Tuesday, December 23, 2008


On behalf of my partner in the booth Gord Doerkson, we'd like to wish you all a happy and safe holiday season.

We'll talk to ya again when we get rolling again December 29th vs. Langley.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Due to the weather, today's game between the Express and Eagles has been cancelled. No make up date has been announced.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Taken from Dave Vest Desert Blog on

Kyle Turris is getting more comfortable in Phoenix, on and off the ice.

On the ice, Turris is less afraid of making mistakes than he was a few months ago and the 19-year-old’s confidence is growing with each mistake he doesn’t make.

On Thursday night he provided all the offense the Coyotes needed in a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators. It was the first two-goal game of his short NHL career.

I asked Turris why he’s suddenly playing with more confidence.

“At the beginning of the year, I was scared to screw up because I was on the fourth line and I wasn’t playing much and I didn’t want to hurt the team,” Turris said after Thursday’s game. “But I’ve kind of changed the way I look at things. I’ve changed it so that I know I am going to screw up from time to time and that’s OK, I’ve just got to limit those and learn from them. Now if I screw up, I go back to the bench ... and when I come back out for my next shift I’m not even thinking about it.”

I asked Turris if any of the veterans on the team have gone out of their way to help him cope during the low points of his rookie season. He said Shane Doan and Steven Reinprecht have been big helps.

Regarding Reinprecht, Turris said: “He brings me up when I’m down. If I miss on a shootout, or if I’m doing terrible on face-offs, he’s always there to say ‘Hey, just forget about it and just work harder next time and bear down.' He’s always there.”

Off the ice, Turris just moved into his first home with his name on the deed.

“It’s been pretty cool,” Turris said. “I’ve learned so much about mortgage rates and fees and stuff that I wasn’t expecting to learn until my late twenties.”

Turris’ parents have been helping him get settled into his new place. They even brought his dog, Cooper, down from British Columbia to add an extra touch of home. It's working. Turris is loving life. Just wait until he gets that first electric bill in July…


Here's the highlights from Friday's 4-2 Express win over Powell River.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen at Purple Penguin Productions. For widescreen DVD ordering information in 16:9 format, contact Cary at

Friday, December 19, 2008


Kyle Turris was named the games first star as he scored both goals as his Coyotes defeated Nashville 2-1 Thursday night.

"I feel the best I've felt all year," Turris said. "I feel great, I have my legs under me and I'm feeling very confident."

It was Kyle's first 2 point game since he scored his first NHL goal and an assist in the Coyotes 2nd game of the season on Oct. 12 vs. Anaheim.

Kyle now has 5 goals and 6 assists in 30 games this season. And since he was benched in back to back games in Calgary and Vancouver in early November, he has 4 goals and 3 assists.

The Coyotes have now picked up points in 5 straight games.

See Kyle's 2 goals below thanks to

Monday, December 15, 2008


The Burnaby Express dropped a pair of crucial games in a home and home series with the Surrey Eagles.

Friday in Surrey, the Eagles got off to a fast start by jumping out to a 4-0 lead on their first 4 shots before the game was 8 minutes old on a pair of goals by Mike Henderson and singles by Mike Krgovich and Adam Hartley.

Richie Virtanen was on the hook for all 4 goals but couldn't be faulted on any of them. One timers, a deflection off his Mike Leidl and in, a partial breakaway. That would spell the end to Virtanen's night as he was pulled in place of Mike Chan.

Surrey did most of their damage on the powerplay as three of the goals came on their first three powerplays.

Spencer Bennent scored early in the second period to make the score 5-0.

Thomas Hardy spoiled Tommy Tartaglione's bid for a 3rd straight shutout vs. the Express when he scored his second goal in as many games at 4:21 of the third period. It was the first goal Tartaglione allowed against the Express in 8 plus periods of hockey. The goal came just 16 seconds shy of the equilvalant of 3 straight shutouts vs. the Express going back to Surrey's 6-1 win over Burnaby on October 5th when Max Grassi scored at 4:37 of the third period.

Mike Krgovich added his second of the game on the power play to round out the scoring. Surrey finished the night 4 for 6 on the powerplay. The Express were 0 for 7.

Final score Eagles 6 Express 1.

Saturday the scene shifted to the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

Max Grassi opened the scoring midway through the first period when he scored his 4th shorthanded goal of the season. That goal pulled him into a 5 way tie for the league lead in shorthanded goals with, Quesnel's Trevor Hertz, Penticton's Curtis Mckenzie, Merritt's Paul Forster and Victoria's Myles Macrae.

The lead didn't last long as Brett Corcoran one timed a pass from Brennan Strang to even the score just 21 seconds later.

Corcoran scored his second of the game while the Eagles were shorthanded, that was followed by Mike Henderson scoring on a 2 on 1 break and he showed great hands as he kept the puck and deked to the backhand to beat Mike Chan and open up a 3-1 Surrey lead. The goal extended Henderson's point streak to 11 games.

Dylon Herold got the Express back within one scoring on a scramble before the period was done.

Max Grassi tied the game 3 minutes into the third when he scored his second of the night. Grassi was instrumental in giving the Express the lead as his wrist shot was tipped home by Brent Vandenberg to give the Express a 4-3 lead. The goal was Vandenberg's first with the Express and his first goal in 16 games overall.

The game slipped through the hands of the Express in the final 8 minutes of the game when Cole Gelley and Brennan Strang scored powerplay goals to give the Eagles a 5-4 lead.

The Express had one last shot to tie the game as they had a power play for the final 90 seconds with Nolan Toigo in the penalty box for holding. But the Express couldn't take advantage and Surrey held on for the 5-4 win and a sweep of the home and home series.

The loss was the 12th in the last 13 outings for the Express.

Surrey has now opened up a 11 point lead on the Express in the Mainland division. The Express have just 24 games left in the season.

The Express chances of now making the playoffs seem pretty slim. Surrey right now is in pace for 65 points this season. The Express would have to pick up 41 of their remaining 48 points available to surpass the Eagles for a playoff spot if they maintain their current pace. In other words, go on a .854 clip the rest of the way.

Next weekend the Express will host the Mainland division leading Powell River Kings Friday then travel to Surrey Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Here's the highlights from Surrey's 5-4 win over the Express Saturday night.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen and Purple Penguin Productions. DVD ordering information can be found at

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Taken from

Message received, Turris turns the corner Sunday, 11.30.2008 / 10:00 PM / Rookie Watch By Dan Rosen - Staff Writer The message was loud and clear, and Kyle Turris understood its meaning.

"Hey kiddo, forget about playing in your hometown in front of your parents and all of your friends, you haven't earned it," was basically what Phoenix Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky told the 19-year-old British Columbia boy earlier this month.

Turris, who is from New Westminster, was expecting to play when the Coyotes visited GM Place in Vancouver on Nov. 6. Gretzky instead made him a late scratch, dashing the hopes of more than 100 of Turris' biggest fans who were at the game.

Turris, disappointed, has been a different player ever since.

"It was difficult, but you learn pretty quickly when you don't get to play in your hometown," Turris told "I was upset, but I came back the next day and took my anger out on the ice and have been ever since."

As the third pick in the 2007 Entry Draft, Turris entered the NHL this season carrying the burden of expectations in his luggage. He hasn't exactly set the League ablaze, but Turris, 19, is learning the ropes as Gretzky shows faith in him.

"It's a challenge for him. There is a lot of pressure on a guy that was the third pick overall," Gretzky said of Turris, who turned pro after just one season at the University of Wisconsin. "Two years ago he was playing Tier 2 hockey, so the other guys that played a couple of years of major A or college, it's a different level. He's gotten stronger, better and quicker in the last month. We all know his hockey instincts and hockey awareness are really strong. It's just a matter of him getting stronger and quicker and he's doing that right now and he's playing well. I'm happy with him."

Maybe most important, Turris is gaining confidence with his maturity.

Take, for instance, that night in Vancouver when he watched in street clothes just like the 100 or so friends and family members who came to see him in a Coyotes uniform. Turris could have pouted and had that "woe is me" attitude, but he didn't. How he handled the entire ordeal, with professionalism, hasn't gone unnoticed.

