Saturday, January 31, 2009


Here's the much happier Express and Eagles highlights from Burnaby's 5-2 win Friday night. As opposed to Wednesday's highlights when the Eagles prevailed 4-2.

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

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Here's the highlights from Wednesday's 4-2 win over the Express. Gord Doerkson filling in my shoes in the play by play role. You did a good job Gordo.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen at Purple Penguin Productions. For DVD ordering information in 16:9 HD format, you can reach Cary via email at


Colorado Avalanche forward and Coquitlam Express alumni David Jones has been placed on IR with a shoulder injury. He got hurt in Tuesday's 3-0 loss to San Jose.

He didn't have a fun night Tuesday, he was on the receiving end of a pair of big hits vs. the Sharks.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


If you wanted to check out the roof over Kyle Turris' head down in Phoenix, take a look.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Burnaby had a pair of home games this weekend. They hosted the Mainland division leading Powell River Kings Friday and the Trail Smoke Eaters Sunday afternoon.

Friday's affair was the 2nd meeting in a week between the Express and Kings at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

Powell River needed a pair of powerplay goals to come from behind to defeat the Express 3-2 that night.

Burnaby knew they could play well against the Kings. Each of the last 4 meetings between the two teams have been close games with the Express prevailing twice.

The biggest key to Burnaby's success would have to be to shut down Powell River's top ranked powerplay and win the even strength battle. Burnaby had outscored Powell River 10-6 at even strength in the last 4 meetings. And the Kings power play was 6/24 in the previous 4 head to head matchups.

Burnaby also couldn't afford to waiver from the structured defensive set up which features their 1-2-2 forecheck.

The Express for the most part were executing their game plan to a "T" to start the game. That was until they got into a little penalty trouble late in the period. Including a pair of penalties to Greg Bay giving the Kings a double minor powerplay.

The Express PK unit stepped up large killing off the double minor. Mike Chan came up with numerous key stops. Including a lateral save coming to his right to stop Chad Niddery. Chan also had to stop a few King deflections.

In total, the Express killed off all 3 first period King powerplays. The Express would be very disciplined the rest of the way taking just one more penalty the rest of the way resulting in a King powerplay.

Burnaby slowed the pace down just the way they liked in the 2nd period. The quality scoring chances against were few and far between.

The game remained scoreless until the final minute of the 2nd period. Luke Challier picked up a loose puck behind the Kings net, swung it in front of the goal and it bounced in the net to open the scoring for the Express.

Powell River knew by the time the third period rolled around, they were in another hard fought battle. The Express more than any other team in the league recently may give Powell River the most trouble.

The Kings finally broke through the Express defence as Mat Bodie gained the Express line and played it into the middle for Clay Harvey who quickly snapped a shot past Mike Chan off the post and in to even the score 6 minutes into the third period.

Now this hard fought game was up for grabs again. This game would show how the confidence in this Express team has grown. Earlier this season, Burnaby would be squeezing their sticks tightly once letting a 3rd period lead slip away. They remained composed to their game plan and continued to grind the game out.

The Express re-stored their lead with just over 5 minutes remaining in the third period. Ilya Kravtchouck flipped the puck out of the Burnaby zone and Garrick Perry picked up the puck at centre. He took the puck deep in the Kings zone and found John Digness streaking through the middle of the ice and he made no mistake one-timing the pass home past Taylor Pears.

Hear the game winning goal from Digness here.

Powell River pressed as the clock wound down, they were reluctant to pull goaltender Pears in the final minute until the play was whistled down with 26 seconds left and a faceoff in the Burnaby zone. The Kings called their time out, and sent out 6 forwards looking for the equalizer. Burnaby's defence bent but didn't break. Greg Bay intercepted a pass sent the puck up to Garrick Perry who hit the empty net with 3 seconds left to seal the win for the Express.

The win was the third for the Express in their last 5 meetings with Powell River. They won the even strength battle by a score of 2-1 and they killed off all 4 King man advantages.

What the recent meetings between the two teams tell me, is that even though the Express may not be playoff bound, they may have figured out how to shut down the explosive Kings. If i'm either Surrey or Langley who will face Powell River in a 2nd round playoff matchup, I'd take a look at how Burnaby has fared vs. the Kings to get an idea of how to shut down the Kings.


