Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Express assistant coach Jason Fothergill and I are having a little wager on the World Series between Philadelphia and New York which begins tonight.

I have taken the defending champion Phillies. While Jason is pulling for the Yankees who are seeking their 27th crown.

The winner gets $10.

Jason is picking the Yankees in 6. While I'm picking the Phillies in 6.


It's more just about cheering against A-Rod and the Bronx Bombers for me.

Monday, October 26, 2009


The Bunraby Express did their part Sunday afternoon to support the Canadian Breast Cancer foundation. During the game vs. the Victoria Grizzlies, the Express players taped their sticks with pink tape.

Regardless of what color the Express tape on their sticks, their effort was much improved as they knocked off the Grizzlies 4-1 on Sunday. The win was just the 2nd win for Burnaby in 12 games in the month of October.

The Express showed early that they were ready to play and showed lots of jump in the opening minutes of the game getting off to a good start. The Express were more physical, skating harder and overall just taking their intentisty to another level.

Penalties however halted Burnaby's strong start as they were shorthaded three times in the opening period. The Express penalty killing stepped up killing off all 3 Victoria powerplays in the opening period.

The most notable performance during the penalty kills for Burnaby was the play of goaltender Harrison May.

He was on top of his game in the opening period keeping Victoria off the board.

The Express number 1 goaltender had played well in each of his previous two outings on home ice. But, he was the 2nd best goaltender on the ice. That was one area that had to change for the Express to get back in the win column. May needed a performance where he was the best goaltender on the ice after being out played by Langley's Andrew Walsh and Surrey's Vinny Lessard in the Express last two home games.

It was a tough task to ask of the Express netminder. But it had to be the case with the Express being blanked in their previous 5 periods of hockey heading into Sunday.

Burnaby needed a performance from their goaltender that would at most see just one goal allowed in order to have a chance to win.

May's performance in the opening period showed he was ready to meet the challenge.

After kiling all 3 first period Victoria powerplays, (mainly thanks to May) the Express resumed their pressure on Victoria in the Grizzlies zone.

The game was scoreless after 20 periods. The goalless drought had extended to 6 periods or the equilvalant of 2 games going back to Thursday's 8-1 loss in Langley for Burnaby.

Finally the Express found the back of the net again in the 2nd period when Alex Petan fed a pass back to Simon Denis who blasted home his first goal of the season through the legs of Colin Fernandes.

Hear Denis' 1-0 goal here.

The Burnaby goal was their first goal in 1:26:25 of game action dating back to Garrick Perry's goal at 18:32 of the first period Thursday in Langley.

Petan's assist on the goal was his first BCHL point. And the goal for Denis was his first of the season and just the 3rd goal this season from an Express defenceman. David Dotan and Matt Ridley have the others.

Now with the Express in the lead, they picked up their game in an attempt to add to their advantage. The Express had numerous quality chances but couldn't get another puck past Fernandes who was doing his part to keep Victoria in the game. The Express chances included a shot from Rich Manley that rang off the crossbar.

The Express also had a total of 5 powerplays in the second period but couldn't score on any of them and the Grizzlies remained just one goal down. The Express powerplay struggles continued on this day.

The Express were 0 for 22 on the powerplay in their previous 4 games heading into Sunday's matchup with Victoria.

The question at that point raised was, would the Burnaby's inability to convert on any of those powerplays come back and hurt the Express?

Thanks to those powerplays for Burnaby, they outshot Victoria 12-2 in the 2nd period. And much like Harrison May's play in the first period, Colin Fernades' play in the 2nd period kept Victoria in the game.

The Grizzlies pulled even at 6:13 of the third period on a powerplay. Jordan Heywood pinched in from the blueline and took a centering pass and snapped it past Harrison May.

The tie however only lasted 13 seconds as Garrick Perry took a stretch pass, cut to the Grizzlies net and jammed the puck under Fernandes to re-store Burnaby's lead.

Hear Perry's game winning goal here.

The Express got some insurance less than 6 minutes later on a pretty passing play. Matt Ridley hit Jon Puskar with a pass at the Victoria blueline. Puskar then quickly tipped it into the middle of the ice to spring Brad Reid on a breakaway. And Reid made no mistake deking to the backhand and roofing it over a sparawled out Fernandes to give the Express a 3-1 lead.

Hear Reid's 3-1 goal here.

Reid then rounded out the scoring by hitting the empty net scoring from his own zone for Reid's second of the game giving Burnaby a 4-1 lead.

Overall, it was a drastically improved performance for the Express. Dave Mclellan's troops had played well in each of their previous 2 home games but didn't get the result they wanted. The Express took their compete level up another notch and the were paid off with the win and the 2 points in the standings.

All 18 Express skaters were better. They were more physical, resulting in more battles for the puck won. They skated harder resulting in more races to the puck won. And more often that not, the Express were first on the puck in all 3 zones.

That compete level allowed Burnaby to get the puck out of their zone on a regular basis. At the other end of the rink, the won puck battles allowed Burnaby to get to the puck to the net more often creating more scoring chances.

Harrison May on this day was outstanding. The Express needed their goaltender to be the best goaltender on the ice and he provided that type of performance stopping 27 of the 28 shots he faced.

The most important thing to remember for this Express team following Sunday's win is to remember the compete level they brought to the rink Sunday and they have to do it every night they hit the ice. If they do that, the wins will come again on regular basis like they did in September.


Burnaby 28
Victoria 28


Burnaby 0/6
Victoria 1/6

3 stars:

3. Simon Denis - Scored his first goal of the season to open the scoring and added an assist.

2. Garrick Perry - Scored the game winning goal. Added an assist as well. Overall, he was one of Burnaby's best skaters and showed great leadership being a physical force and playing with an edge.

1. Harrison May - Was the best goaltender on the ice. His stellar played allowed his team to stay in the game and give them an opportunity to win.

Up next:

Friday in Penticton. The Express will need a effort level similar to Sunday's game vs. Victoria to have a shot at the high flying Vees. Burnaby has risen to the challenge each time they have played vs. the BCHL's elite.