"I think it was a turning point for Kyle in a sense that he has become more mature," Phoenix GM Don Maloney told "He understands this is serious, that this is a business. Instead of saying, 'Oh this is wonderful, great, super and love everybody,' this is now like I have to play and I have to play hard all the time and be a productive player in order to play. I see a difference in him."

The difference, Turris says, is in his confidence. He may not be producing as many points as he'd like - he has seven through 21 games entering this week - but he's getting opportunities because he's skating hard and figuring out the NHL game.

As a result, Turris said right now he is "the most confidence I have been all year."

"I just didn't have confidence," Turris said of what ailed him through the first month of the season. "Maybe a little bit of nerves, but I think that comes with confidence. Because I had no confidence I was nervous that I was going to screw up. There came a point where I said I can either play like this the whole year or not take it as hard when I do screw up, take it as part of the game and learn from it."

Obviously, Turris has lots to learn, but he said he's getting used to the travel and how to play at a consistent level.

"I'm getting my legs under me now," he said.

He also understands how to use his size and strength to his advantage. He's listed at 6-foot-1, but Turris barely weighs 180 pounds. He's a toothpick on the ice and probably needs to pack on 20-25 pounds, but that won't happen this year.

"I'm not the biggest guy and I'm not going to physically be able to win a one-on-one battle with a guy like (Brian) McGrattan or (Shane) Doan, so I have to be a bit smarter," Turris said. "When I do use my physical strength, I have to use it in a short spurt where I can overpower a guy quickly. In a big battle, I don't stand a chance."

Maloney thinks Turris is primed for a breakout soon, likely in the second half, which would go against conventional thinking. Usually straight-out-of-college players suffer second-half swoons because they're used to playing roughly 40 games, not 82.

"It's a challenge for him. He's gotten stronger, better and quicker in the last month. We all know his hockey instincts and hockey awareness are really strong. It's just a matter of him getting stronger and quicker and he's doing that right now and he's playing well. I'm happy with him." -- Phoenix Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky on Kyle Turris
"I really believe he's getting the tempo and the strength," Maloney said. "It's going to take him time to get stronger, but Wayne plays him. It's a little bit of good faith right now and hopefully we'll be rewarded in the second half. I love his effort, but for an offensive guy we need production."

You don't have to tell Turris that. He knows he was drafted third overall because he's a point-producer. He had 66 goals and 55 assists in 2006-07 when he was playing in the Tier 2 British Columbia Hockey League. He had 11 goals and 24 assists with the Badgers last season. Turris led Team Canada to a gold medal in the 2008 World Junior Championship with eight points in seven games.

"I'm doing all the right things now," Turris said. "I'm working hard. I have my legs under me. I'm skating. I'm creating chances. I'm getting shots. They're going to go in, they have to. Once they do, I'm hoping to get more bounces and things open up for me."

If they don't, the Coyotes might have to re-think Turris' development. He can be sent down to the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League, but that's only going to happen if he really hits the skids.

"If it gets to the point where he is clearly struggling and fighting the puck and his confidence is shot, then, yeah, you send him some place where he gains some," Maloney said. "Right now I don't think that is the case. You just continue to compete and Wayne gives him opportunity to have success. I really feel we'll be rewarded with our patience, but it does take some patience."

Contact Dan Rosen at

Monday, December 8, 2008


Yesterday afternoon a weary Express club came home after their 3 game island road trip to play the Langley Chiefs for an afternoon affair with a 10 game losing streak in their back pocket.

The Express were coming off back to back strong performances in Victoria and Cowichan Valley but still ended up on the wrong side the of the score.

After an early morning and playing their 4th game in less than 4 nights, the odds that the Express were going to snap their streak on this day were low. But everyone dug deep and found that little extra in their system to step up and defeat the Langley Chiefs 5-2 yesterday.

Here's how it sounded.

Hear the highlights here.

Nothing else needs to be said. Way to dig deep boys!


After his Coyotes lost 7-1 to Chicago on the weekend, former Express Kyle Turris was challenged to his first NHL fight with Kris Versteeg of the Blackhawks.

Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretkzy wasn't too happy however with Versteeg challenging him to a scrap in the final seconds of his teams 7-1 win.

“I don’t like to see an 18-year-old kid (Turris) get grabbed out of a pile in a 7-1 hockey game and take a beating,” Gretzky said. "I just don’t think that there’s any room for that. It’s a 7-1 game and the kid is 18 years old. I don’t agree with that. I’ve never seen that. We’ll see what happens. We’ve got another game against them and we’ll be ready to play them.” Said Gretzky.

Versteeg was suspended for one game and Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville was fined $10 000 because Versteeg instigated the fight in the final 5 minutes of the game.


Here are the highlights from Burnaby's 5-2 win over the Langley Chiefs Sunday afternoon.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen at Purple Penguin Productions. For DVD ordering information, visit

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I have posted interviews I did with Cam Brodie and Max Grassi. Talked to Brodie about being named to the Coastal Confernce all star team. And Max about NOT going. The audio can be found in the Express All stars posting listed below.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


The Burnaby Express have a brand spanking new website. Check it out at

It can also be found in the links section.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Former Burnaby Express defenceman Patrick Weircioch, former Salmon Arm Silverback Riley Nash and former Victoria Grizzlie Jamie Benn got the call today from Hockey Canada to try out for the Canadian World Junior team which will seek it's 5th straight gold medal this holiday season in Ottawa.

They were among 38 players selected to participate in Hockey Canada's main camp which will take place later this month.

Weircioch, who is in his freshman season at Denver University and a 2nd round draft pick of the Ottawa Senators, has put up 6 goals and 13 points in 13 games this season. Weircioch put up 25 points in 42 games with the Express in 06-07. Last season he won a USHL Championship with the Omaha Lancers.

Nash, is in his second season season at Cornell University. He was drafted in the first round out of Salmon Arm by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2007 NHL Draft. Nash is second on the team in scoring with 5 points in 8 games.

Benn, is in his second season with the Kelowna Rockets. He has 23 goals and 41 points in 24 games this season. In 06-07, Benn put up 42 goals and 65 points in 55 games with the Victoria Grizzlies. Benn was a 5th round draft pick of the Dallas Stars in 2007.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


The Coastal Conference all stars have been announced.

1 current Express and a former Express will represent Burnaby in Vernon on January 14th.

Defenceman Cam Brodie and current Penticton Vee Brodie Reid were voted by the Coastal Conference coaches to represent the Express.

Cam Brodie was acquired by the Express from the Merritt Centennials in a late October trade. In 12 games since coming to the Express Brodie has 3 goals and 3 assists for 12 points.

Brodie Reid, who scored 52 goals and was a Coastal Conference all star last year will represent the Express, in spite of the fact Reid was traded last week by the Express to the Penticton Vees for Brent Vandenberg.

Injuries have plagued Reid's season this year. In 9 games played with the Express this season, Reid scored 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points. This past weekend Reid had 1 assist in 2 games in Penticton.

For the second straight year, there is one noticeable omission from the Coastal Conference roster. Max Grassi, who leads the Express in scoring with 14 goals and 27 points will NOT be an all star this season.

In my view, Grassi should represent the Express in Vernon in place of Brodie Reid who was traded last week.

Hear Brodie's and Grassi's thoughts here.

Mainland division leaders the Powell River Kings have the most players heading to Vernon. In total 6 Kings will be off to Vernon. The Victoria Grizzlies are next with 4 players selected.

Grizzlies head coach Geoff Courtnall will be the head coach and Powell River Kings head coach Kent Lewis will serve as his assistant.

The Interior Conference roster will be announced tomorrow.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Here are the highlights for Saturday's game vs. Alberni Valley.

Here's highlights from Sunday's game vs. Langley.

Highlights courtesy of Purple Penguin Productions. If you would like to purchase a widescreen DVD in 16:9 format contact Cary Derksen at

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Last weekend the Express had a pair of games. The first of which was the first "BIG" game of the season.

The Express went into Surrey last Friday just one point back of the Surrey Eagles for 3rd place in the Mainland division. The Express had dropped the last 2 meetings in Surrey vs. the Eagles. You add that to a Surrey team that had won 8 of their last 10 and points in 9 of those games, you had an Express team facing a club that is much improved from the first month of the season.

