I have to provide some updates on some Express scholarships since the season came to an end.
During the regular season, the Express were able to get scholarships for Garrick Perry, Brad Reid, Massimo Lamacchia, Jared Eng and Destry Straight. And the player commitments have continued from the conclusion of the season in early March.
Defenceman Matt Mazzarolo has signed on to play Division III Hockey next season with Neumann University in Pennsylvania. Mazzarolo was acquired by the Express early in the season in a trade with the Surrey Eagles. The 20 year old was a steady physical presence for the Express this past season. He played 33 games with the Express and scored 1 goal and 5 assists for 6 points.
Mark Begert is following in the footsteps of fellow rookie Destry Straight as Begert has secured a scholarship to Boston College for next season.
Begert had a very solid rookie campaign in the BCHL. He showed fine progression and development throughout the course of the season. He was one of only three players to play in all 60 games during the regular season. Massimo Lamacchia and Jason Grecica were the others. Begert scored 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points. Three of Begert's goals came on the powerplay. The other, which was his first in the BCHL came into an empty net after exiting the penalty box on December 17th vs. the Quesnel Millionaires.
Mike Krgovich became an instant key member of the Express attack when his rights were acquired from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in November. He gave the Express some scoring punch, grit and the ability to be relied upon as a key checker vs. the oppositions best players. He will now take his talents up Burnaby mountain where he will play for the two time defending BC Intercollegiate Hockey champion SFU clan for next season.
In 36 games with the Express, Krgovich was a point per game player scoring 17 goals and 19 assists. He was a BCHL all star with the Surrey Eagles in the 09-10 season. He had 139 points in 171 career BCHL games with the Express, Eagles and Williams Lake Timberwolves. He also played 96 career WHL games with the Red Deer Rebels and Chilliwack Bruins.
Last but certainly not least was Riley Mcintosh. He has committed to Lakehead University in Thunder Bay Ontario. Ri-Mac had a fantastic 20 year old season with the Express. He was named the teams MVP and Top defenceman. He was the anchor on the Express blueline all season long.
His steady play made life easier for the Express when he was on the ice. He used his 6'5 frame to his advantage by blocking countless number of shots by being in the right position. He was regularly matched up against the top forwards of the Express opposition. His effortless style allowed him to play upwards of 30 plus minutes per night. And towards the end of the season it wasn't uncommon that he would play 35 plus minutes and take 4 minute shifts. His skating and puck moving ability allowed the Express to quickly breakout of their own zone and get on the attack.
Mcintosh led all Express defenceman in scoring with 11 goals and 36 points. He is the second player the Express have sent to Lakehead University. All time leading scorer Mark Soares is one year removed from a 4 year tenure at Lakehead following Soares winning a Royal Bank Cup with the Express in 2006.
With the addition of Mcintosh, Begert, Mazzarolo and Krgovich to the list of commitments the Express had in the regular season, they have sent a total of 9 players to post secondary institutions for next season. Not a bad number for the Express organization.