Penticton will be without number 1 goaltender Sean Bonar and defenceman Joey Laleggia who will represent Canada West in the upcoming World Junior A Challenge in Summerside PEI. The Vees will also be without forward Beau Bennett who will play for the defending gold medalists from the USA. Bennett currently sits 3rd in BCHL scoring.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Here's the highlights of Burnaby's 4-1 win over the Victoria Grizzlies Sunday afternoon.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen and Purple Penguin Productions.


Here's the highlights from Friday's 2-0 win by the Chiefs over the Express.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen and Purple Penguin Productions.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


It was a perfect 2 for 2 if you're the Langley Chiefs this week vs. the Burnaby Express. Langley took the opening game between the two team 8-1 in Langley Thursday night. Friday, the Chiefs blanked the Express 2-0 at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

Andrew Walsh posted the shutout for the Chiefs stopping all 35 Express shots in the Chiefs crease. The Langley goaltender in fact stopped all 60 shots he faced in the final 5 periods of the home and home series with Burnaby.

Joe Walter opened the scoring for the second consecutive night by taking a feed from Trevor Gerling on a 2 on 1 break and tipping the pass by Harrison May to open the scoring at 7:23.

The Express had their chances throughout the game. On this night the greatest example of a team unable to catch a break when struggling for offence came when Matt Ius had a chance to put the puck past Walsh and Ius had his stick break. That was followed seconds later with Rich Manley unable to slide it past Walsh and it slid wide of the Chief net.

The effort for Burnaby on this night was a lot better than it was the night before in the 8-1 setback in the Langley Events Centre. Burnaby was better defensively and competed harder.

Walsh's best save of the 2nd period came on a Burnaby powerplay when the Express set up Rich Manley for a one timer, but Walsh came across with his left pad and rob the Burnaby forward.

Langley extended their lead to two when Jordan Sims picked up speed through the neutral zone, cut around Jimmy Geerin and drove to the net and beat Harrison May with a shot to the stick side.

Now with a two goal lead, it was up to Andrew Walsh to shut down Burnaby the rest of the way.

The third period saw Burnaby have 3 opportunities on the powerplay to cut into the deficit, but couldn't find the back of the net. Including a 6 on 4 advantage late in the game.

Burnaby's effort was much better overall than 24 hours earlier. But the results remain the same with the Express ending up on the losing end. This game had similarities to Burnaby's last home game vs. Surrey where the Express ran into a hot goaltender that was tough to beat.

The loss for Burnaby was their 10th in 11 games in the month of October.

The offence collectively has really dried up for the Express in their last 3 games. Burnaby has scored only 2 goals in their last 3 games on 111 shots on goal.

The powerplay has completely dried up in the Express last 4 outings going 0 for 22.

The loss for Burnaby saw them fall to 7th place in the Coastal Conference standings tied with Nanaimo with 14 points. Nanaimo gets the tie breaker by picking up the same amount of points in fewer games. 8th place Cowichan Valley sits just one point back of the Express.


Burnaby 35
Langley 31


Burnaby 0/7
Langley 0/7

3 stars:

3. Harrison May - Had a bounce back performance in the Express crease after being pulled 24 hours earlier. May stopped 29 of 31 shots he faced.

2. Joe Walter - Scored the games opening goal for the second consective night. Walter's goal proved the be the game winning goal.

1. Andrew Walsh - Stopped all 35 Express shots for the shutout. Stopped 75 of 76 Express shots in the home and home series and the last 60 he faced in the final 5 periods.

Up next:

Home Sunday afternoon vs. Victoria.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I think the headline pretty much speaks for itself. The Express lost the opening game of their home and home with their top rival the Langley Chiefs. Thursday's loss was the Express' 9th set back in their last 10 games in the month of October. And the Express have now lost all 8 games away from home this month.

Langley opened the scoring 6 minutes into the game when Joe Walter's shot squeaked through Harrison May and dribbled into the net.

The Express had a pair of great chances to pull even moments later.

First, Andrew Walsh did well to come across to his right and get his right pad down to deny Jon Puskar on a 2 on 1 break. That save was followed moments later with Walsh turning away Rich Manley as he got in behind the Langley defence, but Walsh poked the puck away from Manley.

Late in the period the Express did break through. Garrick Perry slid a puck under Walsh to pull the Express even at 18:32. The goal for Perry broke a pair of lengthy droughts for the 2nd year forward.

The goal was his first point in his last 8 games. And his first goal in his last 11.

Perry had very little time to savour his goal when just 13 seconds later the Chiefs restored their lead when Dennis Robertson's shot from the left point got past May to give the Chiefs a 2-1 lead.

Langley took the lead into the room. Having a lead after 20 minutes is something foriegn to this Express team. They've only had the lead after the first period just twice this season. And haven't lead after 20 minutes in 13 games.

Early in the 2nd came a real back breaker for Burnaby, Langley won a neutral zone faceoff and Dennis Robertson fired the puck from beyond the Burnaby blueline and it got past Harrison May to give the Chiefs a 3-1 lead.

That goal would mean the end of the night for Harrison May who was yanked afterwards after allowing 3 goals on 19 shots.

Nick Enegren came in to replace May, but it didn't get much better for Burnaby and Enegren didn't get much help.

Travis Irving and Mac Roy both out battled Simon Denis for pucks in front of the Express net for Langley goals to give the Chiefs a 5-1 lead through 40 minutes.

The third period just saw more goals ending up in the back of the Burnaby net with Enegren getting very little help.

Irving added his 2nd of the period at 3:56 to give the Chiefs a 6-1 lead. That was followed by Marcus Watson getting past Todd Fletcher, Watson's shot was stopped but Brad Goss got to the net first beating the Express defence to bang home the rebound to make it a 7-1 Chiefs lead.

The final nail in Burnaby's coffin on this night was sealed in the final minute when Mitch Pacey came out of the penalty box and took a feed from Trevor Gerling and Pacey scored on the breakaway to round out the scoring.

