Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Coquitlam Express defenceman Marc Biega has been named the BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending Dec. 29, the league announced Monday.

Biega scored the game-winning goal in both games as the Express swept their home-and-home set with the Langley Rivermen. The Pointe-Claire, Que. native opened with a hat trick and an assist and an overtime winner on top in a 6-5 OT road win Saturday where he was named 3rd Star. He followed that up with a pair of goals and a 1st Star nod in a 3-2 win at home.

Honourable mentions this week:

Chilliwack Chiefs F Austin Plevy: 1G, 2A, GWG, 1st Star

Chilliwack Chiefs F Tanner Cochrane: 2G, 1A, 2nd Star

Coquitlam Express F Adam Rockwood: 5A, 2nd Star

Surrey Eagles F Mitch Fyffe: 2G, 1A

Langley Rivermen F Gage Torrel: 1G, 1A, 3rd Star

Sunday, December 29, 2013


It was the second sweep of a home and home of a division leader for the Express this season. Earlier it was Penticton. Now coming out of the Christmas break the Express did it to the Langley Rivermen taking game 2 by a 3-2 score.

Marc Biega picked up right where he left off the night before where he had 3 goals and an assist and added 2 more goals to pace the Express attack Sunday.

The Express defenceman struck for his 4th goal of the weekend blasting home a one timer on a feed from Adam Rockwood on the power play.

This game much like Saturday's had it's fair share of animosity between the two clubs which only seems to be growing.

John Saunders and Joey Santucci seem to be two key targets of the Rivermen ire. They were both involved in some of the extra curricular activity that was prominent in the first two periods.

Like Saturday the Express made Langley pay when on the power play.

Ryan Rosenthal struck on a 5 on 3 to give the Express a 2-0 lead with a blast from the left circle.

Tyson Witala cut the Express lead in half 3:37 into the second period.

The Express had a response and again it was Biega 4 on 4 as he took a pass from Adam Rockwood as he snuck in backdoor and had the time to go to the backhand and put it past Brock Crossthwaite for his second of the game and 5th goal of the weekend to go with his assist Saturday for a 6 point performance in the home and home.

Considering most of the BCHL is still on their Christmas break, and there's not too many candidates, Biega's performance makes him a pretty simple choice for player of the week one would think.

Tyson Witala scored his second of the night on the power play midway through the second period to again cut the Express lead to one.

From that point forward the Express shut the Rivermen down.

They limited their number of quality scoring chances, and when they did break through, Pierce Dushenko shut the door as he made 19 saves to post the victory.

This win against Langley is another reminder of how the Express can not only compete, but succeed against the top teams in the BCHL. They have shown an ability at various points this season how they can shut down any team in the league when they focus on their defensive side of the game. It's being able to find that focus for a stretch of more than two games which is the real challenge as the Express seek consistency in their game. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Marc Biega's 3rd of the night gave the Express a 6-5 overtime win in a wild game with the Langley Rivermen.

It was the first game back from the Christmas break for both teams. The Express were off for just over a week. Langley nearly two weeks.

Gage Torrell got the proceedings started taking a nice feed from Will Cook and snapping it past a stretched out Gordie Defiel.

This game was filled with penalties assessed to both teams.

Just moments after a 5 on 3 for the Express expired Marc Biega snapped a wrister past Lyndon Stanwood for his first of the night.

That was followed by another shorthanded goal for the BCHL's most dangerous team while a man down.

Canon Pieper blocked a shot at the blue line and he was free on the breakaway where he made no mistake scoring on the backhand with a deke into the roof.

It was the 14th shorthanded goal for the Express this season. And Canon's 4th shorthanded goal of the season.

Biega added his second of the night midway through the second period as his one timer on the power play hit a stick and got past Stanwood.

Langley had a quick response just 43 seconds later as Marcus Vela set up Darien Craighead to jammed it through the legs of Gordie Defiel.

The Express response to the goal was impressive. They re-stored their two goal lead just under 4 minutes later when Joey Santucci blasted home a set up from the slot by Adam Rockwood.

That goal brought Lyndon Stanwood's night to a close after allowing 4 goals on 16 shots.

Brock Crossthwaite was welcomed to the game by Canon Pieper's second of the night on a shot from the point that was tipped for a 5-2 Express lead just 56 seconds after Santucci's goal.

Then things started to get silly. Brendan Gulka tried to goat Joey Santucci into a fight when he lined up for the face-off following the goal. Additional rough stuff ensued including Crossthwaite challenging Gordie Defiel to a fight.

But the Express did a good job of not falling into the trap that Langley was trying to goat the Express into shenanigans and just looked at the scoreboard and let it do all the talking.

A three goal lead for the Express entering the third should have been pretty safe.

But any feelings of easiness may have been lost when Gordie Defiel whiffed on Tony Bretzman's wrister just 2:42 into the period.

The goal gave Langley life and re-focused them. Their push resulted in a 5-3 game just 6 minutes into the third when Mitch McClain from behind the net set up Matt Ustaski.

Langley's comeback was complete when Zach Urban's point shot hit the leg of an Express defenceman and got past Defiel. It took 9:11 for the Rivermen to make the 3 goal Express lead a thing of the past.

We needed overtime for the second time this season between these two teams. Marc Biega put the game on ice when Crossthwaite couldn't find the puck in his equipment and the Express defenceman swooped in and poked home his hat-trick goal for the Express overtime winner.

Biega's hat-trick was just the third by a defenceman in franchise history. And the first since Alan Mazur potted one October 2nd, 2005 vs. the Quesnel Millionaires when the Express were based in Burnaby.

These teams will go at it again in less than 24 hours when Langley comes to Coquitlam Sunday afternoon. Don't be surprised if the bad blood between these two teams carries over to the re-match.

Friday, December 20, 2013


The Powell River Kings snapped a 3 game losing streak in convincing fashion sending the Express into the Christmas break on the losing end of a 8-3 score.

This was going to be the toughest test the Express were going to face all season long. And it certainly proved to be true.

It started quickly as the Kings jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead on goals by Stephen Hiff, Drew Dorantes and Jarid Lukosevicius before the game was 8 minutes old.

From there the Express were forced to use their explosive offense to try and play catch up against the top defensive team in the BCHL.

Bo Pieper pulled the Express back within two with a shorthanded goal thanks to a set up from Ryan Rosenthal. It was the 13th shorthanded goal for the Express this season adding to their league lead in that category.

Bo's brother Canon pulled the Express back within one on a second period power play snapping a shot over the glove of screened Jeff Smith.

In a game where the Express needed top notch goaltending to keep the game competitive saw a goal go in just 39 seconds later as Brian Rideout beat Gordie Defiel with a screen shot from the point. The goal took some wind out of the Express sails at a time when they needed a save when they had begun to chip away at the Kings lead.

Kurt Keats made it a 5-2 game halfway through the second period as he fired a shot over Defiel following a won face-off in the Express zone.

Canon Pieper added his second of the game and pulled into a tie for the team lead in goals with his 20th of the season when he jammed a loose puck home at 15:06.

Powell River put the finishing touches on a strong team effort in the third period tallying 3 more times on a pair of goals from Jarryd Leung and a single from Luke McCaw.

The Express head into the Christmas break with a record of 16-16-0-3 and have lost their last 3 outings.

Everyone will get a chance to refresh their batteries for a little more than a week before the Express return from their break for a home and home with the Langley Rivermen starting Saturday December 28th.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


This years edition of the Coquitlam Express is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get to steal a line from the movie Forrest Gump.

Some nights the Express might light the lamp and win going away. Some mights they might have the opposition light the lamp and win going away. Some nights they will play a tight strong defensive hockey game and come away victorious. And some nights both teams will light the lamp and it's a flip of a coin to determine who will come away with the two points.

Sunday it was the latter that came to fruition in a 5-4 overtime win by the Surrey Eagles.

There were momentums swings, lead changes, pretty goals and a weird one on this night.

Surrey got the offense rolling as Joseph Drapluk scored with 1 second remaining in a two minute 5 on 3 for Surrey in controversial fashion.

The two man advantage came about starting with some interference by Zach Hodder in the neutral zone. Then some pushing and shoving after the whistle and some how Surrey came out of it with a 2 man advantage.

On the goal Ben Israel was knocked to the ice away from the play allowing Joseph Drapluk to walk out of from the side of the net and score on Gordie Defiel.

The Express pulled even with a power play goal of their own. Corey Mackin worked the puck down low to Adam Rockwood who zipped a pass cross crease to a pinching Cam Marks who had the pass bounce off his skate and in for his second goal of the season.

Things really started to open up in the second period.

On another Surrey power play captain Brett Mulcahy slid the puck towards the Express net and Gordie Defiel never could get control of the puck as he went to play it and it found it's way to bounce in.

Just 1:17 later Defiel was beat again, this time on a much more difficult shot as Danton Heinen wired it past Defiel from the left wing for a 3-1 Surrey lead.

To the Express credit they went right to work trying to chip away at the deficit.

Cody Boyd pulled the visitors within one as his shot hit something on it's way to the net and got past Devon Fordyce.

Then the BCHL's most dangerous shorthanded team struck again. Ryan Rosenthal poked the puck up to Corey Mackin who walked in on a breakaway and beat Fordyce over the glove to tie the game at 3.

It was the 12th shorthanded goal scored by the Express and also the 12th allowed by the Surrey Eagles this season. Both numbers are the highest in the BCHL. It was also the 5th shorthanded goal the Express have scored vs. Surrey this season.

Mackin added his second of the period with 2:16 remaining as he took a pass from Rosenthal and slid it home for the only lead the Express would hold on this night at 4-3.