The last 2 head to head matchups had seen the Express really struggle to generate offence against the Eagles. Surrey had done an excellent job of keeping the Express to the outside.

Burnaby needed to find a way to penetrate the inside of the ice on the Eagles.

The Express got a boost when Reid Edmondson returned to the lineup after missing two weeks due to a hip flexor injury. It was diagnosed when it was found Edmondson's alignment was off. He's since had a thin plate inserted under the boot of his skate to bring him back inline.

This game got started off with a bang when Greg Bay dropped the mitts with Andrew Wallace right off the opening faceoff. At the time, you hoped the fight would give the Express a spark on the road. But it was the Eagles who got life who had a strong opening shift of the game in the Burnaby zone. Forcing the Express into numerous turnovers.

The first period saw Burnaby create numerous scoring chances, but weren't able to put the puck past Tommy Tartaglione.

Surrey opened the scoring just shy of the 8 minute mark of the first period when the puck was chipped into the corner in the Express zone and the Eagles just simply out muscled the Express to the puck, it was played back to Mike Krgovich, his shot was stopped, but former Express Spencer Bennett was there to bang home the rebound.

The Surrey lead was two before the period was done when Chris Santiago scored at the side of the Express net. The assists going to Adam Hartley and Steve Ceccanese.

Certainly not the start the Express were looking for in such a key game with such huge implications in the standings.

Mike Henderson added to the Eagle lead with the Eagles on the power play again as he fired a hard wrist shot top corner from the half boards to beat Mike Chan just shy of the 4 minute mark.

The Express needed someone to try and provide some offence to make an effort to get back into the game. Brodie Reid had a few chances but just couldn't find the mark. The encouraging thing for the Express sniper who hasn't scored since September 26th is that he is creating chances.

The Eagles power play struck again before the period was done as Steve Ceccanese wheeled behind the Express defence and took a perfect pass right up the middle and walked in alone and beat Mike Chan to make it a 4-0 Eagle advantage. The third power play goal of the game for the Eagles.

The third period saw the Express trying to salvage something in what was a chippy affair at times. Two more fights in the third to go on top of Bay's fight off the opening faceoff and a tilt between Max Grassi and Brennan Strang in the second period.

End of the night, it was a very disappointing effort by the Express in a big game where the Express needed to make a statement as they tried to keep pace with the Eagles in the Mainland division standings.

Final score, Eagles 4 Express 0. Tommy Tartaglione stopped all 33 shots he faced for his second straight shutout vs. the Express. The Eagle netminder has allowed just one goal in the last 3 meetings with the Express.

The Express penalty killing took another beating as the Eagles went 3/11 with the man advantage. Second straight game the Express had allowed 3 power play goals.

The Eagle win opened up a 3 point lead on the Express for third place in the Mainland division standings.


Express: 33
Eagles: 40

3 stars

3-Steve Ceccanese (1G,1A)
2-Spencer Bennett (1G,1A)
1-Tommy Tartaglione (33 saves, shutout)

Saturday didn't get any easier for the Express. They hosted the league leading Powell River Kings. And Surrey was off to face the 3 win Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

By the time the puck was dropped Saturday night, the Express knew they got some help on the out of town scoreboard when the Bulldogs defeated the Eagles 5-4 in overtime in a rare Saturday afternoon affair. But the Eagles did salvage a point out of the game when they scored twice in the final 10 minutes to force overtime. The overtime loss by the Eagles opened up a 4 point lead on the Express for 3rd place in the division.

The Express were looking to build off their last 2 home games when the Express competed hard against Victoria and Penticton. Two of the better teams in the BCHL.

Powell River was 3-0-1 going into the game vs. Burnaby this season.

The Kings entered the game without one of their top play makers as rookie defenceman Matt Bodie was not in the lineup. But the Kings weren't overly concerned. They had more than enough offence to make up for it. Including the league's leading scorer Darcy Oakes, and Kyle Bodie, Clay Harvey, and Eric Vos all in the top 10.

The league's best power play opened the scoring when Clay Harvey dished it across the Express crease and Oakes roofed it over a sprawled out Mike Chan.

Insipite falling behind, it was the Express who were carrying the play. They were physical with the Kings, they were creating chances and out shot the Kings 12-5 after the first period.

Reid Edmondson tied the game 5 minutes into the second as Garrick Perry got the puck to the net and the large centre popped a loose puck home.

Garrick Perry played his best game since returning to the lineup after being levelled by Nanaimo's Tyler Mah in early October. He was physical on the forecheck, was strong on the puck and was creating scoring chances all night long.

As the second period progressed, it was clear the Express were doing a good job of shutting down the explosive Kings. They limited their quality scoring chances. But the problem the Express have had this season vs. the Kings was a lapse in their play to allow the opposition to get them back into the game.

The Express lapse began in the final 5 minutes of the second period. Max Grassi drilled Kings forward Brooks Robinson from behind on a delayed penalty. The initial penalty was going to Grassi, but now you add this undisciplined checking from behind penalty to his original hooking penalty, you have the Express shorthanded for 4 minutes and the Express without their number one centre for the rest of the game.

That costly penalty was followed 2 minutes later by another stupid penalty by Brodie Reid. He and John Bokla teamed up to force a turnover at the Kings blueline allowing Reid to walk in alone on a shorthanded breakaway. Reid couldn't cash as he tried to pick the top corner. After the chance Reid came together with a Kings player in the corner and Reid was called for roughing. There is absolutely no excuse for this stupid penalty.

Reid has to be better aware of his surroundings. He can't be taking penalties 200 feet away from his net with his team already shorthanded.

To no ones surprise, the Kings made the Express pay on the 5 on 3. Eric Vos redirected a pass from Jordan Gallea over the shoulder of Mike Chan to give the Kings a 2-1 lead after 2 periods.

Just a poor display of a lack of discipline by players who both wear A's on their sweaters.

Powell River has enough offensive punch as it is, the Express who are a team that is struggling to create offence, can't afford to give Powell River any help.

The third period saw the Kings go into lead protect mode. The Express chances were few and far between. Powell River got the insurance marker 8 minutes into the third when the puck was turned over at the King line and Kyle Bodie went in on a 2 on 1 with Chad Niddery, goaltender Mike Chan made a spectacular save off Bodie on the initial shot, but Niddery buried the rebound over the Express netminder.

Reid Edmondson cut the lead back down to one with his second of the game with 13 seconds left. That set up one last hope for the Express. Off a faceoff to the right of Carson Chubak, Brodie Reid slid a shot just wide of the post and the game ended with the Kings coming away with a 3-2 win.

It was a disappointing game from an Express perspective due to Burnaby playing a very strong game shutting down the league's highest scoring team. However, it was spoiled by a pair of dumb penalties by veteran players late in the second period that came back to bite the Express.

And for as much as good teams like the Kings find ways to win when they don't play well. The Express who have now lost 4 straight games, and found a way to lose a game they played pretty well in.

The Express penalty killing continues their recent struggles. The Kings went 2/5 on the powerplay on this night. During the current 4 game losing streak, the penalty killing has allowed 10 goals on 30 shorthanded situations.


Burnaby 30
Powell River 24

3 stars

3-Reid Edmondson (2G)
2-Carsen Chubak (28 saves)
1-Eric Vos (1G, 2A)

The Express remain 4 points back of the Eagles for 3rd place in the division.

Friday the Express will see a familiar face when they face Kevin Jebson and the Westside Warriors. That game kicks off a 3 game weekend for the Express. Saturday they return home to host Alberni Valley. Then welcome the Langley Chiefs Sunday afternoon to the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Great news for the family of Express alumni Brady Cook. His brother Matt this past weekend won the World Sledge Hockey Challenge for Team Canada.

Matt came to Burnaby's training camp in 2005. But had to return home to Alberta when he wasn't feeling well. Later that season, it was learned he had cancer. Understandably, the family has had their ups and downs and it's news like this that can't help but bring a smile to your face.