Final score:

Chiefs 8 Express 1.


Express 41 Chiefs 37


Express 0/7
Chiefs 1/5

3 stars:

3. Andrew Walsh - Quietly had a steady night in the Chiefs crease stopping 40 of 41 Express shots. His performace was easily overlooked with the lopsided score in favour of his club.

2. Travis Irving - Scored a pair of goals and had a fight with Luke Challier in the third period.

1. Dennis Robertson - Scored a pair of goals to set the tone for the Chiefs and take the wind out of the Express sails. Robertson also added an assist.

Next up:

Home vs. Langley Friday night.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Last year I showed former Express Milan Lucic hitting Toronto's Mike Van Ryn through the glass.

Well tonight, it was Express alum David Jones of the Colorado Avalanche hitting Minnesota's Nick Schultz breaking the glass.

Hey, the way Andrew Ladd plays, I wouldn't be surprised to see him level someone through the glass some time soon. I wouldn't want to play against him. He hits his opponents hard.

Monday, October 19, 2009


This past weekend the Express had a home and home series with the Surrey Eagles.

Burnaby was hoping to build off their 9-5 win Wednesday night that snapped Burnaby's 6 game losing streak.

Both teams went into the series heading in opposite directions in the month of October. Surrey was 6-1 in October, while the Express had just 1 win in their 7 games in October.

The series started Friday night in Surrey. The first period saw the Express generate a few chances, but it was the Eagles who had plenty of momentum thanks to three powerplays and buzzing all around the Burnaby net. The Eagles however couldn't put any of their 15 first period shots past Harrison May and the teams went to the room scoreless through 20 minutes.

Rich Manley opened the scoring in the opening minute of the 2nd period as Manley took a feed from Jon Puskar and came down the left wing and slid a shot through the legs of Paul Barclay.

And despite the shots in favour of Surrey, the Express had the important first goal of the game.

The Express lead didn't last long as the Eagles tied the game while shorthanded. Mike Krgovich broke in on a 2 on 1 break with Tyler Morley, and Krgovich beat Harrison May with a wrist shot to the stick side.

The Eagles continued to press in the second period, but much like the first had a tough time getting a puck past Harrison May. May's strong goaltending allowed the Express to take the lead late in the 2nd period when Matt Ridley scored his first goal of the season when he jumped in the rush took a feed from Puskar and snapped a shot past Barclay to restore the Express lead.

Ridley's goal was just the 2nd goal of the season from an Express blueliner.

The Express took their lead into the third period and added to it early in the third. Matt Ius put a pass on the tape of Dylan Herold to give the Express a 3-1 lead 1:20 into the third.

Now for the 2nd straight road game, the Express had a 3-1 lead in the third period. But much like last Sunday in Powell River, the lead didn't guarantee the Express victory.

Richard Vanderhoek blasted a shot from the right circle that handcuffed Harrison May just over a minute after Herold's goal to cut the Express lead back down to one.

The Express had their chances to restore their two goal advantage following Vanderhoek's goal with a pair of powerplays, but couldn't come up with a clutch powerplay goal.

Then with the Eagles on a powerplay of their own, they erased the Express lead as Chris Santiago beat Harrison May with a wrist shot over his glove to tie the game at 3 at 8:35.

So for the 2nd straight road game, the Express had allowed a 3-1 lead to slip away.

However, the Express had another opportunity to re-store their lead with a powerplay but again came up firing a blank. Much thanks to the desperation of the Surrey penalty killers getting down and blocking numerous Express shots.

Following the conclusion of the Express third powerplay, the Eagles took the lead for the first time in the game. Surrey sent the puck into the Burnaby zone, and while the puck was sliding down the ice, an Eagle player went to the bench and Andrew Wallace came on the ice and picked up the puck and out waited Harrison May to give Surrey a 4-3 lead.

The goal raised the question of whether or not the Eagles had to many players on the ice. After some discussion from the officiating crew, the goal was allowed to stand.

Now the Express had just under 7 minutes to pull even. 2 minutes of that time was erased moments after Wallace's goal when Luke Challier was sent off for checking to the head and given a game misconduct. The Express did kill off the powerplay. But when the game resumed at 5 on 5, Surrey sat back in a defensive shell not allowing Burnaby to generate much of an attack.

The Eagles then iced the game when Matt Ridley coughed up the puck at his own blueline and the Eagles went the other way and Mike Krgovich scored his 2nd of the game on a feed from Andrew Wallace.

Final score:

Surrey 5 Burnaby 3.


Surrey 45
Burnaby 27


Burnaby 0/6
Surrey 1/7

3 stars:

3. Tyler Morley - 2 assists and was strong on the penalty kill all night for Surrey.

2. Andrew Wallace - Scored game winning goal and set up Krgovich's insurance marker in the third period.

1. Mike Krgovich - 2 goals and 1 assist to lead Surrey's attack en route to victory.

It was the 2nd straight road game for Burnaby where they allowed a 3-1 third period lead to slip away.

Harrison May did allow 5 goals on 45 Eagles shots. But if it were not for his strong play in the opening 40 minutes, the game could have already been decided before the third period had began.

The Express have now lost all 7 road games in the month of October. And are 1-6-0-1 in October.

The rematch for these two teams went 24 hours later at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

The Express hoped that a return home would reverse their fortunes. The Express went into Saturday's game with a 3-0-0-1 record on home ice.

The first period was better for Burnaby. More time spent in Surrey's end of the rink and getting some chances but couldn't get one past Vinny Lessard.

The best chance the Express had was a breakaway for Garrick Perry, but Lessard shut the door on the struggling Perry as he tried to beat him between the legs. Perry went into Saturday's game without a point in his last 6 games, and without a goal in his last 9 games.

The game was scoreless through 20 minutes with the Express holding a 11-7 shot advantage.

Both Harrison May and Vinny Lessard kept up their strong play in the 2nd period. Most notably Lessard, who had turned aside a number of quality scoring chances to keep the game scoreless.