That lead lasted just :37 seconds as right off a face-off in the Express zone Nic Pierog swatted a puck past Defiel to tie the game at 4.

Nothing was decided in the third period. Each team had their chances in the period to break the deadlock. The best came in the final 35 seconds of the third period as Adam Rockwood came out of the corner powered the puck to the net and was stopped by the right leg of Fordyce who also turned Ryan Rosenthal aside with an even better save on the rebound.

In the first overtime the best chance to end it was a breakaway for Luke Sandler but the Eagles forward lost control of the puck on his attempt to deke to the backhand.

The Eagles prevailed in the second overtime as Jonah Renouf broke in on a 2 on 1, he showed great patience and in the process an Express defender ran into Defiel allowing Renouf to deke past the traffic and slide the puck into an open net for the game winner.

Surrey outshot the Express 40-33. With the win, they pull within 4 points of the Express for 3rd place in the Mainland division standings.

The Express will play their final game before Christmas Friday vs. the Powell River Kings. 

Friday, December 13, 2013


The Nanaimo Clippers posted their second straight win in less than two weeks over the Express spoiling Teddy Bear toss night with a 6-3 win.

The visitors were ready to go right from the start and put the Express in catch up mode most of the night.

Nanaimo established a solid forecheck which gave the Express all kinds of trouble in their own zone. And eventually it led to chances and Clipper goals.

Devin Brosseau took advantage of an Express turn over and opened the scoring at 5:12.

The opening frame belonged to the Clippers. They outshot the Express 16-6. The only decent scoring chance the Express able to muster was a one timer from the slot by Ryan Rosenthal and he didn't hit the net.

Before the period was done the Clippers added a pair of goals.

A bad read on a line change in the neutral zone allowed Nanaimo to turn a 2 on 2 rush into a 2 on 1 and Korey Morgan finished it off sliding it home on the backhand.

That was followed 60 seconds later on a goal by Sheldon Rempal who banged home the rebound of a wide shot off the end boards and past Gordie Defiel.

The fans at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre got their opportunity to toss their stuffed animals on the ice seconds after a power play expired as Canon Pieper wired a shot top corner on Tanner Kovacs at 3:19 of the second period.

On this night the Clips had an ability to match every Express offensive attack.

Brendan Taylor snapped a puck past Defiel just 3:25 later to put Nanaimo up 3 for a second time.

Bo Pieper pulled the Express back within two as he got his own rebound off a shot that hit the end boards and snapped it past Kovacs at 16:14.

90 seconds after that it was a 3 goal Nanaimo lead for a third time on as Nick Guerra took the puck to the net and got his own rebound to put into a gaping 6x4 for a 5-2 lead at 17:44.

The Express had one last legitimate chance to try and claw back into the game in the third period when they got a 5 on 3 for 1:55 following penalties to Eric Margo and Tanner Kovacs for delay of game.

Bo Pieper scored his second of the night on the backhand to pull the Express back within two for a third time.

The home side had some chances in the third period to try and draw closer but just couldn't dig themselves out of the early hole they put themselves in.

Korey Morgan added his second of the game into an empty net to round out the scoring.

The Express outshot 34-31. And this is despite starting the game dressing just 16 skaters. And losing Jace Hennig after he crashed into the end boards in the second period and didn't return. They also played with out Cody Boyd for 12 minutes following a misconduct he was assessed following a fight when he came to the defense of teammate Jackson Cressey after he was hit by Mason Mitchell. The short bench didn't help matters Friday.

The Express will have a day of rest before traveling to Surrey on Sunday afternoon. 

Friday, December 6, 2013


A much better defensive effort, and a 6 goal explosion did the job for the Express Friday as they took the rematch with the Prince George Spruce Kings winning 6-3 Friday night.

A solid contribution from the top 3 lines and steady goaltending from Gordie Defiel paced the Express on this night.

8 of the top 9 forwards hit the scoresheet for the Express. The only forward of that group to not hit the scoresheet was Cody Boyd but made his presence felt with his physical play.

The top line opened the scoring as captain Ryan Rosenthal slid the puck into the Spruce Kings zone, Alex Murray came out of his crease to play the puck and sweep it behind the net. But the Express captain read the play well and picked off the clearing attempt and quickly set up Adam Rockwood who tapped it home.

Brent Lashuk evened it up for Prince George as he took the puck off the boards and cut into the middle of the ice and snapped a shot low to the glove side past Gordie Defiel.

The Express re-stored their lead before the first period came to an end. Marc Biega led the rush into the Prince George end and fired a shot that snuck through the legs of Murray at 18:21. It was Biega's 6th goal of the season and his 5th on home ice this year.

Marco Ballarin pulled the visitors even early in the second period as he had multiple whacks at the rebound of a Sean Landrey shot before lifting it over Defiel just 53 seconds into the 2nd period.

The tie didn't last 3 seconds as Jace Henning broke out of the Express zone and led the attack and snapped a shot that hit the stick of a Spruce Kings defender and past Murray to put the Express in the lead for a 3rd time at 3-2.

Now the Express began to work at pulling away from Prince George.

Bo Pieper blasted home a one timer on the power play on a set up from his brother Canon to put the Express up a pair.

Just 1:02 later Braiden Epp briefly pulled Prince George back within one on a set up from Mitch Eden.

81 ticks of the clock later the Express again were up by 3 as Joey Santucci buried the rebound of a point shot for a 5-3 Express lead.

Then it was the Pieper brothers teaming up again and this time it was Canon banging home a rebound to put the Express up 6-3.

The line of Joey Santucci and the Pieper brothers teamed up for 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points in the second period.

The third period was fairly uneventful as the Express cruised to victory the rest of the way.

They fired 35 shots on this night while limiting the opposition to just 25 shots on goal.

The Express penalty killing had a bounce back night after getting torched the previous 4 outings killing off all 3 Prince George power plays. The Express power play struck once on their 3 advantages.

They will have a day of rest before playing host to the Vernon Vipers Sunday afternoon. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


The effort level in terms of shots on goal in the offensive level is there, but it's the ability to keep pucks out of the net that is really plaguing the Express right now.

It was another tough night Wednesday falling 6-0 to the Prince George Spruce Kings in the first of back to back games between the Mainland division foes.

The last two games have seen the Express fall by lopsided scores. They've now been outscored 14-1 in their last 2 games. It's part of a run that has seen the Express allow 31 goals and score 20 in their last 5 games while going 2-3 in that time.

Prince George got the jump on the Express quickly as just over a minute in Chad Staley beat Pierce Dushenko with a shot from the boards beating the Express rookie to the short side.

The Express had a number of quality chances to pull even. Their best probably came to Joey Santucci who had a loose puck lying in the crease and somehow couldn't tap it home.

Ryan Rosenthal and Adam Rockwood also had good chances but couldn't beat Alex Murray who was steady turning aside 34 shots for the shutout.

When you're allowing goals the way the Express have been recently, it's not surprise that the penalty killing will take a hit as well.

Prince George struck on their first two power plays tonight as Jake Lebrun and Christian Weidauer scored to give the visitors a 3-0 lead after 1 period.

After a goal less second period the goals started going in again in the third.

Jeremiah Luedtke was on the business end of a give and go with Justin Rai and he tapped it home to make it 4-0.

In the dying minutes and a late power play the Express made one last desperate attempt to get on the board as they pulled Dushenko to give them a 6 on 4 advantage. That didn't help the Express cause as  moments after the Spruce Kings returned to full strength Matt Painchaud scored into the empty net.

Then to deliver one last blow Caleb Thompson scored moments into a Spruce Kings power play blasting a shot over the shoulder of Dushenko to put a cap on the goal scoring.

Prince George finished 3 for 5 on the power play. The Express penalty killing is on a run they would like to quickly put to an end that has seen the opposition click at a 50 percent success rate going 12 for 24 on the power play in the last 4 games.

The sooner Friday's re-match arrives, the sooner the Express can try to put this tough stretch behind them. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Here's the highlights of the 9-6 Express win over Surrey last Friday.

Highlights courtesy of Jorge Parra and Underdog Productions.

Friday, November 29, 2013


There will be new goal lights required before the Express next home game vs. Prince George after they won a goal filled affair with the Surrey Eagles 9-6.

The Express exploded out of the gates. Joey Santucci had what would turn out to be a memorable sequence for the 19 year old forward who got his night started by opening the scoring at 3:16 snapping home a pass from behind the net.

48 seconds later Canon Pieper was hauled down and awarded a penalty shot. He made no mistake beating Devon Fordyce with a deke to the forehand.

Then the Santucci show resumed. He scored his second of the period just 24 seconds later to make it 3-0. Then 9 seconds after that Santucci capped off his hat-trick to give the Express a 4-0 lead.

At the end of it the Express had scored 4 times in a span of 1:21 with Santucci scoring 3 of his goals in the same 1:21 span. I don't have any official records, but it may have been the fastest hat-trick recorded by an Express player in franchise history.

Up 4 less than 5 minutes into the game, the Express appeared to be in cruise control.

Before the period was done the Eagles brought the Express back down to earth somewhat.

Braeden Russell got the Eagles on the board just 1:19 after Santucci's 3rd of the night.

Then the Eagles pulled within one on goals by Joseph Drapluk and Russell's second of the game 1:35 apart late in the period and it was 4-3 after 20.

Surrey completed their come back just over two minutes into the second period as Russell completed his hat-trick swatting home a loose puck at the side of the Express net.

Then the Express went back on the attack.

Adam Rockwood re-stored the Express lead powering the puck to the net and sliding it home for his 7th of the season and 3rd goal in his last 4 games.