Matt got his start in sledge hockey in 2007 while his brother Brady was playing for the Camrose Kodiaks at the Royal Bank cup in Prince George. Sledge hockey was a demonstration sport at the tournament. Brady went down to talk to some of the players after demonstrating their sport about trying to get Matt involved. After some hard work, Matt made the team in October.

Saturday Canada defeated Norway by a score of 7-0 in the championship game. Canada dominated outshooting their opposition 30-8.

Cook finished the tournament with 1 goal and 2 assists in 4 games played.

Congratulations Matt on the world sledge hockey title. Keep up the hard work. Hopefully we'll be seeing you here in Vancouver for the 2010 Paralympic games.


Here are the highlights for Saturday's game vs. Powell River.

Highlights produced by Cary Derksen of Purple Penguin Productions. If you are interested in purchasing a game DVD, contact Cary and

Monday, November 17, 2008


Saturday night the Express came home to face the Victoria Grizzlies. The Express were coming home after a 3 game northern road swing where they went 2-1. Burnaby would be getting a boost offensively with the return of Brodie Reid. He was playing his first game with the Express since returning home with a silver medal from the World Junior A Challenge in Camrose Alberta.

It was the second meeting of the season between the two teams. Victoria took the first matchup 6-1 on October 11th. That was a game marred by poor officiating and Victoria took advantage of all the penalties handed to the Express by going 4/10 on the power play.

The game was Victoria's second of their 3 game Mainland division road trip. They opened the trip with a 4-2 win over Powell River the night before.

Getting off to a good start and staying out of the box would be key for Burnaby on this night. Victoria had scored first in each of their last 5 games. Outscoring their opposition 10-2 in those 5 games in the first period. Winning 4 of them. The Grizzlies power play was 5/13 in their last 2 games.

Well, Burnaby got off to the start they wanted when Max Grassi teamed up with John Bokla to open the scoring on a beautiful give and go play. Bokla was on the business end for his 5th goal of the season.

Hear Bokla's goal here.

Victoria had a reply less than a minute and a half later when Evan Pighin took a feed from Cam Reid behind Burnaby's net and Pighin made no mistake putting home his 14th of the season. The goal was very remniscent to Victoria's success against Burnaby on the powerplay in the first meeting of the season. So it appeared early, that the Express would have to try and find a way to take that play away from Victoria.

The Grizzlies used the same play later in the period on another powerplay to take the lead for the first time when Dustin Mowrey found Tyler Matheson in front of the net to give Victoria a 2-1 lead.

The Express had a reply before the period was done. Jacob Verheyden, playing in his first game back from an infection knocked down a puck along the half boards in the Victoria zone, he put it in front and Matt Frydresyk would score on the rebound to tie the game. Frydresyk was acquired by Burnaby earlier in the week from the Drumheller Dragons of the AJHL for future considerations.

Hear Frydrysek's first Express goal here.

Frydresyk adds another big body to the Express lineup. He stands 6'3 200 lbs. He played part of the last 2 seasons with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

In the second period, the injury bug would start to bite the Express again. This time the defenceman would take the hit. Captain Mike Leidl and Johnny Mahovlich didn't return for the start of the second period. Both suffering head injuries. Those injuries already followed Colin De Jersey leaving again very wobbly after being hit by Justin Courtnall. It was De Jersey's first game since leaving each of his last 2 games in very similar fashion after hits in back to back games. Let's all hope Colin will be ok.

More penalty trouble would come back to bite the Express. Anthony Collins came to the defence of a teammate after Myles Macrae hit an Express player near their bench and Collins was given a 5 minute major for fighting and a 10 minute misconduct. In the latter portion of the 5 minute major to Collins, Greg Bay joined Collins in the box giving Victoria a 5 on 3. It wouldn't take them long to strike. The Grizzlies again worked it down low, and Derek Lee from the goal line found Justin Courtnall in the slot and he made no mistake sliding it under Richie Virtanen to restore the Victoria lead.

So the Express would need to come from behind in the third period to at least salvage a point out of the game.

Midway through the 3rd period, the Express broke through on a bit of a broken play. Garrick Perry poked the puck past Victoria goaltender Alex Peck. It just crossed the goal line enough from inside the post and came right back out to tie the game at 3.

Both teams had their chances to break the tie, but failed to do so. Off to overtime the teams went.

Victoria scored the winning goal when Jeff Forsythe fed Sean Stuart at the left point and his shot was tipped home by Derek Lee at 3:23 of the first overtime.

Hear Lee's game winning goal here.

Special teams was the difference maker in this hockey game as Victoria went 3/6 on the power play. While playing well with the man advantage, Victoria played a very disciplined game giving Burnaby only 1 power play on this night.

The Victoria power play has torched the Express in the two meetings this season. Victoria's power play is 7/16 vs. the Express this season, 43.75%. You're not going to lose that many games when you power play is playing that well. The next time these two teams meet on December 4th, the Express will have to find a way to take away the play from behind the net for Victoria. That play has burned the Express all season long in the head to head matchups.


Burnaby 28
Victoria 36

3 stars

3-Alex Peck (25 saves, W)
2-Richie Virtanen (32 saves)
1-Derek Lee (GWG, assist)

This coming week, the Expresss have a pair of divisional games. It begins with the first "big" game of the season when the Express travel to Surrey Friday night. The Eagles have won 8 of their last 10 games and now sit one point up on the Express for third place in the Mainland division. The Eagles have taken the last 2 meetings between the two teams.

Saturday the Express host the division leading Powell River Kings. Burnaby will be looking for their first win of the season vs. Powell River (0-3-1).

Sunday, November 16, 2008


In hockey injuries can't be used as an excuse as all teams have to battle their fair share of injuries over the course of a season. But for the Express they've had enough injuries to cover 2 seasons and the 08-09 campaign hasn't even hit the midway mark.

This season, the Express are trying not to use injuries as an excuse for their struggles this season. But lets say they've deffinitley had an impact on a team that has a 9-12-1-3 record and is currently sitting in the basement of the BCHL's Mainland division and currently sitting out of a playoff spot.

Lets have an exercise and compare Burnaby's injuries with any other team in the Mainland division to get some perspective on how any other team in the division would be farring this season if they had the injuries the Express have had to endure this season.

Let's compare Burnaby with the Langley Chiefs.

And how this will work is, we'll take a Burnaby player who's missed time with injury and put Langley in Burnaby's shoes and take a similar player out of their roster. Now, first of all i'm NOT trying to compare the talent of the two teams and say they're similar. I'm just saying the importance of the Burnaby player mentioned is as important as the player he's being compared to on Langley's roster.

Brodie Reid, he's Burnaby's best goal scorer. Led the team last season with 52 goals. This season he's missed 11 games due to injury. Now imagine Langley without Milos Gordic who's tied for the team lead with 15 goals this season. His absence would certainly be missed.

Max Grassi is Burnaby's number 1 centre this season. He missed 2 weeks earlier this season after suffering an injury on the Island road trip in early October. Imagine Langley without Derek Grant for two weeks. I know he's missed time with injury earlier this season. But the Chiefs still had Elias and Gordic in the lineup.

Garrick Perry's been Burnaby's best rookie this season. He's 4th on the team in scoring and has been a clutch player with 4 game winning goals and assisting on another game winner by John Bokla. Perry missed 4 games after being levelled by Nanaimo's Tyler Mah on October 10th. Now replace Perry with Mac Roy. He's a top 6 forward on the Chiefs this season.

John Bokla missed 5 games when he collided with Greg Bay in practice earlier this season. Now you take Trevor Elias out of Langley's lineup. Now, i'm not saying that Bokla and Elias are at the same level talent wise. But what I mean is, Bokla is a player that has spent some time on Burnaby's top line this season. Elias certainly is a top line player for the Chiefs. Again, Langley would be hurt without someone who's played on their top line this season.

Reid Edmondson and Anthony Collins have each spent time on the sidelines this season. They both provide size and some offence for the Express. Their contributions are valuable along the baords. Forechecking and in the faceoff circle. Now for the Chiefs take Joe Walter out of the lineup.

Gavin Hohl is on the 60 day injured list after suffering a concussion thanks to a hit from Surrey's Brennan Strang. Hohl was just starting to find his stride in the BCHL. He was starting to find his offensive game, and was playing a role on Burnaby's penalty killing unit. Now take Brad Goss out of Langley's lineup.