Finally the ice was broken late in the 2nd period when Tyler Morley blasted a drop pass from Cole Gelly past the glove of Harrison May at 18:09.

Before the period was done, the Express had a chance to pull even with Doug Marshall being called for tripping giving Burnaby a late powerplay.

The Express powerplay looked dangerous. Their best scoring chance came in the dying seconds when they got a puck past Lessard, but the puck curled away from the crease and stayed out of the net.

Surrey took their 1-0 lead to the room after two periods. Mainly due to the strong goaltending of Vinny Lessard who had stopped all 27 Express shots through 2 periods.

And when a goaltender is playing well, he will need a bit of luck on his side, and the puck curling away from his crease could be a little puck luck on the side of Lessard.

Finally the Express broke through and got a puck past Lessard on their 32nd shot of the game. Brad Reid won a faceoff in the Eagles zone. Reid won it back to Matt Ius who had his initial shot blocked, but his 2nd shot beat Lessard upstairs to pull the Express even.

Surrey re-stored their lead midway through the third when Grant Toulmin took advantage of a Burnaby turnover in the neutral zone. Toulmin carried the puck over the Express line and leaned into a wrist shot so much so he fell giving the shot some extra torque to beat Harrison May.

In the final 10 minutes of the game, the Express got some chances to pull even again, but couldn't get another one past Lessard. Then the Eagles clamped down defensively as the third wore on and shut the Express down the rest of the way.

Final score:

Surrey 2 Express 1.

The loss was Burnaby's first regulation loss on home ice this season. Both teams are headed in opposite directions following Surrey's sweep of the Express in the home and home. Surrey had won 8 of their 9 games following the win Saturday. Then after coming from behind again in the third period Sunday and knocking off Trail 6-4, the Eagles are 9-1 in the month of October.

Main reason for the Express falling on this night, Burnaby ran into a hot goaltender. Vinny Lessard was outstanding all night long turning aside many quality Burnaby scoring chances.

Meanwhile, Burnaby has now lost 8 of 9 games in the month of October.


Burnaby 35
Surrey 25


Both Surrey & Burnaby 0/2

My 3 stars,

I didn't agree with the selections of the 3 stars Saturday night,

So here's my selections,

3. Grant Toulmin - Scored the game winning goal midway through the third period.

2. Matt Ius - The only Express player to get a puck past Vinny Lessard.

1. Vinny Lessard - The main reason why Surrey prevailed Saturday night vs. Burnaby. He was great stopping 34 of 35 Express shots. The Eagles don't win on this night without his strong play.

Up next:

A home and home series with the Langley Chiefs. The series begins Thursday in Langley with the Express making their first visit to the brand new Langley Events Centre.

Return match goes Friday at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Here's the highlights from Saturday's 2-1 Eagles win over the Express.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen of Purple Penguin Productions.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Step away from the panic button! I repeat, step away from the panic button! The Express have won a hockey game again.

They snapped their 6 game losing streak (all on the road) with a 9-5 home ice victory over the Trail Smoke Eaters Wednesday night.

Burnaby was looking for a little pay back on Trail after they knocked off Burnaby 5-4 in overtime in Trail on October 3rd.

The Express were hoping that they would get back on the winning track once they returned to the comfortable confines of home ice. The Express didn't have much time to dwell on their previous outing, just 2 days after falling 4-3 in Powell River Sunday afternoon in a game that saw Burnaby let a 3-1 third period lead slip away.

Heading into the game, the Express needed a few things to start to go their way to get back into the win column. The first was to get off to a good start. Most notably score the first goal. The Express had allowed the games first goal in 5 of the 6 games during their losing streak.

They got that all important first goal from Jon Puskar just 3 minutes into the game as he dangled through a Trail defender then fired it through the legs of Kiefer Smiley.

Hear Puskar's 1-0 goal here.

The lead only lasted just 6 minutes as the Smoke Eaters responded with a powerplay goal by Tye Lewis to tie the game. That was followed less than 4 minutes later by a goal from Nick Sandor who knocked the puck out of the air and into the net to give Trail a 2-1 lead they took into the 2nd period.

Burnaby's Sander had a response for the Express as Konrad hacked and whacked home his first goal of the season 2:32 into the period to tie the game.

The game didn't remain tied for long as the Smokies re-stored their lead less than 2 minutes later as Nick Sandor scored his 2nd of the game beating Harrison May with a wrist shot from the right boards.

Trail then took a two goal advantage midway through the 2nd period as Steve Koshey skated around the Burnaby net and come out front untouched and beat Harrison May to give the Smoke Eaters a 4-2 lead.

Now the Express needed to provide a response if they were going to snap their losing skid.

The Express pulled back within one moments after Koshey's goal by scoring a powerplay goal by Dylan Herold with Koshey sitting in the penalty box. Herold knocked the puck out of the air and past Smiley to pull the Express back within one.

Hear Herold's first goal here.

The goal for the captain was his first point in 6 games.

Moments after Herold's goal came the games turning point. Luke Challier was called for roughing and Burnaby couldn't allow the Smoke Eaters to score their third powerplay goal of the game at this point if they were to attempt a comeback. The Express got the big kill they needed and got some momentum from it.

Challier got involved in the play right after he served his penalty as he put a pass into the slot for Herold who quickly snapped home his 2nd of the period to pull the Express even.

Hear Herold's 2nd of the game here.

From that on, the Express 2nd period magic continued to roll. The Express added late period goals by Jon Puskar his 2nd of the game and Matt Ius to give the Express a 6-4 lead heading to the third period.

Hear Ius' 6-4 goal here.

In total the Express scored 5 goals in the 2nd period. They have now outscored their opposition 26-8 in the 2nd period this season.

Now with a 2 goal lead the Express needed to finish the job in the third period. All they had to do was think back to Sunday with the knowledge that a 2 goal lead can slip away and they can't stop working. They have to keep pressing forward.

Burnaby did just that. Midway through the third the Express iced it as Konrad Sander took advantage of a falling Graeme Strukoff to cut to the net, his shot hit the post, but Brodie Jamieson banged home the rebound for his first BCHL goal.