Burnaby 33
Powell River 36


Burnaby 0/2
Powell River 0/4

My 3 stars

3-Luke Challier (1G, Fight)
2-Garrick Perry (1G, 1A)
1-Mike Chan (35 saves, W)

Sunday afternoon the Express welcomed the Trail Smoke Eaters to the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

This was the one and only regular season meeting between the two teams.

The table was certainly set for the Express to win consecutive games for just the third time this season. And first time since November 6th and 7th in Merritt and Prince George.

The Express were facing a Trail squad that came in 0-3 thus far on their Mainland division road trip. Trail had allowed 19 goals on the first 3 games of the trip. The Smokies were playing their 3rd game in less than 3 nights and 4th game in 5 days.

Add that to the fact that Trail had lost 4 in a row on the road overall and 10 of their last 11 away from home.

Burnaby meanwhile was coming off their big win over Powell River and had a nights rest between games.

Richie Virtanen got his first start in goal for the Express since a 5-2 loss in Langley on January 7th.

He would get off to a rough start to the game, Trail opened the scoring early on a powerplay as Travis St. Denis set up JF Boisvert who picked the top corner on Trail's opening shot of the game.

Burnaby quick fell behind 2-0 while on a powerplay, Simon Denis lost the handle of the puck at the Trail blue line and Travis St. Denis put a perfect pass on the tape of Sean Nugent converting the 2 on 1. That would spell the end of Virtanen's night before the game was 7 minutes old after he allowed 2 goals on the first 2 Trail shots. Not all of it Virtanen's fault. He wasn't getting much support in front of him.

Burnaby just didn't look sharp from the drop of the puck. Trail added to their lead in the 2nd when St. Denis found the back of the net on a powerplay as he scored on a rebound of Graeme Strukoff's point shot.

The goal for St. Denis' was his 3rd point of the hockey game. He quickly showed why is one of the bright young stars in the BCHL as he has a scholarship to Quinnipiac and he's only 16 years old.

Now that Trail had built up a 3 goal lead on the road, they were more than content to sit on their lead the rest of the way and make sure they went home with a win on the trip.

Burnaby wasn't giving them much of a battle on this afternoon. Burnaby looked like the team that should be tired as opposed to the other way around. The Express never looked sharp. Their best players weren't making much of an impact. This effort from the Express was a far contrast from the one seen 48 hours earlier when the Express knocked off the Kings.

Garrick Perry finally got the Express on the board scoring on a third period powerplay.

St. Denis added his second goal of the game and 4th point of the afternoon at 16:08 to restore Trail's 3 goal advantage. That goal opened the flood gates that saw the teams trade 3 goals in a span of 55 seconds. St. Denis' tally was followed by a marker by Reid Edmondson, CJ Legassic rounded out the scoring firing a wrist shot past Mike Chan at 17:03.

Final score: Smoke Eaters 5, Express 2


Burnaby 37
Trail 32


Burnaby 1/5
Trail 2/2

3 stars

3-Garrick Perry (1G)
2-JF Boisvert (1G, 2A)
1-Travis St Denis (2G, 2A)

Personally, this result completely puzzles me. I don't know how a team that played so well 48 hours earlier shutting down the Powell River Kings, can show up the next time out and come up with such a lackluster effort.

It's the Express inability to take advantage of a tired Trail squad that was playing their 4th game in less than 5 nights and 3rd consecutive night, plus they had lost 4 straight on the road and 10 of their last 11 away from home, and that's one of the reasons why they will miss the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

Just another opportunity to string wins together for just the third time this season that the Express let slip through their hands. You don't need to be a genius to figure out that if a team has only won consecutive games just twice all season through 49 games to figure out another reason why the Express won't be playing in the month of March.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Here's the highlights of Burnaby's 3-1 win Friday night over Powell River.

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

Friday, January 23, 2009


For those who are wondering, I have figured out what Surrey's magic number in relation to eliminating the Express from the playoffs.