1:25 later Marc Biega broke out on a 2 on 1 with Joey Santucci, and the defenceman decided to keep the puck instead of trying to set up Santucci for his 4th of the game. It turned out to be the right decision as Biega snapped it past Fordyce.

Then on the power play Ryan Rosenthal from the high slot re-directed a Marc Biega point shot to put the Express up 7-4.

These teams were filling the net after two periods. Why stop in the third?

Nathan Renouf picked his his 4th point of the night scoring at the side of the net to go with his 3 assists at 1:40.

Jackson Cressy responded for the Express 2:20 later banging home the rebound of a Jace Hennig shot.

The teams finally settled down and took a 14 minute break from scoring goals until Canon Pieper scored his second of the game into an empty night while the Express were shorthanded. It's their 10th shorthanded goal this season. Canon now his 3 of them. And the Express as a team have now scored 4 of their shorthanded goals vs. the Surrey Eagles this season.

Nic Pierog scored a powerplay goal with 25 seconds left in the third period. Then finally the clock had run out on this high scoring affair to put an end to a wild night.

With the win the Express re-store a 3 point lead on Surrey for 3rd place in the Mainland division. They will now begin to use up their 3 games in hand on the Eagles with a trip to the Island for games in Alberni Valley Saturday and Nanaimo Sunday. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Wednesday night we learned that a lot can happen in a span of 12 seconds. That's how quickly Surrey scored two goals in the opening minute of the third period en route to a 7-5 win in the first of a home and home series.

Those goals would open up a 4 goal Surrey lead that the Express just couldn't over come.

Coming off their two most impressive wins of the season last weekend vs. Penticton, the Express were looking to build off them in this key pair of games with their division rival.

The Eagles got the jump on the Express just over 5 minutes into the game as Nathan Renouf scored on a set up from his twin brother Jonah off a won face-off in the Express zone.

5 minutes later the Express pulled even as Corey Mackin showed some great hands coming out of the corner then cutting in front of the net and slid the puck past Devon Fordyce.

Late in the period the Eagles re-stored their lead just after an Express power play had expired.

Brian Drapluk came out of the penalty box and bumped Adam Rockwood off the puck inside the Eagles blue line which set up a 2 on 1 the other way and Danton Heinen set up Brian's twin brother Joseph who snapped the puck past Gordie Defiel.

Just 1:38 later the Eagles struck again. This time it was the Renouf brothers at it again along with line mate Braeden Russell who teamed up deep in the Express zone and set up Jonah who scored give the Eagles a 3-1 lead after 1 period.

Adam Rockwood cut the Eagles lead back down to one when he took a pass at a tough angle in front of the Eagles net and managed to find a way to flip the puck over Fordyce.

Again the Eagles had a response, late in the second period Danton Heinen and Cameron Marks raced after the puck in the Express zone. Heinen was hauled down and awarded a penalty shot. On the free pass, Heinen shaded to his right and snapped a shot low to the stick side past Defiel with just 1:41 remaining in the second period.

The opening 32 seconds of the third period was a moment in time the Express would like to forget.

First they coughed up the puck inside the blue line and it quickly resulted in Joseph Drapluk's second of the game. Then 12 seconds later Nathan Renouf scored his second of the game to quickly open up a 6-2 Surrey lead.

At this point a come back was looking like a daunting task for the Express.

Daniel Lange cut the lead back down to 3 at 8:53.

Then on the power play Ryan Rosenthal powered the puck to the net and scored his 16th of the season pulling back into a tie for the team lead in goals with Corey Mackin.

Then Zach Hodder scored the third Express goal in just over 5 minutes off the rush and suddenly it was back to a one goal game with just over 6 to go.

That would be as close as the Express would come as Heinen capped off his 4 point night by scoring his second of the game into an empty net with 30 seconds to go to secure the Eagles win.

The win pulled Surrey within one point of the Express for third place in the Mainland division standings. But the Express still have three games in hand on Surrey. The second of the home and home will go Friday night in Coquitlam.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Coquitlam Express captain Ryan Rosenthal has committed to Northeastern University for the fall of 2014.

The Montvale New Jersey native is currently tied for the team lead in goals with 15 and is 2nd in team scoring with 29 points this season. His 3 shorthanded goals are currently tied for the BCHL lead with Surrey's Nic Pierog. He was the BCHL player of the week for the week ending October 6th following a 9 point (3G, 6A) weekend in 3 games.

Rosenthal came to the Express this season after attending the University of Vermont last season where he dressed for 6 games registering 2 points.

This is the second scholarship secured for an Express player this season after forward Cody Boyd committed to Army recently.

The Express now have 6 players on their roster with NCAA commitments. 

Monday, November 25, 2013


Coquitlam Express goalie Gordie Defiel has been named the BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending Nov. 23, the league announced Monday.

Defiel backed the Express to a pair of wins in a home-and-home set against the Penticton Vees.

The native of Stillwater, Minn. turned aside all but one shot both nights in posting a 0.95 goals-against average and a .963 save percentage.

The 6-foot, 181-pound 20-year-old was named 1st Star in a 3-1 win on home ice before making 28 saves a 2-1 double-overtime victory in Penticton.

Honourable mentions this week:

Langley Rivermen G Brock Crossthwaite - 2W, SO 2nd Star, 3rd Star, .969 sv%, 0.98 GAA

Langley Rivermen F Gage Torrel - 1G, 3A, 1st Star, OT GWG

Coquitlam Express F Bo Pieper - 1G, 2A, 1st Star, OT GWG

Prince George Spruce Kings F Chad Staley - 2G, 3A, 1st Star, two GWGs

West Kelowna Warriors G Andy Desautels - W, T, two 2nd Stars, .940 sv%, 1.89 GAA

Powell River Kings F Jarid Lukosevicius - 2G, 1A, two 1st Star, GWG

Sunday, November 24, 2013


4 points up for grabs, and 4 points grabbed by the Coquitlam Express in their home and home series with the Penticton Vees.

The Express took the opener in Coquitlam Friday 3-1. Then took the return engagement in the South Okanagan Events Centre 2-1 in overtime Saturday.

John Saunders scored the only goal of the first period as his point shot got past Hunter Miska.

Miska came up with a great save in the first period turning aside a backhand re-direction by Ryan Rosenthal who was set up by Adam Rockwood.

The Express structure all night long never really allowed the Vees to generate many quality scoring chances in the two games this weekend.

Penticton had an edge in play in the second period outshooting the Express 12-3. Goaltender Gordie Defiel was having a strong game in the Express crease for a second night in a row. Plus he had a lot of help from his team in front of him clearing pucks away from danger.

Still holding on to the 1-0 lead going into the third period, the Express knew the Vees would come with a push looking for the equalizer. Their best chance early in the period came when Travis Blanliel was set up on a feed but Defiel came to his left and got his pad down for his second best save of the night.

The Vees finally tied it when former Express AP Anthony Conti deflected a point shot past Defiel with just over 4 minutes to go.

Nothing was decided after 60 minutes and the Express had collected 3 out of a possible 4 points vs. the Vees this weekend.

The game was still looking for a hero after 65 minutes of hockey.

In the second overtime the Vees had their chances to win it.

First Cody DePourcq found himself all alone in front of Defiel with all kinds of time. The diminutive forward skated across the crease and tried to roof the puck over the sprawled out Express netminder. But Defiel stayed with him and in pure desperation made a spectacular save stacking the pads.

Seconds later the Vees fired the puck towards the net from the point, it changed directions and found a way to trickle past Defiel. But the goal was immediately waved off when it was ruled Defiel was contacted in the crease.

Those would be the Vees best chances to win the game and they wouldn't get another.

With the puck at the Express blueline they were able to poke it free giving Bo Pieper a breakaway. He busted his tail to the Vee net and unleashed a shot only Bo Pieper can with a rocket over the glove of Hunter Miska giving the Express the dramatic overtime win.

Leading up to the games this weekend vs. the Vees, the Express had spent a lot of time working on their defensive part of the game. After the results this weekend and how they earned them, it should go a long way in the development of that aspect of the Express game this season.

Next week will be a busy one for the Express with four games in 5 nights. They have a home and home with the Surrey Eagles starting Wednesday in Surrey. Then after the return match Friday in Coquitlam, the Express are off to the island for games in Port Alberni and Nanaimo.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


During the first and second intermissions last night I had a chance to speak with two former Coqutilam Comets who were in attendance.

In the first I spoke with the original owner of the Comets and guest of honor last night Sandy Michie.

In the second intermission I spoke with former Comets player Don Taylor.

Friday, November 22, 2013


It was a night to remember with the honoring of the original junior hockey team in Coquitlam the Comets. They were a Junior B team from the 60's through the 70's. Then played one season in the BCHL in 1980-81.

On this night it was made even more memorable after the best performance of the season in a 3-1 win over the Penticton Vees.

Wearing the same beautiful red jerseys the Comets wore 30 plus years ago, the home team knew they needed to play a strong game for the full 60 minutes in order to come away victorious.

That's exactly what they did on this night.

Penticton opened the scoring when Brendan Lamont from the corner put a pass on the tape of Cody DePourcq who re-directed the pass between the pads of Gordie Defiel.

6 minutes into the second period the Comets tied it. Adam Rockwood won the face-off in the Vees zone, Marc Biega teed up a one timer for Zach Hodder whose shot went wide but the rebound off the end boards bounced to Adam Rockwood who scored his 5th goal of the season and 1st on home ice this season.

Through 40 minutes the Comets were playing a strong team game and put themselves in a position to win it in the third.

They opened the final frame killing off a penalty to defenceman Matthew Berry-Lamontagna.