Jamieson then added his 2nd of the game 4 minutes later when Challier cut down the left wing, put the puck to the net and Jamieson poked a loose puck home that was lying in the crease.

Hear Jamieson's 2nd goal of the game here.

Burnaby's 3rd line finished their strong night when Challier scored on the powerplay for Burnaby's 7th straight goal and a 9-4 lead.

Trail rounded out the scoring in the final minute when Travis St. Denis fed a pass cross ice to Strukoff who roofed it on Harrison May to round out the scoring. The goal was Trail's 3rd powerplay goal of the game.

Final score:

Express 9 Smoke Eaters 5.


Burnaby 37
Trail 34


Burnaby 2/6
Trail 3/10

3 stars:

3. Luke Challier - 1 goal and 4 assists to lead the Express offensive attack.

2. Jon Puskar - 2 goals and 1 assist for the Express.

1. Dylan Herold - Scored 2 big goals in the 2nd period to erase a 4-2 Express deficit in the 2nd period.

The win for Burnaby snapped their 6 game losing streak. Meanwhile Trail is still in search of their first road win of the season. It was the third straight road game for Trail in which they have allowed at least 8 goals.

The win for Burnaby was much needed on so many levels. First off all, to give the team a boost by finding that winning feeling again. Plus, they needed a full team effort and they got just that from all 18 skaters on this night. Every single player on the roster stepped up and played to their potential.

Burnaby need their top 6 group of Manley, Puskar, Reid, Herold, Ius and Perry to all find the scoresheet again and be the Express best players. And they all did just that with 5 of those 6 players hitting the scoresheet. If Perry had some puck luck on this night he would have hit the sheet as well.

The top 6 forward group combined for 5 goals and 6 assists for 11 points. Burnaby's third line of Luke Challier, Brodie Jamieson and Konrad Sander all broke out with Challier leading the offensive attack for the Express with a 5 point night. 1 goal and 4 assists. That line combined for 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points.

Burnaby's 4th line of Sean Dinsmore, Clay Wilson and Paul De Jersey also played well providing energy all night.

Up next:

The first crucial games of the season for the Express. A home and home with the Surrey Eagles. The win for Burnaby pulled them into a tie for 3rd place in the Coastal Conference with 14 points. The Express head into this home and home series with Surrey 5 points back of the Eagles for 2nd place in the conference. This series is crucial for Burnaby to stay within striking distance of the Eagles.


Here's the video highlights from Burnaby's 9-5 win Wednesday over the Trail Smoke Eaters.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen and Purple Penguin Productions.


During the 2nd intermission of Wednesday's game vs. Trail I had a chance to interview Hall of Fame Vancouver Canucks broadcaster Jim Robson.

Hear my interview with Jim Robson here.


I had the pleasure and privledge to interview former Vancouver Canuck goaltender Cesare Maniago and during the first intermission of Wednesday's game vs. Trail.

Hear my interview with Cesare Maniago here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Saturday the Burnaby Express were blanked 4-0 by the Victoria Grizzlies. Former Express Richie Virtanen got the shutout in his first game vs. his old team stopping all 26 shots he faced.

Brandon Fagerhiem and Dustin Mowrey scored first period goals for Victoria. That was followed by 2nd period goals from Sam Grist and Gregory Simpson.

Harrison May was pulled in place of Nick Enegren for the third period. Enegren stopped all 5 shots he faced in the third period.

The road trip wrapped up Sunday afternoon in Powell River. It was the second meeting of the season between the Express and Powell River with the Kings winning the first meeting September 19th in overtime.

Powell River opened the scoring on a double minor powerplay with Reid Campbell's point shot going off a skate past Nick Enegren.

The Kings took that lead into the 2nd period. Burnaby again responded with another strong middle frame taking a 3-1 lead.

First, Brad Reid scored on a 2 on 1 with Jon Puskar to even the score. The Express then took the lead on the powerplay when David Dotan playing in his third game with the Express scored with a wrist shot from the left point.

Dotan's goal was his first in junior. He didn't score a goal in his 46 career games with Prince Albert of the WHL.

Then Reid added his 2nd of the game in the final minute of the 2nd period with the Express on another powerplay. Puskar again set up Reid with a cross ice pass and Reid made no mistake.

Burnaby took their two goal lead to the third period and the Express appeared to be in good shape to snap their losing streak.

Powell River pulled within one when Andrew Pettitt scored from the left wing just 3:12 into the third period.

Then Powell River tied the game up with Darcy Huisman fired a great pass from the Kings goal line right on the tape of Chad Niddery at the Express blueline. Niddery made no mistake on the breakaway beating Enegren upstairs.

Then the Kings took the lead on a powerplay with Jordan Grant's wrist shot from the right circle beating Enegren to the stick side to give Powell River the lead with 3:20 left in the third period.

The Express weren't able to pull even and the Kings picked up the win in comeback fashion 4-3.

Burnaby has lost their last 6 games all on the road. They have only picked up one point during their current slump. That coming last Saturday when they lost 5-4 in Trail in overtime.

The Express will look to get back in the win column Wednesday night when Trail makes their only visit to the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

Friday, October 9, 2009


After a winless three game road trip for the Express last weekend in the Interior, the table was set for the Express to respond on the Island.

Well, if there is a response from the Express on its way, it didn't show Friday night in Nanaimo.

The Express lost their fourth straight game 3-1 Friday night to the Clippers.

Gord and I expected the Express to show they were going to turn their game around and have a positive response in the opening game of the weekend.

We expected the Express to set the tone early. Be physical and send a message that things will be different for the Express on this night.

Speaking with the coaches prior to the game, there was talk of the Express looking to be agressive on the forecheck, and try and get off to a good start.

It didn't happen. The strong forecheck, and physical play and strong start came from the Clippers who were seeking their first win on home ice this season.

Nanaimo swarmed Burnaby in the opening 20 minutes. And the Clippers were rewarded with their strong start. They opened the scoring on a powerplay when Cody Bremner dished the puck across to Luc Olivier Blain who chipped it over Harrison May.