According to my calculations, the number is 12. Any combination of Eagles wins and Expess losses adding up to 12 will officially knock the Express out of the race for a Coastal Conference playoff spot.

Heading into this weekend's action, Burnaby has 34 points through 47 games. Surrey has 48 points in 45 games this season.

This weekend, Burnaby hosts Powell River tonight and Trail Sunday afternoon.

Trail will visit Surrey Saturday and Powell River will visit Sunday.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Here's the highlights for Powell River's 3-2 win over the Express Friday night.

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

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Despite being traded away last week to the Vernon Vipers, defenceman Cam Brodie was representing the Express as part of the Coastal Conference All star team. The Coastal Conference defeated the Interior 13-5 tonight in Vernon. And Cam Brodie was named the Coastal Conference MVP at tonight's game.

Congratulations Cam.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Kyle Turris writes about his shootout winner on the weekend in his latest posting of his blog on the Coyotes website. Click on the Kyle's corner's link below to read it.


Express rookie Garrick Perry has been named the BCHL player of the week.

The Apple Valley Minnesota native scored twice including the double overtime winner in the Express 4-3 win over division leading Powell River. Perry also added an assist Friday night. He followed that perfomance up by chipping in with 2 assists on Sunday as he helped the Express erase a 4-1 second period deficit in Cowichan Valley in Burnaby's 5-4 double overtime win over Cowichan Valley.

He finished the weekend with 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points.

Monday, January 12, 2009


The final trade the Express completed saw 20 year old forward Max Grassi sent to the Merritt Centennials for the rights to 18 year old defenceman Andrew Glasser. Merritt then sent Grassi to the Penticton Vees in exchange for future considerations

Grassi was in his second tour of duty with the Express after being acquired from the Surrey Eagles in the off-season. He was a member of the Express 2006 Royal Bank Cup championshp squad. This season Grassi scored 19 goals and 20 assists for 39 points in 35 games. He was leading the team in scoring at the time of his trade.

In 139 career games with the Express over parts of 4 seasons, Grassi scored 41 goals and 45 assists for 86 points.

Glasser has spent this season with the North Bay of the NOJHL. The 18 year old Glasser is 6'0, 195 pounds.

This season in North Bay, Glasser scored 6 goals and 18 points in 25 games played.

He was recently acquired by the Merritt Centennials in a trade that saw former Express Alex Valenti and future considerations head east.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Express alum Kyle Turris played hero Saturday night as he scored the shootout winner as his Phoenix Coyotes defeated the Dallas Stars 1-0.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


During the 2nd intermission of last night's game, I spoke with BCHL Commissioner John Grisdale about numerous topics around the league.

The ceremony last night honouring the original ownwership of the Powell River Kings, what's going on at the league level during this busy time leading up to the trade deadline, the BCHL Smart Hockey marketing campaign, and the upcoming BCHL All Star game next week in Vernon.

Hear the Commissioner here.


The full Darcy Rota interview that ran during the first intermission of last night's 4-3 win over Powell River is now available.

Hear Rota's thoughts on the deal here.

I also talked about the trades with Express head coach Dave Mclellan about the deals.

Hear Dave Mclellan's comments here.

Friday, January 9, 2009


In addition to the Express trading former captain Mike Leidl and All Star Cam Brodie to Vernon in exchange for forward John Digness and future considerations, the Express have also sent forward Brent Vandenberg to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks for future considerations.

Vandenberg came to the Express in a late November trade that saw Brodie Reid head to Penticton.

In 15 games with the Express, Vandenberg was a point per game player. Scoring 5 goals and 10 assists for 15 points.

Vandenberg gives the league's highest scoring team just a little more offensive depth for their run at a Fred Page Cup and possibly beyond.

For full Express trade deadline coverage tune into tonight's broadcast on the BCHL Fan zone network starting at 7:15.

I forgot to mention this in my previous posting, but I would like to wish Vandenberg, Leidl and Brodie best of luck in their new addresses. And thank you for your contributions to the Express this season.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


The Burnaby Express pulled a trigger on a big deal. They have sent 20 year old defencemen Cam Brodie and captain Mike Leidl to the Vernon Vipers in exchange for 19 year old forward John Digness and future considerations.