Then moments later on the power play the Comets took their first lead when captain Ryan Rosenthal scored from a shot from the left circle that got past Oliveir Mantha. That goal would be the catalyst for a strong final period for the captain. He had a number of other quality scoring chances to put the game away. He finally did in the final minute of the third period scoring into an empty net.

The Comets needed a strong defensive game all night in order to come away with the win. That's exactly what they did. They were ready to play right from the start. They allowed very few quality scoring chances for the Vees. Gordie Defiel was very steady in the Express crease turning aside 24 of 25 Vees shots for the win. This is a win that could help this team going forward. They did plenty of good things all night they could learn from that could help this team going forward when it comes to finding a way to win on a consistent basis like it did early in the season.

The re-match goes Saturday night in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

There were plenty of Comets alumni in attendance. And it was great to see the players of today make the players of yesteryear feel proud with such a strong game.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


The Coquitlam Express were better Sunday afternoon vs. Victoria than they were the night before in Chilliwack. But still found themselves on the losing end falling 4-3 to the Grizzlies.

Former Express Garrett Forster had an afternoon to remember with two goals and an assist against his former mates.

Forster had a hand in opening the scoring as he slid a pass to Joel Gaudet who re-directed it past Gordie Defiel at 2:51.

Ryan Rosenthal had the best chance for the Express to tie it as he poked the puck past Victoria net minder Alec Dillon and had a wide open net but missed.

Marc Biega pulled the Express even with 3 minutes left in the third period as he blasted home a rolling puck from the circle for his 3rd goal in his last 4 games.

Victoria opened the second period with 4 minutes of power play time as Nic Rasovic was assessed a double minor penalty for high sticking Garrett Forster.

On that power play the former Express continued his big afternoon as he scored with a wrist shot through the legs of Defiel just 46 seconds in.

The Express began to really take control of the game as the second period carried on. At the same time Grizzlies net minder Alec Dillion also began to become a factor. He turned aside 12 of the 13 second period shots sent his way. The only puck to get past him was a pass by Canon Pieper intended for his brother Bo but it hit the leg of a Victoria defender and went in.

Like the second period, the third saw Victoria open the period on the power play. Again it was Forster making the Express pay as a shot from the point bounced to him on the left wing and he snapped it home 55 seconds into the third for his second of the game. Victoria finished 2 for 7 on the power play while killing off both Express advantages.

Jay Mackie gave Victoria some insurance with less than 8 minutes to go as he took a pass from behind the net from Myles Fitzgerald and snapped it through the legs of Defiel.

Corey Mackin made things interesting pulling the Express within one with just over 2 minutes to go, but Victoria would hold on to post their 4th straight win and complete a 3 game sweep of a Mainland division road trip.

The Express went 1-2 in their three games this weekend. Up next is a home and home with the Penticton Vees next weekend.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


The Chilliwack Chiefs posted their second consecutive win over the Coquitlam Express. This time doing it in convincing fashion 6-1 at the Prospera Centre Saturday night.

The loss snapped the brief two game winning streak for the Express.

Chilliwack took a 2-0 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes. They tallied both goals in similar fashion with a shot from the right point and traffic in front of goaltender Pierce Dushenko creating havoc for the Express rookie net minder. The Chiefs first goal came off the stick of Eric Roberts whose screened shot got through Dushenko. Mathieu Tibbet made a 2-0 game when banged home the rebound of a deflected point shot that handcuffed Dushenko.

Carter Cochrane led the way offensively for the Chiefs with a 4 point night thanks to 1 goal and 3 assists. He extended the Chiefs lead to three on the power play off the rush snapping a shot past Dushenko from the right wing.

Joey Santucci tallied the lone goal for the Express from the slot sliding a shot through the legs of Spencer Trembly.

Chiefs captain Austin Plevy scored the second power play goal of the game for Chilliwack as he cut to the net from the left side cut around Dushenko and slid the puck home following a turnover at the Express blue line. Plevy had a 3 point night for the Chiefs with 1 goal and 2 assists.

Late in the second period another mistake by the Express at the offensive blue line quickly turned into a breakaway for Kyle Westerlingh who made no mistake firing a shot over Dushenko's glove.

Westerlingh was credited with his second of the game in the third period as he got a stick on a Carter Cochrane shot that changed directions and slid home.

Spencer Trembly posted his first win in Chilliwack colors in his second game turning aside 44 of 45 Express shots.

The Chiefs also had the edge in special teams going 2 for 7 on the power play while killing off all 6 Express advantages.

The Express need short memories of what happened Saturday night as they host the Victoria Grizzlies Sunday afternoon at 2pm. 

Friday, November 15, 2013


The Coquitlam Express scored 4 first period goals to set them on the right path to a  6-3 win over the Mainland division leading Langley Rivermen.

The win was the second straight for the Express as they posted consecutive wins on home ice for the first time this season.

After a strong opening few shifts for Langley to start the game, the Express began to turn it in their favour while a man down.

Captain Ryan Rosenthal had a shorthanded breakaway and fired a shot high over the net as he tried to beat Steve Myland to the glove side. Moments later he got a chance at redemption and this time made no mistake beating Myland with a deke to the backhand for a BCHL leading 9th shorthanded goal for the Express this season. It was the third shorthanded goal for the captain this season.

Here's a real unique stat. While shorthanded this season, the Express are just a -4 in the goals for and goals against differential. Their penalty killing which improved to 1st in the BCHL tonight with a 3 for 3 performance has allowed 13 power play goals this season while scoring 9 shorthanded goals.

The offence kept rolling for the Express. Off a won face-off in the Langley zone Joey Santucci scored to give the Express a 2-0 lead at the 6:10 mark.

55 seconds later it was 3-0 Express thanks to a power play goal by Marc Biega. His second goal in as many outings. The goal brought Steve Myland's night to an end early after allowing 3 goals in 6 shots and getting replaced by Brock Crossthwaite.

Austin Azurdia cut the Express lead back down to two sliding the puck past Gordie Defiel following a turnover in the Express zone.

The lead was quickly back to 3 as the Express responded when Canon Pieper scored less than 4 minutes later. A quick response would turn out to be a theme for the Express on this night.

Another theme for the Express recently has been their fast starts which has seen them outscore their opposition 7-1 in the first period in the last two games.

Gage Torrel cut the Express lead down to 4-2 just over 5 minutes into the second period. Again the Express had a quick response as Mackin put the Express up by 3 for a third time in this game snapping a shot past the glove of Brock Crossthwaite.

Canon Pieper added his second of the game just over 2 minutes later to put the Express up 6-2.

This game did have some rough stuff. Ben Isreal was assessed a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for a hit on former Express Will Cook that left him down on the ice for a few minutes and he did not return.

The 5 minute power play was another chance for the Rivermen to try and claw back in it, but the Express penalty killers got the job done. The Express have now killed of 18 of their last 19 shorthanded situations.

Jackson Waniek rounded out the scoring with his first BCHL goal less than two minutes into the third period.

The Express got some balanced scoring from their top guns. Ryan Rosenthal and Canon Pieper led the way each with 3 point nights. And 8 different players registered at least one point.

Gordie Defiel turned aside 33 of the 36 Rivermen shots sent his way as he posted his first win since October 12th in Merritt.

The Express are right back to work Saturday night with a visit to Chilliwack.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


The Coquitlam Express have traded forward Adam Smith to the Dryden Ice Dogs (SIJHL) in exchange for future considerations.

The 19 year old Nanaimo native played 16 games with the Express scoring 1 goal and accumulating 53 penalty minutes which led the Express and at the time of the trade was 3rd most in the BCHL.

Smith had stints last season with Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo, Salmon Arm in the BCHL and Spokane in the WHL. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Highlights from last week's 4-3 Express win over Surrey.

Highlights courtesy of Jorge Barra and Underdog Productions.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


The Coquitlam Express snapped their 5 game losing streak and picked up just their 2nd win on home ice by dropping the Surrey Eagles 4-3 Wednesday night.

It hasn't been the best of times for the Express in recent weeks trying to re-establish their winning formula from earlier in the season.

In the first period the Express set the tempo for the game at 5 on 5 and on both sides of the special teams battle.

It started with the Express killing off two Surrey power plays in the first 10 minutes. Then the power play which hasn't lit the world on fire began to heat up. Bo Pieper banged home the rebound of an Ben Israel point shot with just 3 seconds left in the first power play of the night for the Express to open the scoring.

Just under 5 minutes after Bo's goal the Express struck again as Corey Mackin poked home the rebound of a Ryan Rosenthal shot past Devon Fordyce.

This game that saw the teams separated by just a point entering the game had it's emotional moments.

Ryan Fraser-Lee was certainly involved in his fair share of some of the physical play in the first period. First he was on the receiving end of a hit by Joey Santucci in the corner that the Eagles defenceman wasn't too fond of. Then he laid out a big hit on Express forward Bo Pieper looking for retribution.

Then late in the first period he hit Jace Henning with a dangerous hit into the end boards. Fraser-Lee was assessed a 2 minute minor for checking from behind, a roughing call and a game misconduct. On the play Eagles goaltender Devon Fordyce got involved with the scrum that involved Cody Boyd and Adam Smith of the Express. As a result the Express got a power play out of it based on the involvement by Fordyce leaving the crease to join the fracas behind his net.

On the ensuing power play the Express struck again as Marc Biega's point shot got past a screened for Fordyce.

It was a perfect first period for the Express on special teams in the first period. They were 2 for 2 on the power play and 3 for 3 on the penalty kill.

The strong opening 20 minutes saw the Express come away with a 18-5 advantage in shots.

Eagles captain Brett Mulcahy cut into the Express lead by re-directing a Nathan Dawson shot past net minder Pierce Dushenko.

