Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Thank's to camera man Cary Derksen, Burnaby Express highlights are now on youtube.

Here's the highlights for Sep. 28 vs. Vernon

Sep. 20 vs. Surrey

Monday, September 29, 2008


Just wanted to give an idea of what's to come in the blog in the next few weeks.

You will see a new Express record book.

Top all time goals, assists and points in Express history.

Plus I may post Burnaby Expressions exclusive interviews.

Stay tuned...


The Express had their first 3 game weekend of the season this past weekend.

They opened it up Friday night by hosting the Surrey Eagles at Bill Copeland Sports Centre. It was the 3rd straight meeting between the two teams. The Express took the opening two games last weekend 8-3 Friday night in Surrey. And, 5-2 the next night at home.

It wouldn't take long for the Express to get rolling as Max Grassi opened the scoring just nine seconds into the game taking a feed from Alex Valenti and re-directing it past Tommy Tartaglione. It was the 3rd straight game the Express opened the scoring.

Liam Harding tied the game midway through the period and the teams would be tied at one after 20 minutes.

The Eagles got an early power play in the second with Anthony Collins in the box serving a slashing penalty. But, it would be the Express who found the back of the net as Brodie Reid who was back in the lineup after missing 3 games took advantage of an Eagle turnover at the Burnaby blueline.

Hear Reid's Shorthanded goal here.

The Eagles would equalize moments later as Chris Santiago scored from the right circle to tie the game at 2.

Garrick Perry, who had a breakout weekend in the first two games vs. the Eagles, would strike again after strong work by the Express down deep in the Surrey zone, he fired a shot from the boards that got past Tartaglione to re-store the Express lead.

Anthony Collins added to the Burnaby lead just over two minutes later as he blasted a rolling puck home to give the Express a 4-2 lead.

Reid added his second of the game with the Express on a power play

Max Grassi added his second of the game to round out the scoring for the Express. 6-2 the final score.

The win completed a 3 game sweep for the Express over the Eagles.


Burnaby 41
Surrey 26

3 Stars

3-Anthony Collins (1G, 1A)
2-Max Grassi (2G)
1-Brodie Reid (2G, 1A)

The next night the Express were in Langley for the second meeting of the season with the Chiefs.
Langley took the opening match up two weeks earlier 3-2. Andrew Walsh was strong between the pipes for Langley stopping 34 of 36 Express shots.

Richie Virtanen got his second start of the season for the Express against the Chiefs.

Burnaby opened the scoring just over 3 minutes into the game as Max Grassi blasted home a shot top shelf.

That's where things stood after 20 minutes. The lead would hold up till late in the 2nd, when the Chiefs tied the game as Brady Horn scored just moments after a Ilya Kravtchouck tripping penalty had expired.

By the time, the third period rolled around, it was easy to see this game was going to be a grind for both clubs. Burnaby came into this game using it as a measuring stick. Coach Dave Mclellan's strategy when building this years squad was all about games like this one in Langley. He wanted to build a team that could match Langley's physical game. And grind it out.

The plan was paying off as the Express opened the third by getting the puck deep and working it down low in the Chiefs zone and working their defence.

This game had a playoff feel to it the longer the 1-1 tie stood. The tension was mounting and the next goal would be critical.

The Express got a boost when rookie Luke Challier would introduce himself to the Express/Chiefs rivalry.

The Express had an opportunity to break the tie as they had a 2 man advantage for two minutes but couldn't find the back of the net.

Finally with just over 90 seconds left in the third, the deadlock was snapped.

The goal would stand up and the Express held on for the 2-1 win. It was Garrick Perry's 3rd consecutive game winning goal. The win snapped Burnaby's 8 game win less streak in Langley dating back to game 4 of the Express/Chiefs 2007 first round series.


Burnaby 28
Langley 26

3 stars

3-Trevor Gerling
2-Richie Virtanen 24 saves
1-Garrick Perry GWG

The Express returned home Sunday afternoon to host the Vernon Vipers. It would be the Express 3rd game in 3 nights. For Vernon, they were playing their 4th game in 5 nights and 3rd in as many nights.

Vernon came in 1-1-1 on their road swing. They were coming off a 5-4 win in Surrey the night before.

Burnaby had a few new faces in the lineup with Gavin Hohl and Jacob Verheyden joining Brodie Reid and John Bokla on the sidelines with injuries. The Express brought up Tristan Lowenberger and Paul De Jersey (Colin's brother) up from midget to take their place.

Vernon opened the scoring on Kyle Bigo's power play goal just over 5 minutes into the game. The goal snapped Burnaby's penalty kill streak at 29 straight kills.

The Express had a quick reply and it was one of the new faces pulling the Express even.