In Digness, Express get a player who they expect to contribute the rest of the season and next year. This season Digness has 7 goals and 19 points in 39 games on a pretty stacked Vipers club offensively.

The Vipers add more than 400 plus games of experience to their backend with the acquisition of Leidl and Brodie.

I spoke with Express General Manager Darcy Rota about the deal.

Hear Rota's thoughts on the deal here.

You can hear my full interview with the Express GM during the first intermission of Friday's Broadcast in Powell River.

This season Leidl put up 1 goal and 15 assists in 38 games this season.

Since coming to Burnaby in a trade with Merritt, Brodie put up 3 goals and 11 points in 24 games. Plus, Brodie was named to represent the Express at the upcoming all star game which is now in his backyard in Vernon.

It's been a difficult season in Burnaby this season. This move is an indication of how the team is looking to retool for next season.

With the trade of Leidl, Tim Holloway has been named the new captain of the Express.

I guarantee you there will be more trades to come around the BCHL as Saturday's deadline approaches.

Stay tuned to the Burnaby Expressions blog and my broadcast Friday night in Powell River for full BCHL trade deadline coverage.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Express head coach and Director of Hockey Operations Dave Mclellan talked about what the Express will be up to leading up to Saturday's trade deadline prior to Wednesday's game vs. Langley.

He in a way said but didn't say what teams were interested in what players. Take a listen for yourself.

Hear the coach here.

Plus, I also spoke with Langley Chiefs Associate Coach and Assistant General Manager Barry Wolff about what the Chiefs might be looking to add to their club leading up to the deadline. Wolff also commented on their deal to add experience between the pipes in Joe Rodwell.

Hear Barry Wolff here.

It should be an interesting next few days around the BCHL to see who goes where. Stay tuned. It should provide some great discussion once all the dust settles.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Here are the video highlights for Burnaby's 4-3 loss to Cowichan on Friday. And their 3-2 win over Nanaimo Saturday.

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


Friday the Express opened 2009 hoping to begin the year on a positive note after losing their final 2 games of 2008.

The Express welcomed the red hot Cowichan Valley Capitals to the Bill Copeland Sports Centre. Cowichan was coming off a 9-1 month of December. That hot play allowed them to surpass the Nanaimo Clippers for 2nd place in the Island division.

This was the third meeting of the season between the two teams. Cowichan had taken both meetings thus far, 5-3 in Cowichan on December 6th and 6-1 in Burnaby on October 18th.

Burnaby got off to a poor start by taking 4 straight penalties including an extending 5 on 3 for the Caps. Two of the Burnaby penalties were taken by leading scorer Max Grassi. One for interference and the other for slashing. After Grassi's 2nd penalty for slashing, Grassi displayed his frustration by flipping the puck over the glass and into the crowd after the whistle. Grassi was fortunate on a pair of levels, first of all no one got hit by the puck and secondly, referee Chris Hahn didn't see it and not give Max another penalty. This would be the start of a rough night for Grassi.

The Express did manage to dig themselves out of their early hole by killing off all 4 Cap powerplays.

Burnaby opened the scoring late in the first period when Luke Challier poked home his 3rd goal of the season when Cowichan goalie Chris Rawlings tried to pin the puck at the side of the net, but Challier kept whacking away and eventually slipped it home.

The Express took the lead into the dressing room. But Cowichan had a quick response early in the 2nd period. Just over a minute in to the period, Chris Zaires took a feed from the slot and put the puck past a sprawled out Mike Chan to even the score.

It didn't take long for the Caps to strike again as just 25 seconds later Ryan Pajimola beat Mike Chan upstairs with a quick shot to give Cowichan a 2-1 lead.

Burnaby got a scare 5 minutes into the second period when Simon Denis wired the puck off the glass for an icing call. Seconds after he let go of the puck, Denis was slew footed by Cowichan's Nick Anderson. Denis fell hard to the ice and needed help to get to the dressing room. The injury looked worse than it turned out to be. Denis suffered brusing on both of his knees. He should be back in a few weeks.