Jacob Verheyden has missed 14 games with a shoulder injury and a infection this season. Verheyden brings a speed dimension to Burnaby's game. Now i'm certainly not comparing the two players talent wise here. But let's just take the speed of Elias out of the Chiefs roster. That would be missed.

Luke Challier's missed 13 games after suffering a fracture in his ankle. Burnaby is missing a player that is willing to drop the gloves with anyone. Just for the sake of comparison, we know Jessie Tresierra's more than willing to dance. In fact the two have been dance partners this season.

That's just the forwards.

Now lets look at the defence which took a real hit last night when Colin De Jersey, Mike Leidl and Johnny Mahovlich left last night's 4-3 OT loss to Victoria.

Let's begin with the Burnaby captain Mike Leidl. He's so strong at both ends of the ice. His play is far from flashy. But is very reliable. It's still to early to determine how long he will be out of the lineup, but if it's a prolonged period of time the Express will miss their undisputed leader. Now take Jessie Tresierra out of Langley's lineup from a defensive prespective. They both have 15 points on the backend and both are the captains of their team. If Leidl's out for a extended period of time. His leadership and strong play in his own end will be missed.

Johnny Mahovlich also left last night's contest. Again, it's too early to determine how long he will be out of the lineup. Just for the sake of this exercise, let's take Brad Bakken out of Langley's lineup.

Colin De Jersey's situation certainly appears to be the scariest of all the injuries the Express have endured this season. The last 3 games he's played, each time he left the ice very wobbly after being hit. Very scary stuff. First off, lets just hope Colin will be ok. To see any player leave the ice the way he did once is scary enough. But to see it happen in his last 3 games is just even scarier. He will be out for a long period of time I would think.

Promising rookie Simon Denis has missed the last 4 games due to a shoulder injury suffered November 1 vs. Penticton. His skating ability and potential as a 17 year old is very high. Take rookie Dennis Robertson out of the Chiefs lineup.

Now, I know this posting is long winded already. But the purpose is to compare Burnaby's injuries and put Langley in the Express shoes and give you some prespective how the Express injuries would impact another team in this league. Now if Langley had all of the bodies listed out of their lineup at different points in time this season, I can guarantee you they would feel the sting too. They would not be sitting in 2nd place in the divison with a 14-10-1 record.

End of the day, injuries in hockey aren't an excuse. But that's not to say they can't have an impact on a team's season. From an Express point of view, let's just hope they will soon be a thing of the past and we can truly see what this Express team is truly made of.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Sad news out of Express camp. Team Doctor Scott Morrison recently suffered a heart attack.

Scotty, you're in all our thoughts and prayers and hope you make a quick recovery and we want to see you back at the rink soon.

For everyone, who visits this site, please take the time to leave a comment on this posting and wish Scott a speedy recovery.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


First off apologies in the delay in posting this. And thank you for everyone's concern this past weekend about my voice and my well being. I'm starting to get better and my voice is coming back and should be ok for Saturday.

Last Thursday, the Express hopped on the bus to open their 3 game northern road trip. It would take them through Merritt, Prince George and Quesnel.

The trip opened up with a number of players facing their former teams for the first time. Johnny Mahovlich, Dylan Herold and Cameron Brodie would face the Merritt Centennials for the first time, while Alex Valenti and Jordan Soquila would face their former Express teammates since the trade that sent them up the Coquihala highway about 10 days earlier.

The trip was an important one for the Express. They were facing the 6th, 7th and 8th place teams in the Interior respectively and it was a great opportunity for the Express to pick up some much needed points.

Merritt got off to a quick start and carried the play for most of the first period. Jordan Grant opened the scoring midway through the period when he was sent in the clear by Alex Valenti and made no mistake scoring on the breakaway by deking to the backhand on Richie Virtanen.

The Cents continued their strong play into the 2nd. But the momentum swung in Burnaby's favour 8:29 into the 2nd when Tim Holloway tipped home an Ilya Kravtchouk point shot to tie the game. Moments later we saw the first of 3 fights on this night when Garrick Perry got into a scrap with Cody Kightley. That was followed by a fight between Anthony Collins and Casey Fratkin after Fratkin layed a big hit on Max Grassi and Collins came to his teammates defence.

The Express started buzzing regularly around the Centennial goal. But the game would remain tied heading into the third period. Merritt had a chance to break the deadlock just 10 seconds into the third when Express goaltender Richie Virtanen was called for delay of game. The Express penalty killing stepped up to the plate and killed off what would be the only power play of the game for Merritt.

That was followed moments later by the third fight of the game when former Centennial Johnny Mahovlich dropped the gloves with Kevin Philp.

The deadlock would finally be broken midway through the third period when Garrick Perry scored with the Express on the power play as he showed patience and roofed a backhand past Kyle Nielson to give the Express their first lead of the game. The goal was the first in 8 games for Perry. Anthony Collins would also end a lenghty drought by scoring his first goal in 11 games into an empty net to seal the deal for Burnaby.

The game winning goal for Perry is already his 4th of the season.

Richie Virtanen stopped 30 of 31 shots for only his 2nd win of the season.

Final score Express 3 Centennials 1.

Burnaby 38
Merritt 31


Burnaby 1/4
Merritt 0/1

3 stars

3-Garrick Perry (GWG)
2-Richie Virtanen 30 saves (W)
1-Kyle Nielsen 35 saves

The next night the Express continued to trek up north to visit the Prince George Spruce Kings.

Burnaby knew they would need a great goaltending performance in order to come away with 2 points. In 3 of the the last 4 games for Prince George, they had 40+shots in a game. Including the last 2 where the Spruce Kings flirted with cracking the 50 shot plateau.

So on this night, Richie Virtanen would probably have to have his best game of the season for the Express to pick up their 2nd straight win.

A quick glance at the Spruce Kings roster showed that they had a very small team. They had only one player on their roster for Saturday's game that weighed more than 200lbs. But for what they lacked in size, they more than made up for in speed. And that proved to be the case in the first period. The Express had trouble keeping up with the pace and Prince George had out shot Burnaby 13-4 in the first period.

The Express continued their struggles generating offence in the 2nd period but Richie Virtanen was definitely up to the task playing one of his best games of the year. As the second period progressed, the Express finally started to turn the tables and generate some chances of their own. John Bokla had a breakaway but lost control of the puck when he deked to his backhand. Moments later, Dylan Herold re-directed a centering pass of the post. Then with the Express shorthanded, Tim Holloway was stopped on a breakaway as he bid for his 4th shorthanded goal of the season.

On top of Richie Virtanen's strong play between the pipes, another reason why this game remained tied through 2 periods was the Express ability to block shots. Part of their preparations was they had to get into shooting lanes because the Spruce Kings generate a lot of their offence from the point.

Off to the third, Richie Virtanen came up with what may have been his biggest save of the game midway through the period as Sean Ambrosie was sent in the clear on a breakaway after stepping out of the penalty box. He tried to deke to Virtanen's stick side, but layed down his right pad to keep the game scoreless.

Now as the 3rd period ticked by, it seemed like this game would be destined for overtime. But Sam Muchalla had different plans as he picked up the puck from behind the Express net and scored on a wrap around as he banked the puck in off the Express netminder. The goal was deflating on so many levels. Just considering the way the game was playing out, it wouldn't seem right for such a great game to be decided that way.

With just over a minute left, Burnaby called their time out. From our broadcast location, Gord and I were directly above the Express bench and could look over the shoulders of the coaches and see what they were drawing up on the board. It appeared they were looking to get the puck deep and work it in front from behind the net.

But sometimes the world's best plans aren't always executed the way they were drawn up. With 38 seconds left, Prince George goaltender Alex Wright played the puck to the half boards and Max Grassi was there to intercept and fire it home and tie the game. So this game which desitined for overtime, was off to an extra session.

That's where Burnaby would play their best hockey of the night. They were dominant in overtime and finally broke through. They took advantage of a tired Spruce Kings defenceman Zach Davies who had been on the ice for most of the first overtime. He was forced into turning the puck over deep in his own end when Garrick Perry and John Bokla teamed up to steal the puck and John Bokla scored the game winning goal at 3:45 of the first overtime.