Dawson also had a hand in the Eagles second goal as he had another point shot tipped home this time by former Express Mitchell Fyffe.

The Express entered the final period needing to protect a 1 goal lead.

They thought they got some much needed insurance just under 6 minutes in when they appeared to have scored on a scramble. But it was ruled the puck was gloved into the net much to the disagreement by the Express.

Surrey had a strong edge in play looking for the equalizer. But getting another puck past Dushenko was proving to be difficult. He came up with a number of quality saves in the third period. Including a glove save on Danton Heinen with 6 minutes to go in the third period. The Express rookie net minder would finish with 36 saves for his 3rd win of the season.

Joey Santucci got the Express some much needed insurance with just over 4 minutes to go as a Bo Pieper shot bounced off the end boards to him at the side of the net and he poked it home.

Santucci's goal would turn out to be huge as Nic Pierog cut the Express back down to one just 1:19 later. That would be as close as the Eagles would come as Dushenko shut the door the rest of the way.

Heading into a 9 day break on a winning note is much easier to take than the alternative. The Express are back in action a week from Friday for the first of a 3 game weekend when they will play host to the Langley Rivermen.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Coquitlam Express forward Adam Rockwood was among 5 BCHL players selected for Team West to take part in the CJHL Top Prospects games November 8th and 9th in Digby and Yarmouth Nova Scotia.

See the full press release from the CJHL below:

CALGARY, Alberta (November 5th, 2013) –The Canadian Junior Hockey League, in partnership with NHL Central Scouting and Hockey Canada, announced today the rosters for the 2013 CJHL Prospects Games in Digby and Yarmouth, NS on November 8th & 9th.

The CJHL Prospects Game was created to showcase the top NHL prospects in the CJHL. The CJHL Prospects Games feature players from the CJHL's five western leagues competing against players from the CJHL's five eastern leagues. Player selection for the annual CJHL Prospects Games is a joint initiative of the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting.

Luke Pierce of the Merritt Centennials (BCHL) will lead Team West as Head Coach. “I’m very excited to work with this group of young men this weekend,” said Pierce. “These players have a tremendous opportunity to showcase themselves and represent their region with pride. I look forward sharing this experience with them, and helping them maximize their efforts in the event.”

Team West includes five players from the British Columbia Hockey League and Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, four selections from the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, three players from the Alberta Junior Hockey League, and one Superior International Junior Hockey League player.

Tanner MacMaster (Camrose/AJHL)
Tyler Busch (Spruce Grove/AJHL)
Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam/BCHL)
Jordan Ross (Yorkton/SJHL)
Nicholas Rasovic (Coquitlam/BCHL)
Kailum Gervais (Yorkton/SJHL)
Brett Boehm (Flin Flon/SJHL)
Carter Johnson (Swan Valley/MJHL)
Tyson Predinchuk (Melville/SJHL)
Daniel Del Paggio (Thunder Bay/SIJHL)
Brad Bowles (Portage/MJHL)
Mason Blacklock (Vernon/BCHL) +
Tristen Keck (Winkler/MJHL) +
Tristan Mullin (Dauphin/MJHL) +

Luke Ripley (Powell River/BCHL)
Justin Baudry (Steinbach/MJHL)
Mitch Meek (Victoria/BCHL)
Nikolas Koberstein (Olds/AJHL)
Greg Moro (Humboldt/SJHL)
Brett Beauvais (Penticton/BCHL)*
Alexandre Coulombe (Penticton/BCHL)*
Marshall Donald (Sherwood Park/AJHL) +

Jeff Smith (Victoria/BCHL)
Zac Robidoux (Portage/MJHL)

+Injured and unable to compete
* Unavailable to attend

Tom McCarthy of the Espanola Rivermen (NOJHL) is excited to lead Team East and provide the players with this unique opportunity. “First I would like to thank the CJHL for the glorious privilege to be involved with all these aspiring young athletes,” said Tommy McCarthy. “Not only the privilege of including myself, but to hopefully help give some insight to these hockey players' futures. All of us chosen are truly fortunate to be a part of such an event.”

Team East includes seven players from the Central Canada Hockey League, six from the Ontario Junior Hockey League, four Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League players, two players from the Ligue de Hockey Junior AAA du Quebec, and one selection from the Maritime Hockey League.

Francois Lemelin (Hawkesbury/CCHL)
Dylan Sikura (Aurora/OJHL)
Maxime St. Pierre (Cumberland/CCHL)
Reid Murphy (Pembroke/CCHL)
Matt Alvaro (St. Michael's/OJHL)
Joseph Berton (St. Michael's /OJHL)
Brett Seney (Kingston/OJHL)
Michael Laidley (Aurora/OJHL)
Tanner Spink (Cornwall/CCHL)
Aaron Spivak (Toronto/OJHL)
Ryan Punkari (Sudbury/NOJHL)
Cray Roberge (Espanola/NOJHL)

Brett Garvey (Brockville/CCHL)
Kris Myllari (Kanata/CCHL)
Zac Tierney (Ottawa/CCHL)
Bradley Bell (Sudbury/NOJHL)
Cavan Fitzgerald (Summerside/MHL)
Guillaume Viens (Lachine/LHJAAAQ)

Joel Horodziejczyk (Soo/NOJHL)
David Richer (Vaudreuil-Dorion/LHJAAAQ)

The CJHL Prospects Event includes a two-game total goal series between Team East and Team West in a battle for the President's Cup, which is awarded annually to the winning team.

2012 - Game 1: Team West wins 5-0; Game 2: Team East wins 6-3 in Digby and Yarmouth, NS
2011 - Game 1: Team West wins 4-3; Game 2: Team West wins 4-3 (OT) in Langley, BC
2010 - Game 1: Team East wins 2-1 (SO); Game 2: Team East wins 7-1 in Dauphin, MB
2009 - Game 1: Team West wins 8 - 1; Game 2: Team East wins 2 - 0 in Winkler, MB
2008 - Team East defeated Team West 6-3 in Summerside, PEI
2007 - Team East defeated Team West 5-3 in Winkler, MB
2006 - Team West defeated Team East 6-2 in Vernon, BC
2005 - Team West defeated Team East 5-4 in Yorkton, SK

The CJHL Prospects Games will be held in conjunction with the 2013 World Junior A Challenge, which runs from November 4th – 10th, 2013 in Yarmouth, NS. CJHL Prospects Game #1 will be played on Friday, November 8th at the Digby Arena in Digby, NS at 7:00PM. On Saturday, November 9th, Game #2 will take place at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, NS at 4:00PM.


Highlights courtesy of Underdog Productions.


The Coquitlam Express Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club is proud to announce that their November 22nd game against the Penticton Vees will be dedicated to local hockey builder, Mr. Sandy Michie, and the original Coquitlam Junior Hockey franchise, the Comets.

Mr. Sandy Michie was the long-time Owner and General Manager of the Comets, who were members of the Pacific Coast Junior Hockey League from 1974-1979. In 1979, the Pacific Coast League merged with the British Columbia Hockey League, where the Comets also competed until 1981.

The Express will show homage for Comets Alumni players, volunteers and Mr. Michie by donning replica Comets jerseys circa 1975. It will be a special Fan Festival Friday as fans will be able to mingle with Comets Alumni, in addition to a free pre-game BBQ and other activities kicking off at 5:30pm, courtesy of PriceSmart Foods – Pinetree Village. The Express are also offering $3 off an adult, senior (60+) or student ticket purchased at the ticket booth if you wear a hockey jersey to this game.

Express fans and Coquitlam Comets Alumni players, volunteers & friends are encouraged to contact Jordan Herbison through the Coquitlam Express Office or via e-mail at: for more information.

Friday, November 1, 2013


The Express are still in search of their 2nd win on home ice after falling 6-4 to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Friday night.

Alberni Valley used a fast start to get the jump on the Express and put them on the path to victory.

Their speed and pressure on the puck was very effective and lead to scoring chances and dictate the tempo of the first period.

Mitch Makin's speed cutting into the Express zone allowed him to get a step on an Express defenceman and feed the puck into the blue paint to Harlan Orr who just needed to have his stick on the ice to tip home his 4th goal of the season into a gaping net.

Orr added his second of the game 4 minutes later as he banged home the rebound of a Brodie Clowes point shot for a 2-0 Alberni Valley lead at 14:56.

The Express got one back before the period was done as a deft set up from behind the net by Ryan Rosenthal to Corey Mackin who scored his 12th of the season just over a minute after Orr's second of the period.

The score was 2-1 in favour of Alberni Valley after 1 period. But the shot clock told the real story of the period as to who was by far the better team as the Bulldogs outshot the Express 23-6.

The game kept going the Bulldogs way in the second period. Former Express Justin Georgeson playing in his first game in Coquitlam as a Bulldog opened the frame with a powerplay goal just 26 seconds into the period roofing it over the shoulder of Gordie Defiel from a sharp angle.

Ryan Buse put the visitors up 3 as he fired a shot past a screened Gordie Defiel after a won faceoff in the Express zone.

Hunter Stewart made it a 5-1 game as his wrist shot from the slot was fired past Defiel midway through the period.

It was a complete 180 turnaround in terms of who controlled the play from the first period to the second. The Express fired 21 shots in the frame to just 6 for the Bulldogs. But the 3 goals Alberni Valley put up in the period is all that counts at the end of the night.

The Express continued their control of the game from the start of the second period into the third period.

Goals by Bo Pieper and Joey Santucci cut the Bulldogs lead to 5-3. And the Express fired another 18 shots in the final period, but they couldn't dig themselves out of the 4 goal hole from the first half of the game.  The Express outshot Alberni Valley 39-14 in the final 2 periods, but it still wasn't enough.