Max Grassi gave the Express a 2-1 lead just over a minute later with the Express on a 5 on 3 power play from Valenti and Collins. The goal extended Grassi's point streak to 6 games (4G, 4A 8PTS).

Vernon had a reply in the second as Braden Pimm took a great stretch pass from Kyle Bigos and snapped a shot top shelf from the off wing beating Virtanen at 4:34. Ryan Depape gave the Vipers their second lead of the game as he re-directed a Steve Tresierra point shot just 1:19 later.

The Vipers took that lead into the third period. Burnaby had a chance midway through the 3rd to pull even with Mike Collins taking a seat in the penalty box. But Burnaby wasn't able to capitalize on the man advantage. Then moments later after the penalty expired, the Vipers got the insurance marker. They got the puck behind the Express net and forced a turn over on the fore check and the puck was centred to Ryan Santana who banged it home to give the Vipers a 4-2 lead.

They wrapped up the game with Braden Pimm scoring his second of the game into an empty net.

Final score, Vernon 5 Burnaby 2.

The loss snapped the Express winning streak at 4 games. But they did finish the weekend at 2-1. Vernon finished their 4 game Mainland division road swing at 2-1-1.


Burnaby 24
Vernon 32

3 stars

3-Mike Leidl
2-Mike Collins (2A)
1-Braden Pimm (1G,2A)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Former Express captain David Jones put on a show in the Avalanche's Burgundy/White game.

He scored a hat-trick in the third period as his white squad spanked team burgundy 9-0.

All the more impressive for team white considering team burgundy had the likes of Sakic, Foote and Hannan in their lineup.

The Whites outshot their counterparts 43-23.

The Avs open their pre-season tonight vs. the LA Kings. No word if David Jones will be in the lineup.

Jones played with the Express back in Coquitlam from 2001-2004.


NHL goal that is... Ok, it's pre-season but i'm sure it will be the first of many in his NHL career.

He scored the opening goal of the game Monday night as his Coyotes fell 6-4 to the LA Kings who had a split squad lineup.

The Kings other squad took on the St. Louis Blues.

The Coyotes are back in their old stomping grounds of Winnipeg for their second pre-season game vs. the Calgary Flames.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Express sweep weekend

The first two wins are in the bag after taking a pair of games this past weekend vs. the Surrey Eagles. 8-3 on the road Friday, and 5-2 on home ice Saturday.

Coming into Friday's game, the Express were still in search of their first win of the season after beginning the year with a 0-3-1 record. They knew the pair of games vs. the Eagles were crucial to remain within striking distance of the rest of the pack in the Mainland division even though the season was only 4 games old.

Besides the obvious of looking to pick up their first win of the season, there were a couple of other demons the Express had to take care of.

The first was getting the lead for the first time all season. The Express came into the game having played 250 minutes of hockey without playing 1 second with the lead. Well, that came to an end early as Simon Denis blasted home his first BCHL goal 2:25 into the game. Once that was out of the way, the Express didn't let up as rookie Garrick Perry scored his first BCHL goal on a wrap around to give the Express a 2-0 lead. The Express thought they had a 3-0 lead when Jacob Verheyden had a great chance in front, the red light came on, but once the play was stopped and the referee consulted with the goal judge it was ruled no goal. But the Express wouldn't have to wait long for their third goal as Denis scored his second goal of the period blasting a shot from the line to give the Express a 3-0 lead.

That would bring an end to Eagle goalie Tommy Tartaglione's night at 17:25 after allowing 3 goals on 14 shots.

Former Express Ilan Cumberbirch would tally the Eagles first goal of the night at 5:14 of the second period. That gave the Eagles life, and they looked to cut the lead down to one, another former Express Adam Hartley had Surrey's best chance to do just that as he had two glorious chances in front, but Express rookie goalie Mike Chan came up with a pair of spectacular glove saves to keep the Express lead at two.

Here is the call of Chan's two saves

The momentum had swung back in the Express' favour and they would capitalize as they would get power play goals from former Eagle John Bokla and Alex Valenti to give the Express a 4 goal cushion heading into the final frame.

Ilan Cumberbirch and Tyler Morley would score early in the 3rd 23 seconds apart as the Eagles attempted a comeback, but Bokla would add his second of the game and another former Eagle Greg Bay and Jacob Verheyden (in spite of what the BCHL site says) would round out the scoring for the Express in the 8-3 win.

The Express were dominant in many aspects of the game.

First off, the power play which was 2/30 on the season coming into the game went 3/8. The Express out shot the Eagles 53-32. The 53 shots was the most the Express had in a game since a 4-4 tie in Williams Lake when they had 57 in January 2006.