Bokla's game winning goal was his first goal in 13 games. Garrick Perry had played a role in the winning goal in both games of the road trip thus far.

The Express defence stepped up by cutting down Prince George's shots on goal to just 32 and Richie Virtanen played his best game of the season making 31 saves for his second straight win.

His strong play to begin the road trip cut his goal against average down by a half goal per game. And his save percentage went up by 2 full percentage points.

The win was Burnaby's 4th straight in the Prince George Coliseum.

The road trip wrapped up Saturday night in Quesnel. With the key word being night. The fact the trip started a day earlier than normal on Thursday, it allowed the trip to wrap up Saturday and it allowed the third game of the trip to be played at night. Normally the third game in 3 nights is played on a Sunday afternoon. The shortened time between the end of the 2nd game and the start of the third game usually has a impact on the players preparation and doesn't allow for a great game. But this time around, playing the third game on Saturday night allows the players to get their proper rest. Some extra sleep in the hotel and nourish themselves regularly throughout the day.

Richie Virtanen was rewarded with his third straight start between the pipes on this night. Quesnel opened the scoring when Virtanen went out of his net to play the puck but lost his footing and Eric Galbraith picked up the puck and walked in front of the open net and put it home.

Late in the period with the Express already shorthanded, Max Grassi slashed the stick out of the hands of a Millionaires player and Max was sent to the box giving Quesnel a 2 man advantage late in the first. Quesnel would capitalize before the period was done as Trevor Hertz picked the top corner from the right circle to give Quesnel a 2-0 lead before the first period was done.

Grassi would cut the lead in half with the Express on a power play on their own as he slid the puck home from the front of the net. Brodie and Bay drew the assists.

As the second period went on, it appeared the Express were playing more than just the Quesnel Millionaires, they were also facing referee Adam Hyatt. He called the Express for a bench minor.

Quesnel scored on that power play as Taylor Rovatti re-stored the 2 goal Quesnel lead.

Later in the period, Greg Bay was called for tripping when a Mills player lost his footing coming out from behind the net. And no Express player was near him. It was right in front of Hyatt as well. That penalty was followed by a Tim Holloway cross checking call. Then a Cam Brodie roughing after the whistle penalty late in the second period. But despite all the penalties and frustrations with the referee. The Express couldn't allow their frustrations to take over because they were still in the game as they went into the third down a goal as Todd Fletcher cut the lead back down to one before the period was done as he scored on a screened point shot from the line.
Quesnel built up their 3rd two goal lead of the night when Eric Galbraith scored his second of the game.

But the resilient Express cut the lead back down to one again when Cam Brodie scored on a screened point shot of his own with 6:27 to go.

In spite of Burnaby's best efforts to tie the game, the Mills would hold on and Rovatti sealed the game with his second of the night into an empty net.

Final score Millionaires 5 Express 3.

Burnaby finished their road trip at 2-1 picking up a 4 of a possible 6 points. The Express felt coming out of the Quesnel game, with some better officiating, they might have had a great shot to come home with 5 or maybe even all 6 points.


Express 36
Millionaires 40


Express 1/3
Millionaires 2/9

3 stars

3-Cam Brodie (1G, 2A)
2-Taylor Rovatti (2G)
1-Eric Galbraith (2G) GWG

There are certainly a few positives coming out of the road trip. Possibly the biggest could be the emergence of Richie Virtanen. He appears to have taken over the number one role between the pipes for the Express.

Burnaby picked up 5 out of a possible 8 points without Brodie Reid in the lineup while he was away at the World Junior A Challenge. He will definitely give the Express a boost offensively. He had 3 assists in his 2 games when he returned from injury and will now go back on the top line along side Max Grassi who's been playing some of his best hockey lately. He had 3 points in Saturday's loss in Quesnel. And since returning from a shoulder injury he has 6 goals and 3 assists for 9 points in the 6 games since returning after missing 2 weeks.

This week, the Express have just one game on the schedule. They welcome the Victoria Grizzlies to town Saturday night. The Express will be looking for some redemption after getting hammered by Victoria 6-1 in early October. That game didn't allow the Express to get their game going as they seemed to be killing penalties all night long. They hope it's a much different story Saturday night.

Monday, November 10, 2008


It's not a three peat for Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge.

The United States had little trouble defeating Canada West 7-1 in the championship game.

The Americans got off to a quick start by jumping out to a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes.

They followed up the 3 goal first period, with four more goals in the 2nd period. Most of the damage was done by the U.S. on the power play scoring 4 times. Balance was another key to the American success as they got all 7 goals from 7 different players.

Rylan Schwartz scored the only goal for Canada West.

This marks the first time a team other than Canada West has won the gold medal at the World Junior A challenge.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Burnaby's Brodie Reid scored his first 2 goals of the tournament to get the offence going as Canada West defeated Belarus 4-1 in the semi final game of the World Junior A Challenge.

Canada West got a piece of pay back on Belarus after they upset Canada West in a shootout to open up the tournament.

The BCHLers led the charge offensively. Penticton's Denver Manderson also scored the Canada West. BCHL players combined for 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points.

The gold medal game will see Canada West play the USA in the gold medal game. The Americans knocked off Canada East 5-1 in the other semi final Saturday. It will mark the first time in tournament history the gold medal game will not be an all Canadian affair.

Canada East however won't walk away empty handed as they won the bronze medal by hammering Belarus 9-1 in the bronze medal game Sunday afternoon.

Tonight's gold medal game can be seen on TSN2 at 5PM.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Much to the disappointment of Kyle Turris and numerous friends and family, the New Westminster native and former Express was a healthy scratch for a second consecutive game last night in Vancouver.

The game was going to be Kyle's first NHL game in Vancouver. He won't be back in Vancouver again until January 15th.

Hear Coyotes Coach Wayne Gretzky on why Kyle was scratched Thursday night.

The Canucks blanked the Coyotes 1-0. Roberto Luongo posted his second consecutive shutout.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Langley's Derek Grant scored twice, BCHLers combined for 3 goals and 2 assists while Prince George's Kevin Genoe was victorious as Canada West evened it's record to 1-1 with a 5-2 win over Russia at the World Junior A Challenge.

Trailing 1-0 going into the second period, Canada West erupted for 3 straight goals to turn the game in their favour.

The Canadian power play was on fire all night as all 5 goals for the home side were with the man advantage.

All 3 teams in group A finished with 1-1 records.

Canada West finsihed first in their pool and earned a bye into Saturday's semi final.

The Quarterfinals begin Thursday.


Kyle Turris is a healthy scratch tonight for the Phoenix Coyotes in Calgary.

Don't worry, he will play in Vancouver Thursday night.

Here's the story I found on the Coyotes website.

CALGARY - I spoke to rookie Kyle Turris about being scratched from tonight’s game. He said he was disappointed but that he understood Head Coach Wayne Gretzky’s decision and accepts it.

“He told me to relax, take a step back and watch the game and learn from it,” Turris said after I asked him how Gretzky broke the news to him. “I’m a bit nervous (on the ice) right now and I don’t want to screw up, but he said just to relax and have fun, play my game and things will come.”

Gretzky said Turris would play on Thursday night when they Coyotes play at Vancouver. I asked Turris what he thinks he needs to do better once he gets back on the ice.

“I’ve got to get back to playing my game and just have fun out there,” Turris said “Right now, I’m hesitating, I’m forcing things and I’m not skating like I usually do because I am too worried about making a mistake or being in the wrong position instead of just letting it happen and letting it flow.”

I then asked Turris how he would approach being a spectator for tonight’s game.

“I’m definitely going to be watching and visualizing myself out there making plays, and seeing the pace of the game.”

Thanks for reading.

Written by Dave Vest. VP of News content for the Phoenix Coyotes.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Just when the Express thought injuries were a thing of the past, nope!

The Express went into Saturday's game with a new rash of injuries. Joining Luke Challier (ankle) on the sidelines were Reid Edmondson, Colin De Jersey and Gavin Hohl. Returning to the injured list after 2 games last weekend was Jacob Verheyden.

