Saturday, January 30, 2010


The script for Friday's game for the Express vs. Surrey was the same as Wednesday's 5-2 home ice loss at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

Surrey cruised to a 5-1 win over the Express in the second of three straight games between the two clubs.

Wednesday, Surrey's best players were their best players. Their top line of Richard Vanderhoek, Adam Basford and Andrew Wallace combined for 3 goals, 6 asssists for 9 points.

That line was able to control the puck in the Express zone at will Friday night. As a result, they had another big night combining for 2 goals, 4 assists for 6 points.

This week that trio has lit up the Express for 5 goals, 10 assists for 15 points.

Tyler Morley scored two of the easiest goals he'll ever score in his career in the second period.

Vinny Lessard didn't have to be overly busy, but he quietly stopped 27 of 28 Express shots for his 6th straight win over the Express this season.

In his last 6 outings vs. the Express, Lessard is 6-0 with a 1.69 GAA and a save percentage of 94.59%.

The loss was the Express 4th straight at the South Surrey Arena this season. They've been outscored 22-7 in those losses giving up least 5 goals in every game.

In the last 2 seasons, the SSA has been a house of horrors for the Express posting just a 2-9 record. Losing 9 of their last 10 visits.

Burnaby has now lost 8 straight road games, and has just a 1-20-0-2 mark on the road since the end of September.

The Express also lost ground in the playoff race now sitting 6 points back of the Cowichan Valley Capitals after they defeated Prince George Friday night 4-2.

Burnaby's playoff hopes now might be all but officially dashed with just 8 games remaining in the season. That might be too deep of a hole to dig themselves out of with such little time left in the season.

The Express and Eagles will wrap up their 3 game head to head set Saturday night at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


The Burnaby Express reverted to their sloppy ways in a 5-2 home ice loss to the Surrey Eagles in the first of 3 straight games vs. their Lower Mainland counterparts.

The opening minutes of the hockey game were a sign of things to come for a full 60 minutes as the Express coughed up the puck resulting in Eagles chances.

Surrey opening the scoring on a goal by Grant Toulmin blasting home a shot from the high slot.

Burnaby pulled even on the powerplay with Alex Petan banging home the rebound of a Chris Van Duynhoven shot.

An Express turnover at the Surrey blueline led to the Eagles taking the lead to the dressing room after 1 period. Adam Basford picked off a pass and scored on the breakaway in the final minute of the 1st period.

Surrey took the 2-1 lead to the dressing room. But it would have been a larger advantage for the Eagles were it not for Harrison May who came up with a number of clutch stops.

It was much of the same for the Express in the second period. May stopped Grant Toulmin on a breakaway in the opening two minutes of the 2nd period to keep the Express down by just a goal for the time being at least.

Andrew Wallace scored less than 5 minutes into the second whacking home a rebound to give Surrey a 3-1 lead with a powerplay goal.

Burnaby had a reply minutes later with a powerplay goal of their own with Zac Ashdown blasting home the rebound of a Garrick Perry shot for his 5th of the season.

Then with Rich Manley sitting in the box for cross checking, the Eagles re-stored their two goal lead.

Andrew Wallace put a perfect pass on Bradley McGowan's who scored coming in backdoor from the blue line.

Again, it could have been worse for Burnaby were it not for the efforts of Harrison May. His strong play kept the Express from being run out of their own building.

Surrey iced a strong night on the powerplay scoring their 3rd powerplay goal in the third period off the stick of Richard Vanderhoek just 8 seconds into a David Dotan penalty.

Final score:

Eagles 5 Express 2.

The win snapped Surrey's 4 game losing streak. And it was just their 4th win in their last 16 games dating back to December 9th.

Surrey's best players were their best players on this night. Adam Basford 1 goal, 3 assists 4 points. Andrew Wallace 1 goal, 2 assists 3 points, Richard Vanderhoek 1 goal, 1 assist. Vinny Lessard was his usual steady self vs. the Express stopping 34 of 36 Express shots.

Burnaby is now 2-3 under the guidance of Darcy Rota as Head Coach. He has preached accountability and discipline and I will be interested to see how his team will respond in the rematch with the Eagles Friday night.

As we all know, "Rome wasn't built in a day".

With the loss, the Express remain 4 points back of the Cowichan Valley Capitals for the 7th and final playoff spot in the Coastal Conference with 9 games remaining in the season.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Here's the highlights from Burnaby's two home ice victories this week. 5-3 Friday vs. Langley. And by the same score over Salmon Arm Sunday afternoon.

Below is the highlights vs. Salmon Arm.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen of Purple Penguin Productions.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


The Burnaby Express were looking for the sweep of their home and home with the Langley Chiefs Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre, but it wasn't meant to be as the home team got their revenge by knocking off the Express 3-1.

Burnaby played hard for the 3rd straight outing, but wasn't rewarded for their hard work.

The Express and Chiefs played a tight checking hard fought battle for the full 60 minutes with out either team giving an inch.

The shots were 34-32 in favour of Burnaby, and the message was to get as many shots sent towards the net as possible, and that's exactly what the Express did all night long.