Harlan Orr capped off his hat-trick with an empty net goal with just over a minute to play. That was followed by a goal by Jackson Cressey in the final minute to put a close on proceedings.

The Express have now lost 5 straight games and 6 of their last 7. They still have just 1 win on home ice this season. They will try to snap their streak Wednesday night when they host the Surrey Eagles. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Lyndon Stanwood made 49 saves as the Express fired a season high 52 shots on goal, but it still wasn't enough as the Chilliwack Chiefs dropped the Express 4-3 Sunday afternoon.

It was a game where the Express deserved a better fate based on their effort but weren't rewarded for it at the end of the 60 minutes.

The Express jumped on the Chiefs right from the start of the game peppering the diminutive Chiefs net minder. They broke through just over 5 minutes in as Corey Mackin banged home the rebound of a Marc Biega shot for his 11th goal of the season.

Less than 2 minutes later the Express struck again as Mackin set up Jace Hennig for his 5th goal of the season. Hennig played on the top line with Mackin and Captain Ryan Rosethal as leading scorer Adam Rockwood missed his first game as he attends the selection camp for Team Canada West for the upcoming World Junior A Challenge.

The Express speed was very effective in the first period helping create a number of quality scoring chances in the first period as they fired 20 shots on goal but couldn't put any more past Stanwood whose athleticism made for a number of quality saves in the first period.

Chilliwack got on the board late in the opening period while shorthanded. Their captain Austin Plevy danced into the Express zone. He couldn't beat Zach Hodder one on one, but followed up his chance and set up Quentin McShane who blasted a one timer past Gordie Defiel.

The Express re-stored their lead early in the second period early as Bo Pieper hustled to the puck along the boards and fired the puck at the net where Joey Santucci was alone in front who easily re-directed home his 7th of the season.

Stanwood's best save of the many he made Sunday afternoon came midway through the second period. Bo Pieper led a 2 on 1 with Mackin and Bo slid the puck across to Mackin who had a gaping net but couldn't best Stanwood who dove to his right to make a remarkable save.

The Chiefs used that big save as a turning point to try and get back in the game despite being heavily outshot.

Jaret Babych on a feed from Jake Hand scored just moments after the Stanwood save on Mackin to cut the Express lead down to 3-2.

Despite a 37-14 advantage in shots through 40 minutes the Express only had a 1 goal lead to work with.

4 minutes into the third the game was even as Kurt Black set up by Austin Plevy slid the puck through the legs of Defiel.

Then midway through the frame Ben Butcher from the point blasted a high shot that went over the glove of Defiel to give Chilliwack their first and only lead of the game.

Looking for the equalizer the Express kept firing pucks at Stanwood who wouldn't be beat the rest of the night. That included a pair of powerplays for the Express who finished 0 for 6 on Sunday. And like Friday night vs. West Kelowna, the outcome would have been better for the Express had the powerplay been a difference maker.

The Express are back in action Friday night for their lone game of the weekend when they will try again to pick up just their 2nd win on home ice and snap a 4 game losing skid when they host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.


Here's the highlights of the Warriors 4-3 win over the Express Friday.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Reid Simmonds scored his second goal of the game with just 22 seconds remaining in the third period to give the West Kelowna Warriors a 4-3 win over the Express Friday night.

The loss was the third straight for the Express. And they still have just 1 win on home ice in 7 games played at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre.

The Express couldn't have asked for a better start to the game as they opened the scoring just over a minute in. Ben Isreal's shot from the right wing got through Andy Desautels and Canon Pieper followed up on the play and poked it home for his 10th goal of the season.

The first half of the game was filled with penalties. The Express had 4 powerplays in the first period but couldn't use any of them to extend their lead.

It took a 5 on 3 for the Express in the second period to finally put them up a pair. In his last game before heading off to Calgary for Team Canada West selection camp, Adam Rockwood set up Zach Hodder blasted home a one timer past a screened Desautels for Hodder's second goal of the season.

One does have to wonder what could have been for the Express on this night if they were more powerful on the powerplay. They finished the night 1 for 7 with the extra man. And all 7 powerplays came in the first half of the game. On the penalty kill it was a good night for the Express however killing off all 5 Warrior powerplays.

The Warriors cut the deficit to one before the second period was done. Moments earlier goaltender Gordie Defiel was bumped and had a tough time getting back on his feet and re-establishing his crease. No goaltender interference penalty was called and seconds later the puck was in the Express net as Jason Cotton scored at 17:22.

West Kelowna came out strong in the third period looking for the equalizer. They opened up a 5-0 advantage in shots. Reid Simmonds pulled the visitors even as he roofed a shot over the glove of Defiel at 6:26.

That was followed 1:07 later with David Pope cutting to the net and sliding a backhand past the glove of Defiel to put the Warriors in the lead for the first time.

West Kelowna's come back was all part of a back and forth finish in the third period.

With less than 3 minutes to go the Express pulled even as Zach Hodder's snap shot hand cuffed Desautels and Bo Pieper followed up to score on the rebound to tie the game at 3.

That goal didn't rattle the Warriors who kept pushing forward. Carl Hesler was robbed by Defiel with just over a minute to go as he came across the crease and got his pad down to make at the time a game saving stop.

But with 22 seconds left the Warriors decided the contest. Simmonds cut in from the left wing, his shot couldn't be corralled by Defiel and rolled in to give the Warriors a 4-3 lead with their third goal of the final frame.

It's a day of rest and recovery for the Express before they play host to the only team they've been able to defeat on home ice so far this season the Chilliwack Chiefs Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Here's the highlights of Surrey's 5-4 win over the Express Wednesday.

Highlights produced by Eddie Gregory.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


The Surrey Eagles snapped a 5 game losing streak and picked up their first win in the month of October with a 5-4 victory over the Express Wednesday.

The loss dropped the Express to 1-3-0-2 at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre. Their overall home record is 1-4-0-2 if you include the neutral site home game at the BCHL showcase vs. Merritt.

It is a riddle that the Express haven't been able to solve on home ice while on the other hand they're 6-0 on the road. And 5-0 if you don't include the neutral site road game at the showcase in Chilliwack.

Turnovers would be a key story of the night for the Express. The mistakes would prove to be costly and it started early.

A bad pass coming out of their own zone then Danton Heinen slid the puck to Jonah Renouf who teed it up for captain Brett Mulcahy who snapped the puck past Gordie Defiel just 1:35 into the game.

Just over 5 minutes in it was 2-0 as Joseph Drapluk was set up by Nicolas Pierog.

A little shell shocked the Express needed a break to go their way. And that's exactly what happend. Ben Isreal fired the puck into the Surrey zone, the puck hit a stanchion and bounced front of an open net and Jace Hennig poked in as Devon Fordyce was caught out of his net.

The Eagles re-stored their two goal lead as they got a buzzer beater on the powerplay to end of the 1st period.

Nic Pierog banged home a rebound from a Kale Bennett point shot just in the nick of time (pardon the pun) scoring as the first period came to a close to re-store the two goal Eagle lead.

The second period saw the BCHL's most dangerous shorthanded team go to work again to pull the Express even.

With Ben Isreal serving a blow to the head penalty, Ryan Rosenthal and Canon Pieper scored 45 second apart to tie the game at three. For Ryan and Canon they each tallied their 2nd shorthanded goals of the season. The Express now as a team lead the BCHL with 7 shorthanded goals on the season.

But more turnovers would haunt the Express on this night. Pierog who played a strong game Wednesday stole the puck in the Express zone and set up Drapluk for this second of the game to put the Eagles ahead 4-3.

Then just over two minutes later following another turnover in the Express end Danton Heinen and Jonah Renouf teamed up to set up Brett Mulcahy for his second of the game for a 5-3 Eagle lead after 40.

Jace Hennig scored his second of the game in the third period on the powerplay re-directing a Corey Mackin shot just over 5 minutes into the period.

But the Eagles would shut the door the rest of the way and close out the game and picked up the victory.

Devon Fordyce turned aside 31 of 35 Express shots in his Eagles debut to post the victory. The game also marked the first game as a Surrey Eagle for former Express Garrett Forster who was acquired earlier in the week.

Zach Hodder who the Express re-acquired earlier made his Express re-debut Wednesday. In another Express transaction they traded the rights to defenceman Cal Hofford to the Cornwall Colts of the CCHL for future considerations.

Now the Express hit the road this weekend with visits to Trail and Salmon Arm.


The Coquitlam Express got a boost to the blueline by bringing back a familiar face Wednesday.

They have re-acquired defenceman Zach Hodder from the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL.

The 20 year old Delta native played 43 games with the Express during the 2011-12 season. In those 43 games, Hodder was very productive piling up 12 goals and added 21 assists for 31 points.

The 12 goals he scored that season is the second highest total in a season by an Express defenceman.

He returned to the WHL last season where he split the season with Prince Albert Raiders and Medicine Hat Tigers. In 60 games he had 3 goals and 13 assists for 16 points.

This season he played 6 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors and had picked up 1 assist. He has 128 career WHL games with Vancouver, Saskatoon, Price Albert, Medicine Hat and Moose Jaw registering 8 goals and 30 assists for 38 points.

Hodder will make his Express re-debut tonight vs. the Surrey Eagles and will wear #2. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013


The Langley Rivermen came out on top over the Express in a battle for first place in the Mainland division 3-1 Friday night in Coquitlam.

The win was the second in a row for the visitors at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre.

Austin Azurdia opened the scoring in the contest as he took a slick back door pass from Viktor Dombrovsky and re-directed the pass by Gordy Defiel at the 6 minute mark.