The lead would be extended to 3 late in the second period as Alex Gellert won a faceoff to the left of Chan, Gellert then went to the net and tipped home Spencer Fraipont's point shot to give Cowichan a 3-1 lead.

Max Grassi's rough night would culminate moments later. He was given a 5 minute major for cross checking just 45 seconds after Gellert's tally. Grassi was also given a game misconduct. On Grassi's way to the room, he put a towel on his stick and waved it in the air in mock surrender. Grassi earned himself a gross misconduct and a automatic 3 game suspension. So the Express will be without their top scorer until Saturday's game in Powell River.

Brent Vandenberg cut the Caps lead down to one by scoring on a shorthanded breakaway beating Chris Rawlings through the legs. But Cowichan quickly restored their two goal lead when Alex Gellert dangled through the Express defence then slid home his second of the game.

The Express had a good opportunity to attempt to cut the lead down to one again when Zach Currie was called for elbowing 4 minutes into the third. But Greg Bay wiped out that powerplay opportunity when he crosschecked a Caps player after the whistle had been blown. Just another poor display of frustration on this night.

Jared Chernoff cut the lead down to one by scoring at the 15:13 mark of the third period. But it was too little too late and the Caps held on for the 4-3 win. The loss for Burnaby extended their losing streak to 3 games.


Burnaby 27
Cowichan Valley 32


Burnaby 0/1
Cowichan Valley 1/8

3 stars

3-Chris Rawlings 24 saves (W) en route to being named the BCHL player of the week.
2-Luke Challier (1G)
1-Alex Gellert (2G, 1A)

The Express couldn't dwell on the loss for long. The next night the Nanaimo Clippers came to town. Burnaby had done well this season vs. Nanaimo. Winning 2 of the 3 meetings between the two teams this season.

Nanaimo came in sitting in unfamiliar territory in third place in the Island division standings. 10 points back of the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

The Express got off to a good start less than 3 minutes into the game. Jared Chernoff picked off goaltender Johnathon Jobin's clearing attempt behind the net and walked in front and just beat Jobin back in time to put it in the net to open the scoring for Burnaby.

In spite of the Express taking the early lead, it was Nanaimo dominating the shots on goal department. They had a 8-1 shot advantage by the 18 minute mark of the first period. This was in spite of the fact that the Clips had given Burnaby all 3 power plays in the first period. The Express even had troubles getting pucks to the net with the additional help of the power plays.

The Express added to their lead in the opening minute of the second period taking advantage of another Clipper turnover. Ronnie Smith had his pass picked off by Dylan Herold who snapped a shot top corner on Jobin to give Burnaby a 2-0 lead.

Nanaimo got on the board minutes later on a powerplay. Mike Boivin's point shot was stopped by Chan but Eric Filiou followed up and poked home a loose puck.

The game settled down at that point until Jared Chernoff gave the Express an insurance marker on the powerplay with 4:20 left in the third period.

Nananimo pressed to get back into the game. They cut the lead down to one with 13 seconds left scoring a powerplay goal by Carson Schell with Brent Vandenberg off for slashing. But it was too little too late for Nanaimo. The Express held on for a 3-2 win.

The Express win gave them the season series for the first time in franchise history vs. Nanaimo winning 3 of the 4 meetins.

Mike Chan stopped 39 of 41 shots for his first win in 10 starts. Chan's last win came on October 25th vs. Alberni Valley.


Burnaby 25
Nanaimo 41


Burnaby 1/6
Nanaimo 2/4

3 stars

3-Micheal Boivin (1A)
2-Dylan Herold (2G)
1-Mike Chan (39 saves, W)

The Express will be on the road for their next 4 outings. Wednesday they're in Langley. Then Burnaby will head to Powell River for a pair of games Friday and Saturday. Then they will wrap up their road swing Sunday afternoon in Cowichan Valley.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


2008 didn't end the way the Express would like. They opened their post Christmas schedule Monday night at home vs. the Langley Chiefs. Burnaby hoped to come out of the break strong and try and get on a roll.

It wouldn't be an easy task however to face a Chiefs team that went into the Christmas break on a roll winning 3 in a row. Langley got a boost with the return of Milos Gordic and Trevor Elias from injury. Derek Grant however was still on the sidelines.