4 minutes following Blain's goal, the Clippers struck again as Carsen Schell from the right boards put a pass on the tape of Joe Perry in the high slot who beat May with a quick wrist shot stick side.

There was no positives for the Express in the opening period. Burnaby was outshot 13-2 in the games opening period. Both of Burnaby's shots came from long range.

After a chance to regroup after the opening period, Gord and I expected a response from the Express to try and battle back. The Express were better and the play evened out a little.

But it was Nanaimo adding to their lead. The Clippers won a faceoff in the Express zone and Kyle Weber's point shot was stopped, but Joe Perry put home the rebound for his 2nd of the game to give Nanaimo a 3-0 lead.

The Express did get on the board on the powerplay shortly after Perry's goal when Jimmy Geerin's point shot was stopped by Loic Boivin and Jon Puskar banged home the rebound for his 7th goal of the season and first goal in 5 games.

Nanaimo took their lead to the third period and in the final 20 minutes, Gord and I expected the Express to pick their game up in an attempt to start a comeback. That push from the Express never came.

There was no desperation. Boivin wasn't overly busy and Nanaimo just allowed the clock to do its thing and count down to zero.

Final score:

Clippers 3 Express 1.

There is nothing postive to take out of this game from an Express point of view. The periods of strong play were very few and very far between. This game in a way is a polar opposite game than the Salmon Arm matchup a week ago from this perespective, in Salmon Arm the Express lost 7-2 but the game was much closer that what shows in the boxscore. On this night in Nanaimo, the game wasn't as close as a 3-1 loss shows in the boxscore. To be brutually honest the Express didn't show up at all.

It doesn't get any eaiser in Victoria tommorow night. The question becomes can the Express respond with a strong performance tommorow? Who knows. They were supposed to respond with a strong game Friday in Nanaimo. Instead, they laid an egg. The only way to find out will be when we see how they play when the puck drops at 7:15 Saturday night.


Burnaby 27
Nanaimo 33

3 stars:

3. Victor Newell

2. Carson Schell

1. Joe Perry


Burnaby 1/3
Nanaimo 1/5

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Game preview for October 9, 2009 @ Nanaimo.


Burnaby: 5-2-0-2 - 12 points - 4th in Coastal Conference
Nanaimo: 2-5-0-3 - 7 points - 8th in Coastal Conference

Burnaby road record: 3-2-0-1
Nanaimo home record: 0-3-0-2

- 2nd meeting of the season between the two teams. Express won the first meeting of the season 3-2 Sept. 27 @ Burnaby.

- Express winless in their last 3 games (o-2-0-1) on road last weekend in Salmon Arm, Trail and Vernon.

- First game of 3 game road trip for Burnaby. In Nanaimo Friday, Victoria Saturday, Powell River Sunday afternoon.

- Clippers lost last 4 games. Shutout in last 2 outings. 3-0 Saturday @ Alberni Valley, 1-0 Sunday vs. Powell River. Shutout streak of 1:53:59

- 4 of 5 Clipper home games decided by one goal. Two of those games have gone to overtime.

- Prior to losing 1-0 Sunday at home vs. Powell River, Nanaimo scored at least 4 goals in each of their first 4 home games.


BBY PP – 9/39 – 23.08% 5th in BCHL
NAN PK – 74.6% 13th in BCHL

NAN PP – 9/63 – 14.29% 15th in BCHL
BBY PK – 78.57% 10th in BCHL

BBY 0-2-0
NAN 1-3-0

Rich Manley – 9 game point streak to start season – 7G, 7A, 14PTS
Luke Challier – Accumulated all his points during current 5 game point streak – 3G, 3A,PTS
Garrick Perry & Jon Puskar – Goalless in their last 4 games.

Jimmy Geerin plays 100th career BCHL game Friday vs. Nanaimo.

Monday, October 5, 2009


It wasn't a weekend to remember for the Burnaby Express through the Interior.

After dropping the opening game Friday 7-2 in Salmon Arm for Burnaby's first regulation loss of the season, the trip continued Saturday in Trail where the Express fell 5-4 in overtime. Then the trip wrapped up Sunday in Vernon where the Express fell 4-2 to the defending RBC Cup champion Vipers.

Saturday in Trail, Burnaby played without captain Dylan Herold who was suspended for this one after being involved in a second fight while Matt Ius was in a fight of his own.

Saturday, the Express faced a Trail Smoke Eaters club that had just one win on the season heading into the game. The Smokies opened the scoring less than 6 minutes in when Tye Lewis split the Express defence, Harrison May poked the puck away, but Paul Mailey and followed up and poked the rebound home.

The opening 20 minutes wasn't the greatest for the Express. They were sloppy coming out of their own end. However, in spite of the poor start, the Express found a way to pull even before the period was done. Garrick Perry muscled the puck to the front of the net and Matt Ius found the loose puck in the crease and poked it home.

The 2nd period which has been Burnaby's best period all season saw the club improve their play and they took the lead for the first time 5 minutes into the period as Luke Challier tapped in a pass at the lip of the crease.

Trail tied it up late in the period on a powerplay. The Smokies won the faceoff in the Express zone, Graeme Strukoff's point shot didn't get through but bounced right to Travis St. Denis who whipped it past Harrison May.

The game didn't remain tied for long, with the Express on a powerplay in the final minute of the period, they got the puck to the net and Rich Manley had a great chance in front, he was robbed on his initial shot by Garrett Beckwith who got most of Manley's shot, but Manley remained persistent and banged the rebound home to give the Express a 3-2 lead heading into the 3rd period.

At this point through 40 minutes, the feeling was that the game was far from over. Trail at this point was gaining confidence and knew they had a shot heading into the final frame.

Trail pulled even 6 minutes into the third period as Justin Brown's screen shot from the right circle beat Harrison May.

6 minutes later, the Smokies took the lead. Chris Van Dyunhoven pinched at the Trail line and didn't get the puck allowing the Smoke Eaters to break away on a 2 on 1. Nick Sander's shot was stopped, but former Surrey Eagle Darnell Dyck put home the rebound to put Trail in the lead.