Langley took the one goal lead to the second period thanks in large part to goaltender Steve Myland.

He set the tone in the first period that he was going to be difficult to beat with a number of quality saves. His best possibly coming off a Jackson Cressy midway through the period as he kicked out the left pad on a bang bang play in front. Myland finished the period with 15 saves.

The second period was filled with penalties to both sides. Each team was assessed double minors, they each had a 5 on 3 for a full two minutes and couldn't score.

Not surprising the only goal of the period came on the powerplay.

Bo Pieper scored his 9th goal of the season as he snapped a point shot past a screened Myland at 8:41.

The game was deadlocked at 1 entering the third period. Langley broke free and took the lead when Jakob Reichert made a nifty drop pass to Nathan Craft who quick snapped a shot low past Defiel.

That was followed up 2 minutes later by Kevan Killistoff's second goal this season vs. the Express as he tapped in a loose puck lying in the Express crease for a 3-1 Rivermen lead.

From then on Langley put the clamp down the Express and put the game away.

The Express are right back at it Saturday night when they travel to Merritt for the second meeting of the season vs. the Centennials. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Coquitlam Express forward Ryan Rosenthal is the BCHL player of the week. And 3 other Express players are recognized as honourable mentions.

See the full release from the BCHL below:

Coquitlam Express forward and captain Ryan Rosenthal has been named the BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending Oct. 6, the league announced Monday.

Rosenthal racked up nine points in helping the Express to three-win weekend over division rivals Chilliwack and Surrey. The Montvale, N.J. had two goals and one assist in each of the contests and scored the game-winner in a the weekend-opening victory over Chilliwack. He was named 2nd Star in each of the team's three wins.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound forward now has 15 points in nine games on the season to sit fifth in the BCHL scoring race.

Honourable mentions this week:

West Kelowna Warriors F Jason Cotton: 3G, 4A, 1st Star, GWG

Powell River Kings F Jarryd Leung: 3G, 1A, 1st Star, hat trick, OT GWG

Langley Rivermen F James Robinson: 1G, 5A, two 1st Stars

Coquitlam Express G Gordy Defiel: 2W, 84 save/87 shots, .965 sv%, 1.50 GAA, two 1st Stars

Coquitlam Express F Corey Mackin: 3G, 4A, 3rd Star

Coquitlam Express F Canon Pieper: 4G, 2A, 1st Star


Tuesday Coquitlam Express forward Adam Rockwood was featured on Breakfast Television's Athlete of the week.

The feature cover's his recovery a year ago from a broken jaw suffered in the pre-season, the start to his season. And his pursuit of an NCAA scholarship.

Click here to see the video

Sunday, October 6, 2013


3 games against Mainland division foes, and 3 wins and 6 crucial points for the Coquitlam Express.

They started the weekend by taking both games of a home and home with Chilliwack 5-2 Friday and 9-4 Saturday.

Then capped it off with a 5-1 win over the Surrey Eagles Sunday.

Like Saturday in Chilliwack, the Express wanted to jump on their opponents early. They did that again Sunday but weren't able to finish their chances. Ryan Rosenthal had a breakaway in the opening 50 seconds and was turned aside in his bid to open the scoring for a second straight game on the first Express shot by Eagles starter Bo Didur.

Surrey got the games first powerplay. But it was the Express who got the best scoring chances.

Canon Pieper, Joey Santucci and Adam Rockwood all had good chances to score while the Express were a man down.

The Express opened up a early 6-1 advantage in shots. But Surrey finished the period strong outshooting the Express the rest of the way 13-5 but the teams were scoreless after 20 minutes.

The deadlock was broken 5 minutes into the second period as Adam Rockwood set up Bo Pieper in front of the net and he slid it past Didur.

Adam Rockwood put the Express up a pair midway through the period as he took a feed from Ryan Rosenthal and roofed a backhand over the glove of Didur.

A turnover while the Express were on the powerplay late in the second period resulted in Surrey's only goal as Nic Pierog stole the puck and scored on a breakaway picking the top corner over the glove of Gordy Defiel.

Two quick Eagles penalties in the third period gave the Express a 5 on 3 powerplay for 1:58.

They made it count as Ryan Rosenthal blasted home a one timer from the left circle for a 3-1 Express lead.

Defiel finished with 42 saves Sunday earning the game's first star. His best save came off Jonah Renouf in the third period with a glove save as the Eagles forward tried to beat him on the backhand.

Rosenthal added his second of the period minutes later to put the Express up 4-1. That was quickly followed by Canon Pieper scoring his 6th of the season on a wrap around following great work along the boards in the Surrey zone with his brother Bo.

It was a very explosive weekend offensively for the Express. They outscored their opposition 19-7 in the three games.

And there were some very impressive individual performances that are certainly worthy of BCHL player of the week consideration.

Ryan Rosenthal has to be at the top of the list with a trio of 2 goal and 1 assist games for 6 goals and 3 assists and 9 points this weekend.

Corey Mackin with 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points, Canon Pieper had 4 goals and 2 assists for 6 points, Bo Pieper with 1 goal and 4 assists for 5 points, and Adam Rockwood with 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points.

The Langley Rivermen also went 3 for 3 this weekend picking up 6 points with two wins over Surrey and an overtime come from behind win over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Sunday. They will be the Express next opponent on Friday in Coquitlam. It will be a battle for first place in the Mainland division as the Rivermen will enter the game one point up on the Express in the standings.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


The Coquitlam Express matched a season high with 9 goals in a 9-4 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs to sweep a home and home between the Mainland division rivals.

The Express got Chilliwack down early and didn't let them up until the clock struck 0:00 at the end of the third period.

Captain Ryan Rosenthal got the visitors offence rolling in the opening minute as he scored from the slot on the first shot of the game 45 seconds into the contest.

Canon Pieper had a memorable night in the valley with his first BCHL hat-trick. He got his evening kicked off by snapping a shot from the left wing past Chiefs started Josh Halpenny. The goal chased the Chiefs netminder after he allowed 2 goals on 6 shots in the first 12:20 of the game.

Lyndon Stanwood who got the start the night before didn't fare much better. Canon Pieper scored his second of the game shorthanded as he split the Chiefs defence and poked the puck through the legs of Stanwood.

It was the 5th shorthanded goal of the season by the Express which is the most of any team in the BCHL. At the time of the goal, the Express had scored 1 more goal while shorthanded than powerplay goals they had allowed all season.

Jordan Kawaguchi got the Chiefs on the board as he put home a rebound from a Carter Cochrane point shot.

But just 12 seconds later the Express were back up by 3 as Corey Mackin scored his Express leading 8th goal of the season at 18:31.

Pierce Dushenko got his 3rd start of the season in the Express crease. And with his teammates putting 4 on the board in the first period giving him some run support to work with, it's easy to overlook the 20 saves on the 21 Chief shots sent his way in the first period. Some of his best saves came off Mathieu Tibbet and Austin Plevy.

It was more of the same for the Express in the second period.

Marc Biega picked up his first point of the season as his wrister from the point on the powerplay gave the Express a 5-1 lead.

Austin Plevy finally scored his first goal of the season while shorthanded for the Chiefs as he took the puck hard to the net and jammed it under Dushenko.

But like they did in the first period, the Express had a quick response as Bo Pieper who had his first two assists of the season fired a great pass to hit Rosenthal in stride and he cut to the net and tucked the puck past Stanwood for a 6-2 Express lead.

Canon Pieper finished off his hat-trick late in the second period as he came out from behind the Chiefs net and made a spin move and fired off a backhand past Stanwood.

Halpenny came back out to start the third period in the Chiefs crease. And the story didn't change for the hosts. Matthew Barry-Lamontagna scored his second goal of the season as his innocent looking wrister from centre ice wasn't so innocent and it bounced off the blocker of Halpenny and in for an 8-2 Express lead.

Jackson Cressy scored the final goal of the night for the Express as he finished off a great passing play set up by Anthony Gardner's great back door pass.

10 players hit the scoresheet tonight for the Express, 6 had multi point efforts.  The 9 goals matches a season high for most goals in a game set earlier this season in a 9-4 win over Alberni Valley at the Prospera Centre in Chilliwack at the Bauer BCHL showcase.

To close out the night Kyle Westerlingh had Dushenko beat on a penalty shot but put his backhand off the post. Then the Chiefs scored two meaningless goals to cap off the score off the sticks of Andrew Silard and Kurt Black.

The win puts the Express one point back of both Langley and Prince George for first place in the Mainland division. And the two wins also puts the Express 9 points clear of Chilliwack.

The Express finish off the weekend Sunday afternoon in Surrey.

Friday, October 4, 2013


The Coquitlam Express picked up their first victory at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre with a 5-2 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs. The win also snapped a mini 3 game losing streak the Express had entering the contest.

The Express were facing a Chilliwack squad that was still looking to find it's stride with just 1 win in and 8 goals in their first 6 games.

The Chiefs entered this game with just 1 powerplay goal in 30 opportunities this season. They caught a break with the man advantage as they opened the scoring. Zach Diamantoni's centering pass bounced in off the skate of Gordy Defiel at 4:23.

The lead didn't last long as less than 3 minutes later Bo Pieper unleashed a rocket from the slot off a feed from his brother Canon just under the cross bar for his 7th goal of the season.

49 seconds later the Express were in the lead as BCHL scoring leader Adam Rockwood set up Corey Mackin for his 6th goal of the season.

There would have been more goals in the opening frame were it not for some great saves by both Gordy Defiel and Lyndon Stanwood.