Burnaby was without forwards Thomas Hardy and Dylan Herold who were unable to get back from their Christmas break in time for the game.

The Chiefs got off to a quick start jumping out to a early advantage in shots on goal and eventually opened the scoring on the powerplay. The Express got caught up the ice and that allowed the Chiefs to turn the play around quick and eventually sending Milos Gordic in on a breakaway and he made no mistake beating Richie Virtanen to the glove side.

Langley made it a 2-0 game when Elgin Pierce cut in on goal, his rush to the net was stopped, but Joe Walter followed up on the play to poke the puck home.

Gordic tallied his second of the game early in the second period to open up a 3-0 Chief lead.

Max Grassi got the Express on the board when he took a feed from Jacob Verheyden from behind the Chiefs net, and Grassi slid it under Andrew Walsh. Just moments earlier, Grassi and Verheyden got their signals crossed when trying to convert on a 2 on 1 break.

The Chiers quickly restored their 3 goal lead on a powerplay when Gordic centered it from the corner and found Mac Roy alone in front and he made no mistake beating Virtanen.

With the Chiefs carrying the play and leading by a score of 4-1 at this point, it would be easy for the Express to fold the tent and accept the fact it will just not be their night. But they dug deep and began to mount a comeback.

Max Grassi scored his second of the game from Cam Brodie and Garrick Perry on the powerplay at 15:27. That was followed 1:20 later by a goal by Nathan Westover as he pinched in from the point and Jacob Verheyden put a perfect pass on his stick that the veteran defenceman put home.

At this point the momentum had clearly swung in Burnaby's favour, they were carrying the play much like the Chiefs had earlier in the contest.

Simon Denis had a great chance to pull the Express even with 90 seconds left in the second, Denis was set up in the slot and was eye to eye with Walsh, but Denis wired a shot off the glass.

That missed opportunity would prove to be costly as a minute later Milos Gordic completed his hat-trick by tipping home a Dennis Robertson point shot to give Langley a 5-3 lead. I find it hard to explain, but the Chiefs always manage to find ways to score big goals late in the period vs. the Express.

The Express opened the third period with a powerplay as Mac Roy was called for interference at the 20:00 mark of the 2nd period.

Burnaby pulled back within one again as Denis beat Walsh with a wrist shot from the left point and with 18 minutes left, the Express were right back in the game.

The Express pressed for the equalizer, but then the Express goaltending issues reared its ugly head again. Mac Roy skated into the Burnaby zone, the speed of the Chiefs off the rush backed off the Express D and Roy snapped a shot beating Virtanen high to the glove side to give the Chiefs a 6-4 lead and essentially sealing the win for Langley.

Inconsistent goaltending has been one of many issues that have plagued the Express this season. The big save at key times have been few and far between this season. I'm not sure if the Express would have been able to complete the comeback Monday night, but if they get a stop by Virtanen on the Roy shot, the game may have been a different story. Soft goals also have a very deflating effect on the rest of the bench. Especially when the team is playing hard, carrying the play and working on a comeback.

Colton Beck rounded out the scoring in the final minute scoring into an empty net.

Final score,

Chiefs 7 Express 4

Milos Gordic finished with a 4 point night. 3 goals, 1 assist. Mac Roy and Colton Beck each had 3 points in the win.

Jacob Verheyden had 3 assists in the loss while Max Grassi scored twice.


Burnaby - 29
Langley - 27


Burnaby 2/7
Langley 2/5

3 stars

3-Mac Roy 2G, 1A
2-Jacob Verheyden 3A
1-Milos Gordic 3G, 1A

2008 wrapped up for the Express playing host to the Surrey Eagles. The Eagles were coming off a 4-3 OT win over the Powell River Kings Monday night in Richmond.

The Eagles had taken the last 5 meetings between the two teams.

The Eagles were without goaltender Tommy Tartaglione who was out with a minor shoulder injury. Vinny Lessard got the start between the pipes for the Eagles.

The Express again got off to a slow start at least in terms of the shots on goal department, with the Eagles opening up an early 9-2 advantage.