Coach Dave Mclellan was looking for a better effort from his club on the forecheck , getting pucks to the net to create chances, and the D playing better coming out of their own end and he got just that.

The Eagles had a tough time with the Express size and strength down low. It resulted into power play opportunities in which the Express capitalized on.

The defence showed signs of playing with more confidence. They were playing with their heads up which at times seems like a simple task, but it made a difference and the Express D was strong all night at putting pucks into the right areas when coming out of their own end.

Bokla's first goal of the game followed by Valenti's first of the year were plays the coach was looking for of the Express getting pucks to the net and bang home greasy goals.

Gerrick Perry finished the night with 4 points. (1G, 3A) Simon Denis and John Bokla each finished with 2 goals. The attack was balanced as 12 different Express players had a point.

3 stars,

3-Garrick Perry - 1G, 3A
2- John Bokla - 2G
1- Simon Denis - 2G

Now with their first win in their back pocket, it was time to get ready for the rematch 24 hours later at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

For the second straight night, the Express opened the scoring. It was an example of coach what Mclellan got from his guys the night before and that was getting a puck to the net and grease its way into the net. Anthony Collins had an initial chance from the slot and his shot hit the goal post creating chaos in the Eagle crease and eventually with Tartaglione on his backside, Collins was able to poke home his first Express goal at 11:13. That would be the only goal of the first 20 minutes. The shots were only 7-5 in favour of Burnaby.

The 2nd saw the Eagles carry more of an edge in the play with more of it in Burnaby's end of the ice. Mike Henderson tied things up as he had a few whacks at the puck in front of Express goalie Mike Chan.

The game wouldn't remain tied for long. As with the Express shorthanded, Tommy Tartaglione fired the puck up the ice but had his pass picked off by Tim Holloway and he fired a shot over the glove of the Eagle goaltender to restore the Express lead at 2-1. The goal would be extra special for Tim as his mother Catherine came up from Texas to see her son play.

Before the second was done, the game would be tied again as the Eagle youngsters would level the score as Trevor Hamaguchi blasted a shot from the high slot over the shoulder of Chan. Darnell Dyck and Brett Agnew drew the assists.

The Eagles outshot the Express 16-6 in the 2nd and were outshooting the Express 21-13 after 40 minutes.

So what the first two periods displayed was, the game was much more of a lunch bucket type of game. And both teams were certainly going to be in for a grind in the 3rd.

The deadlock would be broken as the Garrick Perry show would come back for an en core. He took a pass in the Eagles zone, make a spin move and fired a shot between the legs of Tartaglione to give the Express their third lead of the game. Perry struck again with the Express on a 2 man advantage as he banged home a rebound from a Greg Bay point shot to give the Express a 2 goal lead.

Reid Edmondson rounded out the scoring with 5 seconds left with the Express on another power play after the Eagles were called for too many men when trying to pull Tartaglione for an extra attacker.

The final shots were 28-19 for the Eagles.

3 stars,

3 - Darnell Dyck - 2A
2 - John Bokla - 3A
1- Garrick Perry - 2G, 1A

The Express penalty killing certainly has been outstanding lately. They killed all 7 Eagle power plays in the game, and have now killed off 22 of their last 23 shorthanded situations.

Garrick Perry had a 7 point weekend. 3G, 4A.
John Bokla had a 5 point weekend, 2G, 3A

The win moved the Express into 3rd place in the Mainland division with a record of 2-3-1-0 for 5PTS. One point up on the Eagles.

Looking ahead...

The teams will meet for a 3rd straight game Friday at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre. Faceoff 7:30. It begins a 3 game in 3 night weekend for the Express. They will travel to Langley to face the red hot Chiefs on Saturday. The Chiefs are coming off a perfect road weekend with a pair of wins over the Powell River Kings. Then the Chiefs stormed back from a 5-1 deficit entering the 3rd period to down the Cowichan Valley Capitals 7-5. Derek Grant put on a show with 11 points over the 3 games, (5G, 6A). He now leads the BCHL scoring race with 17 PTS (8G, 9A). Chiefs have the BCHL's best record at 5-1 and have won 5 in a row.

The weekend wraps up for the Express back at home Sunday afternoon when the Vernon Vipers make their lone regular season visit to Burnaby. Faceoff at 2:30.


Hello and welcome to my first posting in the Burnaby Expressions blog.

I will use this as an opportunity to post my thoughts on the Burnaby Express, the BCHL and whatever may be on my mind in the world of hockey and sports.

Once I figure things out, I will hope to post game highlights, interviews and pictures. You should expect recaps and previews of Express games.

Let's get this thing started and have some fun.

Eddie Gregory
Broadcaster Burnaby Express.