Stanwood turned aside Mackin on a shorthanded breakaway after he picked the pocket of a Chiefs defenceman breaking out of his own zone. Defiel's best save came as he got the glove down and turned aside Jake Hand as he tried to tuck the puck around the Express netminder.

Captain Ryan Rosenthal extended the Express lead in the second period as his high shot from the slot handcuffed Stanwood and trickled into the net for a 3-1 Express lead.

Mackin added his second of the game midway through the period snapping home a quick shot from the slot.

This game was decided early in the third period. Chilliwack cut the lead down to two on their second powerplay goal of the game off the stick of Carter Cochrane at 1:36. Moments later the Chiefs were back on the powerplay and had the momentum looking to cut the lead to one. But the Express pressure on the puck on the penalty kill forced a turnover and an odd man rush up ice and Ryan Rosenthal was able to jam the puck under Stanwood for his second of the game to give the Express a 5-2 lead.

The Chiefs kept pressing but couldn't find another goal as Defiel finished with a 42 save outing to post the victory in the Express crease.

Corey Mackin and Ryan Rosenthal each finished with 2 goals and an assist. BCHL scoring leader Adam Rockwood and Canon Pieper each had a pair of helpers.

The teams will do it all over again in the second of a home and home Saturday night in Chilliwack. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Here's the highlights of this past weekends games between the Express and Spruce Kings.



Sunday, September 29, 2013


It couldn't have been a better weekend for the Prince George Spruce Kings, they swept a 3 game road swing through the Lower Mainland and picked up all 6 points including a pair of wins over the Coquitlam Express.

The second win over the Express coming on a 4-3 2OT win Sunday afternoon.

Prince George opened the scoring 14 minutes into the first period as Skylar Pacheco's screen shot got past Gordy Defiel for his 4th of the season.

It didn't take long for the Express to reply less than 90 seconds later on one of the prettiest goals of the season to date on a 3 way passing play with Corey Mackin, Adam Rockwood and Canon Pieper resulting in Pieper finishing off the play and tie the game at 1 with his 2nd goal of the season.

2:14 later the Express struck again on a delayed penalty for Prince George in effect, Ryan Rosenthal's shot from the slot tipped to Mackin who swatted it home at the side of the net to give the Express their lone lead of the game.

The Poirier Sports and Leisure centre might be quickly becoming the favorite rink in the league for Spruce Kings defenceman Karan Toor. He didn't have a goal in 69 career BCHL games before this weekend. He scored the game winner Friday, then he scored a shorthanded goal Sunday with 4 minutes remaining in the second period to tie the game at 2.

Christian Weidauer two minutes into the third period pinched in on the right side and snapped a quick shot past Defiel to put Prince George in the lead for the second time in the game.

Captain Ryan Rosenthal back in the lineup after missing Friday's game continues to show his ability for big goals at big times. He took a flip pass from Corey Mackin and snapped home his third of the season to even the game at 3. All 3 of his goals have come in the third period have either tied the game or gave the Express some key insurance so far this season.

Each team had their chances to win the game on the powerplay either late in the third or early in overtime. The Express killed off a key penalty to John Saunders late in the third and into overtime. They finished 5 for 5 while a man down on the afternoon. And they continue to be the best team in the BCHL when it comes to penalty killing having killed off 26 of 28 shorthanded situations sitting at 92.86%.

The powerplay on the other hand is another story. It had a chance to win the game in overtime for the Express and couldn't get the job done. It went 0 for 6 Sunday and sits 15th out of 16 BCHL teams overall at 4 for 37 10.81%.

The game ended quickly in the second overtime as Bryant Christian returning from a one game suspension chopped the puck over Defiel to give the Spruce Kings the 4-3 win at the 29 second mark.

Next weekend the Express have 3 more crucial divisional games starting with a home and home with the Chilliwack Chiefs that starts Friday in Coqutilam. Then a Sunday afternoon game in Surrey.

Friday, September 27, 2013


The Prince George Spruce Kings scored 3 unanswered goals to erase a two goal deficit en route to knocking off the Express 3-2 Friday night.

A fairly even first period up between the two teams. The best chance for either team came midway through the period when the Express turned the puck over at the Spruce Kings blue line leading to a Bryant Christian breakaway which was turned aside by a glove save by Express netminder Gordy Defiel.

The Express opened the scoring in the final minute of the first period as Adam Rockwood picked off a pass in the neutral zone and found a streaking Joey Santucci who walked in and snapped home his 5th of the season at 19:18.

The lead was extended to two when Bo Pieper coming down the left wing wired a shot past the glove of Jesse Jenks for his 6th of the season. The shot had so much velocity it got stuck wedged in the twine of the net.

Just 1:18 later the visitors got on the board as Bryant Christian's backhand was stopped but his rebound bounced off the Spruce Kings forward and into the net.

The Express carried their lead into the third period. But they weren't able to hold it. Former Express property Brent Lashuk found a loose puck in front of the net and roofed a backhand over the glove of Defiel at 5:20.

Then with 4 minutes to go Prince George took their only lead of the game as a shot from the wing by Mitch Eden got past Defiel and Karan Toor found the loose puck in the crease and poked it home for his first BCHL goal in his 70th career game.

Spruce Kings goaltender Jesse Jenks turned aside 28 Express shots for the win, and was key in shutting the door in the final 35 minutes after the Express opened up their 2-0 lead.

Adam Rockwood had a pair of assists in the losing cause extending his point streak to 5 games with 2 goals and 9 assists for 11 points in that time. Jake Lebrun for Prince George picked up his first two assists of the season to go with his 7 goals on the season.

The teams will do it all over again Sunday afternoon in Coquitlam. Before Sunday's rematch Prince George will pay a visit to the Chilliwack Chiefs Saturday night. 


The Coquitlam Express have acquired defenceman John Saunders (94) from the Whitecourt Wolverines (AJHL) in exchange for future considerations.

Saunders a Calgary native started the season with the Merritt Centennials playing a pair of games. Then was traded to Whitecourt. He has 39 career BCHL games primarily with the Centennials scoring 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points.

He gives the Express some size on the blueline at 6'2 and weighs in at 205 lbs.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Kevan Kilistoff's slick goal midway through the second overtime gave the Langley Rivermen a 5-4 overtime win over the Express spoiling their home opener 24 hours after the Express did the same to Langley.

In the opening seconds of the game Jace Henning would ring a shot off the goal post. That would be a rare highlight for the Express in the first period for awhile.

The Rivermen then started to take control of the first period. They opened the scoring less than three minutes in as Matt Ustaski in front of the Express net re-directed a Tony Bretzman point shot past Pierce Dushenko.

Midway through the period Langley struck again while shorthanded as Mitch McLain broke out of his own zone then rushed up the ice and slid the puck through the legs of Dushenko for a 2-0 Rivermen lead.

Then former Express Will Cook on the powerplay powered his way into the slot and snapped it home for a 3-0 Rivermen lead.

By this point the game had already had it's fair share of penalties it what would turn out to be a very emotional game all night between the two teams who are already developing quite a dislike for one another.

The home team finally responded as Adam Smith deflected a Cal Hofford point shot past James Barr to get the Express on the board.

That goal gave the Express the spark they needed to try and get back into the game.

Then on the powerplay Canon Pieper was set up at the side of the Rivermen net and roofed it on Barr and the Express had cut the lead back down to one.

1:12 later the Rivermen re-stored their two goal lead as Jakob Reichert squeezed the puck between the post and pad of Dushenko on a wrap around and Langley went to the dressing room with a 4-2 lead.

As I said, this game was very chippy all game long. And two games into the season series these divisional rivals have already established a dislike for one another,

Midway through the period Matthew Barry-Lamontagna didn't like the treatment he was getting and went after a Langley player. When the dust settled Barry was ejected with a 5 minute major for fighting, and minor penalties for instigating and slashing. Langley's Brendan Gulka was given a game misconduct for leaving the bench.

As a result the teams played 4 on 4 for two minutes then Langley had a 3 minute powerplay. Just seconds after the Rivermen powerplay started the Express cut the lead to one as Jace Henning scored his first goal of the season.

Another Express penalty to Hofford resulted on a 5 on 3 for Langley, but the Express killed off the penalties and went to the the third period only down a goal.

The third period finally saw the Express raise their game and take it to the Rivermen.

Midway through the period captain Ryan Rosenthal scored his second straight clutch powerplay goal in the third period as his one timer from the left circle broke his stick and created an off-speed shot that hand-cuffed Barr and found the back of the net and the game was tied. The Express had rallied all the way back from 3-0 and 4-2 deficits.

Nothing was decided after 60 minutes and the Express went to overtime for the first time this season.

In the first extra session Bo Pieper had the best chance to end the game. After Barr fought off a Canon Pieper shot, the puck laid in the crease and Bo tried to poke it home but Barr reached back to keep the puck out.

Off to a second overtime where the Pieper brothers again had great chances. Seconds part both Canon and Bo were able to get low hard shots away from the same spot on the left wing and just missed by inches low to the glove side.

The Rivermen got the next great scoring chance and made it count as Kevan Killistoff danced around an Expresss defender and roofed a backhand over the glove of Dushenko to give the Rivermen the 5-4 overtime win.

Despite the setback, the Express can be proud how hard they battled Langley in this game. It wasn't their best outing. But they fought through it and found a way to get a point out of it and erase a three goal deficit. It would have been better if the Express didn't find themselves in that position, but the way they responded to it and kept battling was encouraging.

Goaltender Pierce Dushenko can be proud of how he shut the door for 47 plus minutes after a rough first period allowing his team to battle back and get a point out of the game.

Next weekend the Express are in action with a pair of games vs. the Prince George Spruce Kings at home Friday night and Sunday afternoon.