Now, the Express were in real danger of falling for a 2nd consecutive game. The Express did manage to tie the game in the final minute with an extra attacker. Brad Reid found the puck lying in the crease and roofed a backhand over Beckwith to tie the game at 4 and send it to overtime.

It was Burnaby's 2nd overtime game of the season. They dropped their home opener 4-3 in overtime to Powell River.

Midway through the 4 on 4 overtime the game was decided, Tye Lewis picked up the puck in his own zone, skated into the Express zone and fired a laser of a wrist shot over the glove of Harrison May to give Trail just their 2nd win of the season.

Burnaby didn't play their best game on this night. There were numerous players who struggled vs. the Smoke Eaters.

Dylan Herold's absence due to suspension showed how valuable the captain is to this Express team. Alex Petan and Luke Challier both spent time playing in Herold's spot along side Garrick Perry and Matt Ius and Herold's absence limited the effectiveness of the line.

This was the game that on paper appeared to the the most likely for a Burnaby win, but let a great opportunity slip through their hands.


Burnaby 34
Trail 39


Burnaby 1/4
Trail 1/5

3 stars:

3. Justin Brown - Scored the game tying goal in the third period and added an assist.

2. Matt Ius - 1 goal and 2 assists in a losing cause for the Express.

1. Tye Lewis - Set up the opening goal of the game by Paul Mailey and scored the game winning goal in overtime.

The final stop of the weekend trip through the interior was going to be the toughest test of them all. The Express paid a visit to the defending RBC Cup Champion Vernon Vipers.

Both teams were playing their third game in 3 nights. And for Vernon, they would be a little testy after suffering their first loss in 19 games dating back to last seasons playoffs the night before vs. Penticton by a score of 2-0.

Penticton used a passive trap and patient game and scored on the few chances they had as they were able to manage only 15 shots. The Express would need to play a similar type game on this day if they wanted to put themselves in a position to try and knock off the Vipers.

The strategy was working out well for Burnaby in the opening period. The game was scoreless after 20 minutes. Both teams had their chances. Alex Petan had 2 quality chances in the opening period.

Both teams also rang shots off the crossbar. Matt Ius did so late in the period for Burnaby and Adam Thompson did the same for Vernon a few minutes later.

Shots were 11-4 in favour of Vernon after the opening 20 minutes.

The Express were shorthanded early in the 2nd period with Rich Manley being called for boarding. The Express killed off the penalty and caught a break when the penalty had expired, the Vipers played the puck back to the Burnaby blueline, but the pass split the Viper defenceman and came right to Manley coming out of the penalty box and he went in on the breakaway and deked past Graeme Gordon to give the Express a 1-0 lead.

The goal for Manley extended his point streak. He has a point in all 9 Express games this season.
The Express came close to grabbing a 2-0 lead. Brad Reid had a glorious chance in front of the Vernon net, Reid deked to the backhand and appeared to have Gordon beat, but somehow while lying on his stomach, Gordon lifted his right leg to rob the Express forward. It was one of the most spectacular saves i've ever seen in the BCHL.

Burnaby continued their disciplined defensive game throughout the 2nd period. Vernon finally broke through in the final minute of the period as Dan Nycholat from the left point put the puck towards the goal and Dylan Walchuk at the side of the net tipped the puck into the open side to tie the game with a powerplay goal at 19:51.

Not a bad spot to be in for Burnaby all even up with the Vipers through 2 periods of play.

That set up what would turn out to be a wild third period.

Vernon took the lead for the first time as a shot from the left side was stopped by Harrison May, the rebound was lying in the goal crease for what seemed like an eternity and finally Mike Collins poked it home to give Vernon their first lead of the game.

Now the Express were in tough as Vernon is a very difficult team to play against once they have the lead. They're very good at shutting the game down.

Moments after Collins' tally, Luke Challier was called for boarding and the Express needed their biggest penalty kill of the game.

During the powerplay came one of the first wild moments of the third period, Adam Thompson drilled a one timer from the point off the glass behind Harrison May and shattering it forcing a lengthy delay.

The maintenance crew then went to work replacing the glass and after a few minutes it appeared they completed their job and the game would resume. Nope. Only after it was installed, the crew realized they replaced the shattered glass with a piece of glass that was a few inches too short and needed to replace the new glass with a piece that was the correct height. Once, the crew installed a proper piece of glass, the zamboni resurfaced the ice to make sure no small pieces of glass were lying on the ice.

The delay lasted approximately 25-30 minutes.

Once the game resumed, the craziness continued, the Express killed off the penalty to Challier and moments later Challier tied the game. Konrad Sander's shot from the left wing rang off the post and the rebound bounced out to the circle then off Challier and into the net to pull the Express even at 10:42.

The game didn't remained tied for long thanks to another wild goal. 1:01 later the Vipers restored their lead off a scramble in front of Harrison May and in that scramble Jonathan Milhouse poked it home.

Now that Vernon had the lead, they weren't going to give it up. At 5 on 5 the Vipers deployed their trap and really limited Burnaby's chances giving them trouble coming out of their own zone.

The Express did have a pair of powerplays to attempt to pull even. Brad Reid had another great chance on the first powerplay and was again robbed from the high slot by Gordon. That would turn out to be the Express best chance to tie the game.

Vernon rounded out the scoring in the final minute with the Express on one last powerplay. Mike Collins intercepted a d to d pass at the blueline and sent the puck down the ice to seal the win for Vernon with the empty net goal.

Final score:

Vernon 4 Burnaby 2.

Sure the loss for Burnaby was their third straight on this trip. But the Express can come away from the loss to the Vipers with the knowledge that they can play with the league's elite. Sure it wasn't pretty, but the Express did an excellent job staying to the defensive game plan allowing them to have a chance to win. If it were not for Graeme Gordon robbing Brad Reid twice in the game, the Express would have at least taken the Vipers to overtime.