Burnaby didn't pass up any opportunities to get shots towards Chiefs goaltender Mark Friesen.

The game was scoreless after 20 minutes.

The second period saw the Express generate some quality chances, most notably Konrad Sander had a point blank chance in front of the Langley net, but Friesen made a pair of spectacular saves to deny the former Chief.

Seconds later Langley opened the scoring. The goal came on a broken play, Brandon Thompson's pass from the right boards hit a skate and came right to Colton Beck who fired it over the shoulder of Harrison May for his 33rd goal of the season.

Darcy Rota and the rest of his coaches really tried to have Chris Van Duynhoven on the ice whenever Colton Beck and his line of Mac Roy and Brandon Thompson were on the ice.

On the Beck goal however, Harvey Smyl was able to take advantage of the last change on home ice and get his top sniper and company on the ice when Van Duynhoven was on the bench.

Langley took their lead to the dressing room after 2 periods.

The third period started with a bang for the Express. Rich Manley was having a heated verbal exchange with Colton Hayes who was on the bench for the start of the third period.

Smyl then pulled Ryan Hankin off the ice and allowed Hayes to line up with Manley for the start of the third period and the two dropped the mitts as soon as the puck was dropped.

Manley won the fight by getting a number of shots in that saw Hayes go down to the ice.

Burnaby used the energy from the fight to generate the momentum that led to the game tying goal in the opening minute of the third period.

Simon Denis led the Express rush from his own zone, and carried the puck into the Chiefs end of the ice, fired off a shot that Friesen stopped, but the rebound bounced in off Dylan Herold who was going hard to the net.

The game didn't stay tied for long however. With Malcom McKninney sitting in the penalty box for tripping, the Chiefs re-stored their lead on the powerplay.

Brandon Thompson and Josh Meyers played give and go in the Express zone. Myers took the puck behind the Burnaby net and got the puck past Harrison May on the wrap around.

The goal came just 1:54 after Herold's game tying tally.

Then with 6:3O remaining in the third period, A Rich Manley roughing penalty proved to be costly.

Meyers scored his second powerplay goal of the period banging home a rebound. Colton Beck took his time then put the puck to the net, Harrison May stopped the re-direction by Thompson but the rebound came right to Myers who buried it.

That goal took the wind out of the sails of the Express and the Chiefs held on for the win.

Nothing to nit pick about this Express performance. They played hard all game long. Rolled all 4 lines who all had their moments of strong play.

Harrison May did take the loss, but played very steady in the Express crease.

Burnaby did lose ground in their pursuit of a playoff spot as Cowichan Valley did pick up a point in their 1-0 OT loss to Victoria. The Express are now 4 points back of Cowichan Valley for the 7th and final playoff spot in the Coastal Conference.

Both Burnaby and Cowichan have 11 games left in their season.

The Express are back in action Sunday afternoon when they host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Here's the highlights from Burnaby's hard fought 1-0 loss to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Saturday night.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen and Purple Penguin Productions.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


The result may have been the same, but the effort was much better for the Express in a 1-0 set back to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

It's been a difficult 24 hours for the Express following the dismissal of Dave Mclellan as Head Coach following the 8-2 loss to the Surrey Eagles Friday night.

Heading into Saturday's game, the prospects for a better outcome the next night on paper didn't look promising with the Coastal Conference leading Bulldogs and their 12 game winning streak rolling into the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

The only thing Darcy Rota wanted to see in his first game behind the Express bench as Head Coach was an effort put forth that everyone that can be proud of.

That's exactly what he got, the Express played a disciplined hard working game for a full 60 minutes that went down to the wire and allowed the Express to remain within striking distance of the Bulldogs.

Alberni Valley scored the games only goal late in the first period with Sam Mitchell scoring a power play goal that pin balled past Harrison May.

The game wasn't the most entertaining to watch, the Express slowed the pace down. And the chances against were few and far between.

Alberni Valley's top line of Mitch McMillan (47 goals), his brother Mark and David Dziurzynski was kept in check most of the night and were limited to very few high quality scoring chances.

That strong play kept the Express close all night.

Scott Lewan posted the shutout for the Bulldogs stopping all 26 shots sent his way.

The win for the Bulldogs extended their winning streak to 13 games.

Burnaby still remains 3 points back of the Cowichan Valley Capitals for the 7th and final playoff spot in the Coastal Conference. Burnaby has 13 games left in the season.

Cowichan Valley will play host to the Vernon Vipers Sunday night.

The Express are back in action with a home and home with Langley starting Friday at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.


Here's the video highlights from Surrey's 8-2 home ice win over Burnaby Friday night.

Colin Tiggelaar and Dave Ennis with the call.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen and Purple Penguin Productions.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Following Burnaby's 8-2 loss to the Surrey Eagles Friday night, the Express relieved Head Coach Dave Mclellan of his duties.

Express President and GM Darcy Rota will take over as Express Head Coach for the remainder of the season.

Mclellan joined the Express prior to the 05-06 season and worked 2 seasons as an assistant coach under Rick Lanz and helped lead the Express to the Royal Bank Cup in 2006. Mclellan then took over the position of Head Coach when Rick left for Victoria following the 06-07 season.