In addition to the injuries, sniper Brodie Reid will be out of the Express lineup for the next 4 games while he plays for Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge in Camrose Alberta. Reid will miss this week's northern road trip.

So that sent the Express coaches scrambling to the phones to find players to fill the roster for Saturday's game vs. the defending BCHL Champion Penticton Vees.

When the dust settled, the Express brought in another veteran defenceman Johnny Mahovlich from the Surrey Eagles and AP's Thomas Hardy, Tristan Lowenberger, Paul De Jersey and Jesse Bachmeier.

The Vees came into the Bill Copeland Sports Centre Saturday on a lengthy road trip which started Sunday in Merritt, then the Vees spent time in Vancouver before heading up to Powell River to begin their 4 game in 5 night swing through the Mainland division. The trip opened up for the Vees with a 3 straight losses. Penticton got off to a slow start in each game allowing the opening goal on the first shot of the game for the opposition.

Following losses Wednesday and Thursday in Powell River and Surrey, the Vees had the day off Friday before travelling to Burnaby.

The Express got the start they were looking for when Cam Brodie's backhand from the blueline eluded Jordan White to open the scoring on only the 2nd shot of the game for the Express.

The Vees pulled even midway through the period when Anthony Perdicaro came off the half boards, cut into the slot and picked the top corner glove side on Mike Chan to tie the game.

But the Express had a quick reply just 57 seconds later on the power play as Tim Holloway centred it for Dylan Herold from behind the net. It appeared White made the save squeezing the puck between his pads, but the goal judge turned on the red light, the Express celebrated as if they scored even lining up at centre ice. Then, following some consultation by referee Kam Poirier with the goal judge, the Express were awarded their second goal of the game at 10:11 to make the score 2-1 Burnaby.

Max Grassi added to Burnaby's lead one minute into the second as he put it off a skate and in on a wrap around for his 10th goal of the season.

Just 37 seconds later, the momentum swung back in the Vees favour as Garrick Perry was called for checking from behind and the Vees scored swiftly on the power play as Ryan Viselli tipped home a Devon Krogh point shot to cut the lead down to one.

Vees captain Ryan Vandenberg pulled the Vees even scoring just over 5 minutes into the 2nd period.

The Express had a chance to re-store their lead as Tristan Lowenberger was hauled down cutting to the Vees net and was awarded a penalty shot. However, Lowenberger couldn't take the penalty shot as he was shaken up on the play as he crashed hard into the net.

So Max Grassi would take it for Lowenberger. Last week Grassi scored on a clear cut breakaway which pretty much could have been a penalty shot vs. Alberni Valley's Matthew Wong.

Last week, Grassi went backhand shelf to beat Wong. This week Grassi made a great deke going backhand, forehand, had White beat, but couldn't put it upstairs and the game remained tied going into the third period.

The tie was broken less than 90 seconds into the third as Tristan Lowenberger made no mistake putting home a John Bokla pass from behind the net to re-store the Express lead.

Hear Lowenberger's first BCHL goal here.

Now with the Express in the lead, the focus shifted to protecting the lead. The Express backed off on their forecheck pressure.

The Vees eventually tied the game as Zack Josepher sent it ahead for former Express prospect Garett Milan and he used his speed and cut hard to the net and put it past Mike Chan to tie the game at 4 with just over 3 minutes left to force overtime.

The Vees got the first great opportunity to win the game as John Bokla was called holding at 1:38. It didn't take long for the Vees to strike as Devon Krogh scored on a wrist shot beating Mike Chan to the stick side to give the Vees the 5-4 win. It only took the Vees 7 seconds to score with the man advantage.

Hear Krogh's game winning goal here.

The Vees improved their record to 1-2 on their road trip. But they never played one single second with the lead in any of the three games.

The loss was the second straight for the Express and 10th in their last 13 games. The point for going to overtime kept the Express one point up on the Surrey Eagles for third place in the division after they won a wild 8-5 shootout over the league leading Powell River Kings.


Burnaby 25
Penticton 27


Burnaby 1/6
Penticton 2/7

3 stars

3-Cam Brodie (1G,1A)
2-Max Grassi (1G)
1-Garrett Milan (1G,1A)

The Express will now head on the road this week for their 3 game northern road trip. It begins Thursday when the Express will see familiar faces Jordan Soquila and Alex Valenti when they face the Merritt Centennials. Following the visit to the Nicola Valley, the Express will trek up north to face Prince George Friday and Quesnel Saturday.

The trip is a great opportunity for the Express to rack up some points. The Spruce Kings, Millionaires and Centennials respectively occupy the 6th, 7th and 8th place positions in the Interior Conference.


The Express added to their defence prior to Saturday's game vs. Penticton by picking up veteran defenceman Johnny Mahovlich from the Surrey Eagles in exchange for future considerations.

This season, Mahovlich got into only 4 games and didn't register a point with the Eagles after being acquired from the Merritt Centennials.

He has 3 goals and 20 career points in 110 BCHL games.

The 19 year old is listed at 6'2 205 lbs.

By acquiring Mahovlich, the Express now have 8 defencemen listed on their roster.

I find it a little interesting. I don't expect to see 8 d-men being carried the rest of the way.

Now, that the Express have depth on the backend, could a trade be on its way to try address other areas of the hockey club? Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


It was a surprising start to open the World Junior A Challenge as Belarus defeated Canada West 4-3 in a shootout.

Canada West got off to a great start by opening up a 2-0 lead before the game was 15 minutes old on goals by Penticton's Denver Manderson and Matt Mackay.

Belarus then rattled off 3 straight goals including 2 goals in the first 30 seconds of the second period to open up a 3-2 lead. Matt Mackay scored his second of the game before the period was done to even up the score.

The game would remain tied through the third period and overtime and went to a shootout.

Yauheni Salamonau of Belarus scored the only goal of the shootout for the game winning goal and pull off the upset. Burnaby's Brodie Reid was pointless and Canada's last chance to keep the game going in the shootout but was denied.

Final shots were even at 22 apiece.

Canada West will look to even up their record Tuesday night vs. Russia.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Express sniper Brodie Reid scored his second goal of the exhibition in the first period, but his Canada West squad fell 4-2 to Canada East Friday night.

Reid opened the scoring 8 minutes into the first, and the game was tied at 2 after 40 minutes. That's when Canada East turned it on outshooting Canada West 14-4 in the third period and added goals by Zach Horvato and Stephen Horyl into an empty net to come away victorious.

The win was the first for Canada East over their western rivals. Both losses coming in the championship game of the first two years of the tournament.

Canada West sees their exhibition record finish at 1-1. They will open the tournament Sunday vs. Belarus.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Former Express goaltender Mark Currie has been credited with scoring a goal. He's now playing with the renowned Notre Dame Hounds in the Saskatchewan Jr. Hockey League.

Currie was the last player to touch the puck when the Weyburn Red Wings scored on their own goal while their netminder was pulled for a delayed penalty Wednesday night. It is not known the last time a goaltender was credited with scoring a goal in the Saskatchewan league.

Weyburn went on to defeat the Hounds 8-5.

Currie has a 7-5 record this season with a 4.19 GAA.

He was the Express third string goaltender during their run to the 2006 Royal Bank Cup.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


It was a great start for Brodie Reid and his Canada West teammates in exhibition play for the upcoming World Junior A Challenge.

Reid led the attack with a hat-trick and one assist as Canada West hammered Augustina College 9-2.

Langley's Derek Grant scored twice while Penticton's Denver Manderson had a pair of helpers.

Canada West outshot their opponents 50-22.

The next game for Canada West is Friday vs. the two time silver medalists Canada East.

Following the game, the roster will be trimmed down from 25 to 22 before the tournament begins on Sunday in Camrose Alberta.

Canada West will open the tournament vs. Belarus.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


It was a great home coming for former Express Milan Lucic.

This morning he had his 07 Memorial Cup ring that was stolen from his Vancouver home this past summer replaced. Tonight, he is victorious in his first NHL game in Vancouver as his Bruins blanked the Canucks 1-0.