But the Express would be the ones opening the scoring. With Burnaby on the powerplay, The Express worked it up high with Denis from the left point playing it across the line to Mike Leidl, he then sent the puck down low to Jacob Verheyden. He showed great skill by picking the top corner from a sharp angle on the short side of Lessard to open the scoring.

The Express battled back eventually evening the shots at 9. Burnaby took their lead to the dressing room after the first period.

Another pretty goal would give the Express a 2-0 lead. Again Jacob Verheyden was on the business end. But it was Brent Vandenberg providing the skill, he came down the right wing then dropped a cheeky little pass through his legs to find Verheyden who slid home his second of the night.

Just over 2 minutes later, the soft goal bug bit again. Spencer Bennett fired a pass cross ice to Mike Henderson on the right wing, he fired a shot from the boards and Chan got a piece of it with his blocker but it wasn't enough as it slipped through to get the Eagles on the board. At the end of the night, this soft goal would prove to truly be costly for the Express in the standings.

Again to Burnaby's credit, they didn't allow the goal to deflate them for a second straight night. The Express re-stored their two goal advantage as Verheyden was set up in the slot, he fanned on his shot but it came right to Vandenberg who tipped the shot past Lessard. The assist for Verheyden was his third point of the game. And second straight 3 point effort. His 6 points in his last 2 games have doubled his point production for the season.

The Express took their 3-1 lead into the third. When the final frame began, the Express went into lead protect mode. They appeared to be on their way to victory as the clock slowly began to tick towards zero. But the Eagles made things interesting at 17:25 when Brett Corcoran took a feed out from behind the net and he scored the pull the Eagles back within one.

That was followed by a costly holding penalty by Cam Brodie 36 seconds later. The Eagles made the Express pay as Adam Hartley in front of the net found a loose puck and scored on a backhand to tie the game at 3. The goal came at 18:50. So the Express let what was a 3-1 lead, turn into a 3-3 tie in a span of 1:25.

So it was off to overtime. Both teams had a few chances in the first overtime session to end it but couldn't do so. So the teams would go to a second overtime and play 3 on 3.

The Express had 3 great chances to win the game, as Reid Edmondson had 2 chances in front, then he set up Dylan Herold in front but Lessard stepped up large to keep the game going.

That was followed by the deciding moment in the game, Max Grassi and Brent Vandenberg were both called for penalties, the Eagles had possession of the puck for 30 seconds before the Express touched it and the play was stopped. The penalties in the 2nd overtime resulted in an automatic penalty shot. Now i'm not 100% certain on this, but I think the Eagles would have had 2 penalty shots to try and end the game with infractions called to Grassi and Vandenberg.

Andrew Wallace lined up at centre ice with the game on his stick. He made no mistake beating Chan with a deke to the stick side and the Eagles swiped victory from the grasp of the Express.

End of the day, it was another dissapointing result on home ice for Burnaby. The last 8 losses on home ice for the Express all at one point in time have been a one goal game in the third period. Whether it's the Express ahead by a goal or trailing by a goal.

How bad does that goal by Mike Henderson in the 2nd period look now?

It was the second straight meeting between the two teams that the Express had allowed a 3rd period lead to slip away and lose the game. Surrey came back from a 4-3 deficit to defeat the Express 5-4 in regulation on December 13th.

Adam Hartley and Brett Corcoran each had 1 goal and 1 assist in the win. Vinny Lessard stopped 36 of 39 Express shots for the win.

Max Grassi and Brent Vandenberg extended their point streaks to 4 games in a losing effort. Grassi has 4 goals and 5 assists in his streak, while Vandenberg has 4 goals and 4 assists.


Burnaby - 39
Surrey - 33


Burnaby 1/6
Surrey 1/9

3 stars

3-Brett Corcoran
2-Brent Vandenberg
1-Jacob Verheyden

The Express will open 2009 with a pair of home games this weekend vs. a pair of Island division clubs. Friday the red hot Cowichan Valley Capitals come to town. Followed by a Saturday visit by the struggling, yes struggling Nanaimo Clippers who currently occupy 3rd place in the Island division.