Burnaby's defensive play kept Vernon to the perimeter of the ice for the most part limiting their quality scoring chances.


Burnaby 20
Vernon 34


Burnaby 0/3
Vernon 1/4

3 stars:

3. Rich Manley - Opened the scoring with a breakaway goal in the 2nd period.

2. Jonathan Milhouse - Scored the game winning goal and added an assist for the Vipers.

1. Mike Collins - 2 goals and 1 assist for the victorious Vipers.

Up next:

The Express head back on the road for another 3 games this coming weekend in Nanaimo, Victoria and Powell River.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


The first regulation loss of the season for the Express came in the first game of the month of October.

The Express fell 7-2 Friday night in Salmon Arm.

Salmon Arm got Burnaby behind the 8 ball early. With the game less than than 2 minutes old, Matt Ius got into a fight, that was followed at the same time with Dylan Herold getting into a fight with Matt Puddifant.

The 2nd fight resulted in an automatic game misconduct for the Express captain as he was ejected at 1:33. Salmon Arm wounded up getting a 7 minute powerplay out of it, as Herold was also given an instigator penalty.

Salmon Arm took full advantage of the opportunity scoring 3 times on the 7 minute man advantage. Mark Zengerle helped set up Travis Statchuk for the game's opening goal. That would just be the start of the Zengerle show on this night.

Zengerle then added a pair of goals on that powerplay to put the Express in an early 3-0 hole.

For clarification purposes, the reason the why Silverbacks were able to have the full 7 minute man advantage is because the 5 minute major for fighting was the first penalty in effect, and if Salmon Arm scored in the final 2 minutes of the advantage, the powerplay would have continued. So in essence, the Silverbacks were allowed to score as many goals as they could in those 7 minutes.

Once the Herold penalty had been killed off, Burnaby was finally given a chance to get back into the game. And once it got to 5 on 5, the Express did start to take over.

Salmon Arm took their 3 goal lead into the 2nd period, but the Express were pressing to get back into the game.

And despite the early shot advantage for Salmon Arm due to the extended powerplay, Salmon Arm had just a 16-12 advantage in shots due to Burnaby starting to turn the game once they got back to even strength.

Rich Manley used his size and strength to protect the puck and cut in on Silverbacks goaltender Tony Ierfino who turned him aside.

The Express finally got on the board as Luke Challier put a perfect pass on the tape of Matt Ius who blasted home the feed to cut the deficit to 3-1.

By this point, the Express penalty killing had settled down killing off a few more penalties allowing them to continue to attempt the comeback.

In the final minute of the 2nd period, the Express pulled back within one, Chris Van Dyunhoven sent the puck cross ice to Brad Reid at the goal line who put it on the tape of Rich Manley who had a tap in for his 5th of the season.

The goal for Manley extended his point streak to 7 games. Manley has a point in every Express game this season.

The 2nd period favoured Burnaby and that was refelected with 21 shots in the middle frame sent the way of Tony Ierfino.

The most encouraging part of the Express play through 40 minutes was their ability to not get rattled and execute the game plan in an attempt to battle back. It could have been easy to get frustrated with the way things were developing and let the game slip away. But the Express stuck with it and kept their resolve allowing them the opportunity to try and even it up.

Burnaby began the third period on a powerplay, but weren't able to capatilize,

Moments later came the games turning point, Rich Manley hit Jon Puskar with a stretch pass giving him a breakaway. Puskar however was turned aside by Ierfino keeping the Silverbacks up by a goal.

That chance would prove to be Burnaby's best chance to complete the comeback.

Moments later, Corey Chakeen took a cross ice pass and blasted home a one timer past Harrison May to restore the 2 goal Silverback advantage. Chakeen added his 2nd of the period midway through the period and the game was all but decided at this point. Zengerle set up both goals by Chakeen.

Zenegerle picked up his 6th point of the game sending the puck to the goalline to David Kilip who slid one past May to give Salmon Arm a 6-2 lead. It was the 4th powerplay goal of the game for the Silverbacks.

Salmon Arm rounded up the scoring as Devon Gannon hit the empty net with just over 2 minutes left in the third period. It was a shorthanded goal for Gannon as coach Dave Mclellan pulled Harrison May to give the Express a 6 on 4 advantage.

Final score: Silverbacks 7 Express 2.


Burnaby - 41
Salmon Arm - 40

3 stars:

3. Travis Statchuk - Scored Salmon Arm's first goal of the game and also added 2 assists.

2. Mark Zengerle - Was an offensive wizard on this night for the Silverbacks with 6 points. 2 goals and 4 assists..

1. Tony Ierfino - Stopped 39 of 41 shots in the Sliverback crease. Saved his best for the third period stopping Jon Puskar on a breakaway to keep Salmon Arm in the lead.

The lopsided score doesn't truly indicate who the better team was in the game. There were times where Burnaby was dominating. Especially after the Herold penalty had expired and up until Puskar was stopped on the breakaway in the third period. The game would have been a much different story for the Express if Puskar scores on his third period breakaway. Ierfino's play on this night was a big reason why the Exprress weren't able to complete the comeback.

The penalty to Herold obviously had a significant impact on the game and the Express as a group. Strategicially, they could truely establish their game and roll all 4 lines with the Express being forced to play come from behind hockey all night.

There are postives that this team can take out of this game, especially how they controlled the play after Herold penalty had expired and up until Puskar's breakaway early in the thrid period.

The road trip continues Saturday night in Trail. The Express have to put Friday's outcome behind them and focus on playing well in Trail. Much like how they put the bad start Friday behind them and worked on getting back into the game.

Burnaby's record now sits at 5-1-0-1 this season. 2 years ago when the Express last visited Salmon Arm the fortunes were reversed. In 07-08, the Express walked into Salmon Arm and handed the Silverbacks their first regulation loss of the season. Salmon Arm gets a little pay back in 09 handing the Express their first regulation loss of this season.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Members of the New York Rangers appeared on David Letterman Wednesday night to present the top 10 list. It's pretty entertaining.

Take a look...