Lucic had 8 hits and 5 shots on goal. He even gave the Canucks a scare in the third as his slap shot from the wing caught Roberto Luongo up high shaking him up.

Tim Thomas stopped all 31 Canuck shots for his second consecutive shutout.

Kyle Turris is the next Express alum to come to town as his Coyotes will be at GM Place on Thursday Nov. 6.

David Jones and his Avs will be here on Nov. 12. Andrew Ladd's Blackhawks are in town on December 20.


This is random and out of the blue. But I just wanted to post this great shot of Joe Pavelski hitting the ice in San Jose.


Everything was looking bright going into last weekend for the Express. They were getting 2 new faces in the lineup with Dylan Herold and Cam Brodie coming over in a trade with Merritt. The injuries were starting to heal up. And the Express had the island and mainland division cellar dwellers Alberni Valley and Surrey on the schedule.

Saturday the Express welcomed the two win Alberni Valley Bulldogs to the Bill Copeland Sports Centre. The Dogs were playing their third game in 3 nights to wrap up their mainland division road trip.

The Express injury problems appeared to be a thing of the past with Max Grassi, Brodie Reid, Garrick Perry, Anthony Collins and Jacob Verheyden all back in the lineup.

During their time away, the team lost 6 straight games, the special teams took a beating and the identity of the team was lost.

Another, bright spot for the Express was getting to face Bulldogs goaltender Matthew Wong. Last season when he was a member of the Victoria Grizzlies. The Express torched him in the regular season and playoffs for a 2-4 record, 6.14 GAA and a save percentage of 79.69%

So going into the weekend there were no excuses for the Express.

Well, things started to change when the puck dropped Saturday night. The powerplay got back on track when Mike Leidl scored his first goal of the season firing a wrist shot past Dogs goaltender Matthew Wong 2:33 into the game.

Less than 4 minutes later the Express power play struck again. And one of the new faces Dylan Herold got on the score sheet for the first time as he played it down low to Brodie Reid who put in front for Max Grassi to put home for a 2-0 Burnaby lead.

Great start for the Express. But, the Express coaches knew for as poor as the Dogs record is, it wasn't going to be an easy game. The head to head matchups last season between the two teams was all the proof the Express needed as a reminder the game wasn't going to be a cake walk.

Even though the Express swept all 4 games last season, the Bulldogs made the Express earn everything they got.

Same could be said for Saturday night. The Dogs didn't get rattled by the quick start by the Express and rallied to tie the game on goals by Mark Morikawa and Chris Moulson before the first 20 minutes was done. The Dogs had outshot the Express 14-11 in the first period.

The Express power play went to work again in the second when Brodie Reid found Grassi back door and he picked the top corner for his second goal of the game to restore the Express lead. The goal was Burnaby's 3rd powerplay goal of the game. A far contrast from the struggles the PP had in recent games when it went 3 for it's last 58 opportunities in the last 11 games.

The penalty killing also had a bounce back game. The opposition was 11 for 30 on the power play during the Express 6 game losing streak. That's a percentage of 36.6%. The PK also contributed offensively when Max Grassi poked the puck of Eliot Raibl's stick at the Express blueline and had all day to bury his third goal of the game on a breakaway to restore a two goal Express advantage.

Hear Grassi's hat-trick here.

It was Grassi's first career BCHL hat-trick.

One of the most encouraging signs from an Express point of view was seeing the hard working aggressive forechecking style of play return thanks to all the healthy bodies.

Despite falling behind by two for the second time in the game, the Dogs still didn't quit. In the third, the Dogs were building momentum after 2 power plays. They didn't score on the 5 on 4 advantages, but moments after a Mike Leidl penalty expired, Eliot Raibl took a cross ice pass and blasted home a one timer to make it a one goal game midway through the third.

It would set up a dramatic finish to the game. Anthony Collins had a chance to put the game on ice but could score when he shot wide on a breakaway. Burnaby also couldn't take advantage on the powerplay with Jackson Garrett sitting in the box for high-sticking.

That takes us to the final minute. The Dogs pulled Wong for an extra attacker. Then the Express got into penalty trouble with Mike Leidl being called for high sticking at 19:27. Followed seconds later by a Brodie Reid tripping penalty at 19:44 giving Alberni Valley and 6 on 3 advantage.

Alberni Valley won the faceoff in the Burnaby zone and put the puck in front creating a mad scramble that seemed to last an eternity before finally the puck was cleared to the corner and the horn sounded giving the Express the 4-3 victory snapping their 6 game losing streak.

Having a healthy roster and the new faces certainly made a big difference for the Express. Herold skated along side Grassi and Reid on the top line. That trio combined for 3 goals and 4 assists.

Grassi had the hat-trick in his return and Brodie Reid had 3 assists in only his 5th game of the season. Herold had one assist in the win.

The power play finished 3/6 and the penalty killing was a perfect 10 for 10.

Zack Mazo had 3 assists in the loss for Alberni Valley.


Burnaby 28
Alberni Valley 27

3 stars

3-Eliot Raibl (1G)
2-Mike Leidl (1G)
1-Max Grassi (3G)

Sunday the Express were off to Surrey for an afternoon affair. The game was huge for both clubs in the standings. The Express were looking to open up a 8 point lead on the Eagles for 3rd place in the Mainland division. Surrey came in riding a modest 2 game winning streak. Including a dramatic 6-5 win on the road in Victoria. Handing the Grizzlies their first home ice loss of the season.

The Eagles took the last meeting between the two clubs at South Surrey Arena by a score of 6-1. The Eagles struck 4 times on the power play. They had more jump and simply outworked the Express from the drop of the puck.

The day had a casual lassiez faire feel to it. The sun was shining. The people I talked to at the rink had the same feeling. And it carried over to the game.

The game was scoreless after a rather uneventful first period. The shots were only 7-7 after the first period. The highlight of the period coming when Ryan Pajimola leveled Express rookie Gavin Hohl at the blueline. That would be the end to the Express rookie's night. The Express were also without defenceman Greg Bay with an injury.

The game wasn't full of great scoring chances. Burnaby had their best chance to open the scoring when Simon Denis fired a one timer, but Eagles netminder Tommy Tartaglione came to his left to make a spectacular old school two pad stack save.

Mike Krgovich finally opened the scoring midway through the second when former Express Spencer Bennett weaved his way through the Express defence and put a pass on the tape of Krgovich in the crease who re-directed it home.

The Express would lose another defenceman when Colin De Jersey was hit hard in his own zone. It was the second straight game the second year d-man was shaken up. It was pretty scary because the night before he left after a hit in his own end and was pretty wobbly as he made he was back to the bench. It would be deja vu all over again for De Jersey who again was very wobbly going back to the Burnaby bench.

Another former Express was vital in playing a role in helping the Eagles add to their lead. Steve Ceccanase scored on a one timer with a minute and a half left in the 2nd period. Adam Hartley and Chris Santiago got the assists.

Ceccanase who was sent to Merritt as part of the deal that brought Herold and Brodie to Burnaby was quickly shipped to the Eagles. The former Villanova Knight has now put up 4 goals and 9 points in 9 BCHL games.

So the Express were in a hole going into the third. Up until this point, they really haven't tested the Eagle netminder. The energy level wasn't up to par. And again the Express just weren't sharp. Much like the last time the two teams met.

Adam Hartley rounded out the scoring on a power play tipping a Doug Marshall shot through the legs of Richie Virtanen with 5 minutes to go.

The only thing left to decide was if Tartaglione was going to get the shutout. At this point, it was just a matter of running out the clock. Tartaglione wasn't overly tested in the first 55 minutes. Same could be said for the final 5 minutes. The Express sent 30 shots Tartaglione's way and he had little trouble stopping them all en route to his first shutout of the season.

Final score Eagles 3 Express 0.

The win pulled the Eagles within 4 points of the Express for 3rd place in the mainland division with the Eagles having 3 games in hand on Burnaby.

3 stars

3-Steve Ceccanase (1G,1A)
2-Mike Krgovich (GWG)
1-Tommy Tartaglione (30 saves, shutout)


Burnaby 0/5
Surrey 1/5

The Express have just one game on the schedule this week. They will host the defending BCHL champion Penticton Vees on Saturday.