Wednesday, May 28, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations Gordie.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


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

Sunday, May 4, 2014


During the Western Canada Cup Express alumni and current Boston Bruin Milan Lucic recorded a special message for the Coquitlam Express. It was played for the boys in the dressing room just prior to the boys hitting the ice vs. the Spruce Grove Saints Saturday.

Saturday, May 3, 2014


All photos courtesy of Todd Pederson:

Like the tournament for the Express, Saturday's do or die game vs. Spruce Grove started well, but ended in disappointment.

The Express got things rolling just a minute in when Zach Hodder scored on a power play goal to open the scoring.

The train kept rolling along at 4:15 with Cody Boyd scoring on a backhand beating Kenny Cameron.

At the other end it was about the close calls for the Saints as they rang three shots off the post and crossbar. The best chance of them all was a wide open for net for Jarid Hauptman who had Gordie Defiel at his mercy in the final minute of the first period.

The game started turning in the Saints favor in the second period as they got going on a breakaway goal by Tristen Sieben.

That was followed by a power play goal by Cameron Hughes beating Gordie Defiel up high. 2:26 later it was 3-2 Saints when Dylan Hollman scored on the rebound of a Hauptman shot.

Spruce Grove's rally carried into the third as they capped off a run of 5 unanswered goals on strikes by Jake Mykituk and Carson Samoridny.

Canon Pieper scored what would turn out to be the final goal of the Express season tipping a Marc Biega shot on the power play.

Spruce Grove outshot the Express 38-25. They will play the loser of tonight's championship game for the 2nd berth in the RBC Cup.

The Express finished the Western Canada Cup by losing their final 3 games after opening the event with a pair of wins vs. Spruce Grove and Winnipeg.

This edition of the Express created a lot of happy memories with their Fred Page Cup run and a berth in the Western Canada Cup. Congrats to all the players and coaches who put in a lot of hours from the summer to today and all their sacrifice to get this team to this point. We all cherished watching this team this year and being witness to something special.

Once the sting of the season coming to an end starts to wear off, the players will soon realize what a special season that this was when they reflect on the 2013-14 edition of the Coquitlam Express.

Thank you to everyone in the Express organization for making be a small part of it. And I can't express my gratitude enough for the team bringing me to Dauphin with the team. I have enjoyed every second of my time here. To the folks of Dauphin, you have given us all first class treatment making sure our every need was taken care of.

Friday, May 2, 2014


Photo courtesy of Todd Pederson:
The time has come for the Coquitlam Express to remember they are champions.

They're coming off losses in their last two games and will play Spruce Grove (AJHL) to try and earn the 2nd spot at the RBC Cup here at the WCC.

Now is the time to wipe the slate clean from the last two games. Learn the lessons from those games and make the necesscary tweaks, and come to the rink Saturday afternoon remembering that this team earned the right to carry the title of champion. Champion is a word that is thrown around quite a bit, but it takes something special to earn the right to be called a champion.

Remember everything this team did right to get to this point and be playing in May. There's over 100 Junior A hockey teams in this country that would love to still be playing.

It's time to get the swagger back in your step when you walk around and come to the rink when you are a champion.

The Express face elimination for the first time in this post season game in Saturday's match up vs. the Saints, but it's how the opportunity is embraced that will determine how the Express will go forward.

There isn't a team in hockey that has gone on a long playoff run that hasn't suffered a few tough losses and a seed of doubt has crept in. Many championship teams have had their mettle tested and found ways to come together and rally when facing elimination. That time has come for the 2014 Coquitlam Express.

Practice hard today like a champion, get your necessary rest, and come to the rink Saturday ready to play like the champions you are.

The Express have a two game series to accomplish their goal when entering the Western Canada Cup and that's earn a berth in the RBC Cup in Vernon.

It starts with one good shift, then that turns into two good shifts, then 3 shifts, then suddenly it's a good period. Repeat the process and it's two good periods. Repeat the process again and suddenly it's a solid 60 minutes of hockey. Do that and play to the best of your ability and there's no reason why these champions can't come away victorious. And then repeat the process Sunday afternoon.

Now is the time to create some special memories about this weekend coming up in Dauphin.

Roll train. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014


All photos courtesy of Todd Pederson Photography:
In the battle for first place in the Western Canada Cup standings, the Dauphin Kings knocked off the Express 5-3 and advanced to the championship game vs. the Yorkton Terriers. Dauphin and Yorkton will now have 2 chances to advance to the RBC cup.

