Powell River Kings and Cowichan Valley Capitals. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Highlights of the Eagles 4-3 win over the Express Friday night.

Highlights courtesy of Jorge Parra & Underdog Productions