Dave's first season behind the bench the Express posted a record of 33-24-0-3 good enough for 4th place in the Coastal Conference.

Last season the Express saw their record fall to 18-35-1-6 and a last place finish in the Mainland division and out of the playoffs.

This season got off to a fast start with the Express posting a 5-0-0-1 record in the month of September. Then the bottom fell out, and the Express have posted a 8-28-0-4 record since.

I know this wasn't a easy decision for the Express organization to make.

I would personally like to take this opportunity to thank Dave for his contributions to this organization. I consider him a friend first and a colleague second. He treated me first class during his 4 plus seasons with the Express.

It hasn't been easy for both of us to do interviews when things haven't gone well on the ice for the hockey club. Dave has been first class never declining an interview.

He taught me a lot about the game and was always open to listening and answering my questions even when I didn't have a microphone in my hand.

Best of luck to you Dave in your future endeavaurs.

Click below to hear Darcy Rota on the coaching change.

Click below to hear from Dylan Herold, Simon Denis, Chris Van Duynhoven & Garrick Perry on the coaching change.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


The BCHL gave the Express the thumbs up to re-locate back to Coquitlam. The board of governors voted 17-0 unanimously in favor of the Express application for re-location from Burnaby to Coquitlam for the 10-11 season.

There is only one more hurdle to clear at this point, and that is for a lease agreement to be reached to between the Express and the City of Coquitlam for use of the renovated Coquitlam Sports Centre.

Click below to hear Express President & GM Darcy Rota on the approval.

Here's the press release on this topic from the BCHL.

The British Columbia Hockey League Board of Governors have unanimously approved the relocation application of the Burnaby Express franchise to the City of Coquitlam for the 2010/11 season. The decision was made at the league’s Semi- Annual Governors meeting held in Nanaimo, B.C. on Wednesday.

"We’re thrilled to be returning to Coquitlam and the newly renovated Sports Centre, where we enjoyed tremendous success in our first four years of our franchise," Express Governor Darcy Rota says.

"The City of Coquitlam staff, Mayor Richard Stewart, the Coquitlam Minor Hockey Association and the Coquitlam Adanacs Senior A Lacrosse Club, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce and local hockey fans have all been very welcoming and enthusiastic about our potential return. Our Express ownership group is excited about the opportunities for future success in Coquitlam."

The finishing touches on the move should take place in the coming weeks as a lease is finalized between the Express ownership and the City of Coquitlam.

The Express relocated to Burnaby at the beginning of the 2005/06 season. Despite winning a National Championship in 2006 and developing future first round NHL draft pick Kyle Turris for two seasons, the franchise found it increasingly difficult to operate in Burnaby because of dwindling crowds and limited access to adjacent parking lots due to a dredging project at Burnaby Lake that began in August of 2009.

"For our five seasons in Burnaby, our ownership, staff, players and volunteers have all worked very hard to ensure a successful relationship with the City of Burnaby and community while playing at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre," says Rota. "However, it became increasingly clear that a move was in the best interests for the team’s future. We would like to thank all our fans in Burnaby and we hope that they will continue to support us in the coming seasons in Coquitlam."

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Here's the highlights of Burnaby's 6-0 win over Prince George Friday night.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen and Purple Penguin Productions.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


The Burnaby Express put together their most complete defensive effort of the season on Friday night, shutting down the Prince George Spruce Kings by a 6-0 score at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

Burnaby opened the scoring early in regulation, as Zac Ashdown scored unassisted 2:24 into a first period that saw Burnaby outshoot their visitors by a 19-8 margin. Garrick Perry and Brodie Jamieson extended the lead to three in the second frame, and then piled on for a trio of goals in the third period to wrap up a lopsided result.

Jamieson scored twice on the night, while Perry, Ashdown and Malcolm McKinney each posted a goal and two assists. Simon Denis added the final Express goal on a late power-play.

Nick Enegren posted his first BCHL shutout with a 27-save performance. His teammates, meanwhile, pounded 47 shots at the Prince George tandem of Steve Papciak and Andrew Walsh.

Burnaby remains 2 points back of the Capitals for the 7th and final playoff spot in the Coastal Conference after the Caps held on to defeat Nanaimo 3-2 Friday.

The Express head to Vancouver Island for an encounter with the Victoria Grizzlies Saturday, then travel to Powell River Sunday afternoon.

Friday, January 1, 2010


While in Timmins, the Olympic torch passed through the town. Colin Tiggelaar and I stepped out into the bitter cold to catch a view of it.

Here's the video I took as it passed by.

If you listen in the background, you can hear Colin and I talking with a gentleman who played with Eagles head coach Shane Kuss in the 90s.


Here's the final edition of Express highlights for 2009 a 5-4 OT win over the Surrey Eagles.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen and Purple Penguin Productions.


Here's the highlights from Langley's 7-5 win over the Express Tuesday night.

Gord Doerkson is on the call while i'm away working at the World Under 17 Challenge in Timmins Ontario.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen and Purple Penguin Productions.