The loss even the Express record at 2-2 to complete the round robin and they fell to third place where they will play the Spruce Grove Saints in the 3 versus 4 game Saturday afternoon at 2PM CT/12PM PT. The Express took the round robin meeting between the teams 3-1 on Sunday.

The winner of the Express and Spruce Grove game will play the loser of the Yorkton vs. Dauphin game for the second berth in the RBC cup.

Thursday night the host Kings came out flying and scored in the opening minute of the game when Brett Hope blasted a shot from the point past Gordie Defiel.

Hope would add his second of the night with 1:28 remaining in the first period as he scored on a 2 on 1 rush.

The Express were hoping to re-group and try turn the tables in the second period, but Brent Wold scored just 30 seconds into the period for a 3-0 lead.

Wold then added his second of the night finishing off a set up from Justin Valentino.

Zach Hodder finally got the Express on the board in the final minute of the 2nd period when his wrist shot beat Jordan Piccolino on a wrist shot.

Mark Whiteley made things interesting in the opening minute of the third period as he scored his first goal of the post season surprising Piccolino with a shot from the point.

The Express power play finished 0 for 5 and didn't score a goal in the round robin going 0 for 15 through the first 4 games.

The final minute saw the teams trade goals with Mitch Vanteeling scoring into an empty net for Dauphin shorthanded. Jace Hennig rounded out the scoring with 15 seconds remaining in the game.

Friday is a off day at the Western Canada Cup with the awards banquet the only thing on the schedule.

Now the Express can reflect on the week that was Friday, assess what has gone right and wrong as they now try and prepare for a 2 game set to try and earn a berth in the RBC cup in the weekend.


Photo courtesy of Todd Pederson:
The Yorkton Terriers in a must win situation gritted out a 4-1 win over the Express handing the 2014 Fred Page Cup champions their first loss of the Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup.

The Express now sit at 2-1 but the loss cost the Express their first opportunity to earn a berth in Saturday's championship game. Yorkton finished the round robin at 2-2.

It was a scoreless first period thanks in large part to Gordie Defiel. He made a number of grade A stops to keep his team in the game.

Yorkton broke through 4 minutes into the second in a wild sequence that saw Gordie Defiel make a spectacular save, then his stick found it's way two feet inside the blue line, seconds later the puck found the back of the net on a re-direction in front by Taylor Thomson over the glove of a sprawled out Express net minder.

The Express got it back less than a minute later when Joey Santucci playing in the spot of Ryan Rosenthal who didn't dress fired a wrist shot from the right boards that got past a surprised Kale Thomson.

Yorkton quickly went back on the attack only to be thwarted by more great saves by Defiel on breakaways and two on one breaks.

The Terriers power play on a set play re-stored their lead for good when they won a draw in the Express zone, quickly went D to D with Brady Norrish sending the puck across to twin brother Chase who zipped a pass back through the seam to Brett Boehm who scored his 5th of the tournament.

Dylan Johnson gave Yorkton some insurance 8 minutes into the third period when he beat Gordie Defiel with a wrist shot from the left wing. Then Chase Norrish capped off the scoring a 5 on 3 in the final minute of the third period.

The Terriers physicality and speed set the tempo and they fired 43 shots the way of the Express cage. Gordie Defiel was the biggest reason why the score wasn't more lopsided, despite being beat 4 times, he was spectacular all night long.

Coquitlam is now 2-1 at this event, but it could be fair to say that they haven't played up to their full potential for a full 60 minutes at the Western Canada Cup. They have just 6 goals so far with 3 of them coming in their first game vs. Spruce Grove.

Starting Thursday night with the Express final round robin game vs. Dauphin, they will need more offensive support throughout their line up. That is how they got to this Western Canada Cup based on their depth. Going forward in the remainder of the games at this event as the stakes get larger and larger this is the time for the Express to start to play their best hockey which hasn't quite been there so far.

The winner of Thursday's game vs. Dauphin will be a battle for first place and will finish with a 3-1 record and earn a berth in the championship game.

The early game will see Winnipeg play Spruce Grove which is a huge contest. The 1-2 clubs will battle for a playoff spot and the loser will be eliminated from the WCC.

Photo Courtesy of Todd Pederson:
Photo courtesy of Todd Pederson: