Friday, September 30, 2011


Today the BCHL announced the draft order for it's first Affiliate Player Draft coming up in October.

The Express will pick 5th based on last years standings in reverse order.

See the full release below.

n Monday, Oct. 3, BCHL governor and league officials will convene in Richmond for the first governors meetings of the new season.

Amongst other things, an affiliate draft will be held which will give teams the chance to select 15-year-old players for the purpose of affiliating them for the season and introduce them to their team culture and to Junior A hockey. The players rights will not be retained at the end of the season.

"It will give each team a season to build a relationship with the young player," said BCHL executive director Dave Sales. "Perhaps more importantly for the league as a whole, even if a player doesn't stay with the team that drafted them, they may sign with another BCHL team because of their exposure to the league and we will have been successful as a group in keeping players versus them choosing other options."

The idea for the affiliate draft was approved by governors after the end of last season from a motion by the the steering committe of the board of directors. As ever, the BCHL is exploring new ideas as a way of staying relevant to developing hockey players and as a way of setting the pace for Junior A hockey in Canada.

Teams will have the option of selecting a player in each of the two rounds but are not required to do so because the draft is optional. Teams select based on reverse order of finish in the 2010-11 standings. The draft order is as follows:

1. Prince George
2. Chilliwack
3. Cowichan Valley
4. Merritt
5. Coquitlam
6. Alberni Valley
7. Nanaimo
8. Trail
9. Victoria
10. Langley
11. Westside
12. Surrey
13. Salmon Arm
14. Penticton
15. Vernon
16. Powell River

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Wednesday morning a number of the Express players took part in the raise a reader day.

They were at Lougheed Skytrain station handing out newspapers to people on their morning commute.

Check out the video...

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Here's the highlights of the Express' home opener Friday vs. the Penticton Vees.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen.

Friday, September 23, 2011


The BCHL opened for business for its 50th season Friday night. In Coquitlam the Vees spoiled the home opener for the Express winning 5-2.

The Vees won it in a game in which they never trailed.

It was a back and forth affair especially in the opening 20 minutes that saw 4 goals traded between the teams.

Travis St. Denis formerly of Trail and acquired from Cowichan Valley in the off-season opened the scoring midway through the first period snapping a shot past Khaleed Devji.

The Express powerplay pulled them even shortly there after as Alex Kerfoot showed his great vison and hockey sense as he cruised down the left boards and waited then fired a perfect pass on the tape of John Siemer for his first BCHL goal. Mitch Nardi drew the second assist. For Siemer, Kerfoot and Nardi it was their first BCHL points.

The game didn't stay tied for long as Joey Benik's point shot hit Mike Moran at the side of the Express net and bounced in.

Coquitlam at times in the latter portion of the first period showed some good physicality with some big hits thrown by Evan Campbell and Ben Murphy.

Penticton's response to the Express physical presence got them into trouble late in the period. With a delayed penalty in effect, Beau Beaulieu was called for checking from behind and given a game misconduct. That resulted in 4 minutes of power play time for the Express.

The Express again struck with the man advantage. Again, the goal looked like a carbon copy of their first this time with Clinton Atkinson showing patience going down the left wall and firing a perfect pass on the tape of Captain Alex Petan who tapped it past Micheal Gartieg to even the game at 2 after one period.

The Vees started the second period by starting to take control of the game.

Troy Stetcher gave the Vees their third lead of the game when his point shot deflected off Steven Layani and got past Devji.

Alex Kerfoot thought he had a tap in for his first BCHL goal but Garrett Hedrickson for Penticton blocked the shot with his stick and bailed out his goaltender.

The Express came out strong to open the third period with a number of good shifts controlling the puck in the Vees zone. The vibe at that point in time in the game was that the Express would be rewarded for their hard work with the equalizing goal.

It wasn't meant to be however as Joey Benik scored on his own rebound to give the Vees a two goal lead against the flow of play. Then just 40 seconds later the Vees added some insurance as Steven Fogarty roofed the puck over the glove over Khaleed Devji. Those goals took the wind out of the sails of the Express and killed all the momentum they were gaining in the opening minutes of the period before the Vees broke it open.

Special teams was a strong aspect for the Express on this night. They went 2 for 3 on the powerplay. And were a perfect 6 for 6 killing penalties.

The Vees outshot the Express on this night 36-23.

Mike Moran led the Vees attack with 1 goal and 2 assists. While Joey Benik who is wearing the captain's C while Logan Johnston serves his 20 game suspension had 1 goal and 1 assist.

Coquitlam now heads to Alberni Valley for their second game of the season vs. the Bulldogs Saturday. They return home in a week for another game vs. an Interior conference foe their expansion cousins from 2001 the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Doing a little research online of Express Forward John Siemer and I came across a youtube video featuring John on a USHL Radio show talking about a 4 goal and 7 point performance he had last season with Waterloo.

Check it out...


Prior to the season opening tomorrow vs. the Vees, I had a chance to catch up with Head Coach Jon Calvano to discuss his thoughts on his decision to name Alex Petan captain along with Matt Hutchinson, John Siemer and Clinton Atkinson as alternates. I also got the coach's thoughts on the new season about to get under way.

Click on the link below to download the interview with Jon Calvano.

Plus I also spoke with new captain Alex Petan to get his thoughts on getting the "C" and the new season.

Click on the link below to download the interview.


Former Express Mark Dekanich of the Columbus Blue Jackets will miss the start of the season due to a high ankle sprain. He suffered the injury in the Jackets pre-season game Tuesday vs. the Winnipeg Jets.

The injury is expected to sideline him for 4 weeks. Dekanich signed a 1 year 1 way deal with Columbus back on July 2nd. This season he is expected to backup Steve Mason in Columbus. He has appeared in just one NHL game in his career with the Nashville Predators. The Preds selected Dekanich 146th overall in the 2006 NHL Draft out of Colgate University.

He played two seasons with the Express from 2002-04.


Today I caught up with BCHL Commissioner John Grisdale to discuss the 20 game suspension handed to Logan Johnston of the Vees. Under normal circumstances, the interview would be available as an embedded player and you could just click play and listen to the interview.
To hear this interview you will have to download it. To do so, you will have to go to the Logan Johnston suspension story below and click on the mediafire link in the middle of the story to download it and take a listen. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Third year forward Alex Petan has been named the Captain for the Express this season.

He will be supported in the role by two new faces in Clinton Atkinson and John Siemer along with returning veteran Matt Hutchinson as alternates.

Petan 19, has matured into the role with the experience he has gained in his first two seasons in the BCHL. He became a key contributor in the top 6 forwards last season. And it could be argued that he was the Express' best player in the playoffs vs. the Surrey Eagles.

Last season he had 13 goals and 33 points in 51 games. He had 2 goals and 3 points in the 4 playoff games vs. Surrey.

Hutchinson entering 20 year old season will be a key leader on the blueline with steady defensive play. Atkinson was among the top point producing defenceman in the BCHL last season. He is entering his 5th and final season of junior hockey this year.

John Siemer has skated along the top line with Alex Petan this season. He is expected to be one of the top point producers for the Express this season. He split last season in the USHL with Waterloo and the NAHL with Fresno.

Garrick Perry was the Express captain last season.


Big suspension news coming out of the BCHL office Wednesday prior to the season opening Friday as Penticton Vees forward Logan Johnston has been suspended 20 games.

Johnston hit Express forward Cody Michelle breaking his jaw during the exhibition game between the Express and Vees Saturday in Penticton. Johnston was assessed a match penalty on the play.

Last season Johnston received a 4 game suspension for a cross check to Alex Grieve of the Westside Warriors.

Michelle has had surgery to repair the injury and is expected to be out of the Express lineup for a lengthy period of time.

The 20 game suspension for Johnston equates to one third of the Vees 60 game schedule.

Express President and GM Darcy Rota wasn't at all surprised by the league's decision when I caught up with him.

Cody Michelle was acquired from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks as part of the future considerations in a trade back in December 2010 that also saw the Express picking Clinton Atkinson. Brad Reid went the other way in the deal.

The Express and Vees will meet for the third and final time this season (2 exhibition, 1 regular season) in Coquitlam when the BCHL season opens up Friday night.

For a little more on this story and Alex Petan handed the captaincy, check out Assistant Coach Grant Kerr's Behind the Bench feature on the Express website here.

In other Express injury news, 2nd year forward Mitchell Deacon will also be out for a lengthy period of time to start the season as he will have shoulder surgery in the next few days.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


The Coquitlam Express finished the pre-season with a 4-4 record after dropping a 9-6 decision to the Penticton Vees. The squad from the South Okanagan took a pair of pre season games with the Express winning 5-3 in Coquitlam last Friday.

Alex Petan finished a strong pre season by leading the Express attack with a hat trick. Rookie Alex Kerfoot had 1 goal and an assist. For the Vees, Travis St. Denis and Mario Lucia each had 5 points.

Khaleed Devji was on the hook for all 9 goals on 32 shots.

One of the most consistent aspects of the Express game all pre season was their powerplay which scored twice Saturday.

The big story coming out of the game from an Express point of view was losing forward Cody Michelle to a broken jaw in an incident in the third period involving Logan Johnston. For Michelle, it wraps up a pair of spirited games this pre-season vs the Vees. He got into a scrap with Beau Beaulieu in the opening moments of the game in Coquitlam last Friday. Johnston was assesed a match penalty for his role in the incident with Michelle.

Just in case these out of conference clubs aren't sick of each other yet, they will do it for real when the season opens in Coquitlam Friday night. These two teams haven't had this much drama in head to head meetings since they played for the Fred Page cup in 2006 won by the Express by the way in 6 games.

Next stop the regular season. Thank goodness! This pre-season has dragged on long enough.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Former Express Kyle Turris is sitting and waiting while his agent and the Phoenix Coyotes try to hammer out a new contract for the restricted free agent who's looking for a new deal once his entry level contract expired. He is one of the few remaining RFA's still on the market as NHL training camps open this week.

Some surprising words came from Coyotes GM Don Maloney today speaking about the negotiations with the Turris camp.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


It's become an annual tradition in recent years that the Express and the Powell River Kings get together for a pre-season game. They met Sunday afternoon in Gibsons. The Kings came away with a 3-2 come from behind win over the Express.

The Express took a 2-1 lead into the third period, but they got themselves into penalty trouble and the Kings eventually rallied for the win.

Justin Georgeson and John Siemer scored the goals for the Express while Billy McGladrey played between the pipes.

I caught up with Express Head Coach Jon Calvano over the phone following the game.

Click here to listen to Head Coach Jon Calvano.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Not too often do you circle the date on the calendar for a pre-season game. But Friday's affair was a little different.

It was a game the Express were looking to measure themselves up against a team that is consistently one of the BCHL's best in the Penticton Vees. The crew from Penticton came away with a 5-3 win over the Express at the Coquitlam Sports Centre.

The game was scoreless through 20 minutes. The Express opened the scoring at 7:45 of the second period when Mitch Fyffe roofed a loose puck set up by Jason Bird.

Penticton countered three minutes later on the powerplay with a great shot from the goal line by Mario Lucia when he roofed it short side on Khaleed Devji.

Travis St. Denis showed great hustle and determination to set up Logan Johnston to give the Vees a 2-1 lead before the period was done.

Dana Tenenbaum pulled the Express even when his point shot changed directions and found the back of the net at 2:07.

Mike Reily broke the deadlock midway through the third period giving the Vees a 3-2 lead.

Then with the Express on a powerplay, Logan Johnston broke in behind the Express defence, Clinton Atkinson layed a pretty good one handed whack on the Vees attacker and he was awarded a controversial penalty shot. Johnston sniped a perfect shot on the free play beating Khaleed Devji post and in from the stick side. As for the whack that led to the penalty shot, was it a penalty? Yes. Did it warrant a penalty shot? I'm not so sure. *(Note to self, It's pre-season.)

Ben Murphy pulled the Express back within one with just over three minutes remaining but that would be as close as they would come. Joey Benik put the game away for the Vees in the final minute with an empty netter.

The Vees outshot the Express 39-21. Khaleed Devji played the full game and turned aside 34 of the 38 shots he faced. The Express number 1 netminder again looked solid and confident despite the losing effort. He limited the number of second chance opportunites he gave the Vees.

The Express went 0 for 3 on the powerplay while the Vees went 1 for 5. One aspect of the Express penalty killing tonight that stood out was their willingness to sacrifice the body on a regular basis and block shots.

This game also had a pretty good physical element with both sides throwing a number of bone crunching checks.

Express alum Kyle Turris made another appearance at the game tonight and signed plenty of autographs for the fans.


Hockey Canada Friday announced the names of the 60 players invited to participate in the evaluation camp for Team Canada West who will play in the World Junior A Challenge in Langley November 7-13th. The camp will take place starting Sunday and run through September 15th in Canmore Alberta.

Express rookie forward Alex Kerfoot was among the invitees. The BCHL has the highest representation of players with 24 at the camp among the 5 Leagues in Western Canada the BCHL, AJHL, SJHL, MJHL and the SIJHL that will eventually fill out the Team Canada West Roster.

Kyle Turris and Tyler McNeely previously represented the Express at the inaugural World Junior A Challenge in 2006. Brodie Reid represented the Express in 2008. Express GM Darcy Rota was the General Manager for a pair of Team Canada West teams at the event.

Click on the link for the full list of invitees.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Most of the Express players were on the ice this morning following the Labour Day long weekend.

The only ones not in attendance were players who were attending school and goaltenders Khaleed Devji and Billy McGladrey.

Spirits at the rink today were understandably upbeat. The club has posted a 4-1 record in pre-season. Coaches and players like the progress of training camp and into the pre-season to date.

This mornings ice session was pretty relaxed. With most of the emphasis on the little skills that become so important once the games get rolling. Whether it be the forwards working on one timers from the slot or finishing tap ins at the lip of the crease. Or working on roofing the puck in tight from the lip of the crease.

The defenceman were working on getting their shots through to the net from the point. Taking some passes, walking the line then firing a shot to the net. Some players worked in some individual skills they feel need a tweak or two.

It was a good opportunity to catch up with a few bodies at the rink today. You can hear the latest from Head Coach Jon Calvano, Forward Alex Petan who drops a good little nugget at the end of the interview, and defenceman Clinton Atkinson.

Click here to listen to Head Coach Jon Calvano.

Click here to listen to Forward Alex Petan.

Click here to listen to Defenceman Clinton Atkinson.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Chalk up another win for the Express in the pre-season. They picked up their 4th win in 5 games taking a tight 2-1 decision from SFU.

The teams traded goals 1:12 apart midway through the first period with Jon Ceci opening the scoring for SFU. Alex Petan tied the game for the Express at 10:39 on the power play.

From that point on the game settled down to a tight battle for the two squads.

Khaleed Devji played his first full game of the pre-season. He looked to be in fine form turning aside 29 of the 30 shots he faced. Evan Kurylo and former Vernon Viper and RBC cup winning goalie Graeme Gordon shared the game equally for SFU.

The game remained tied at 1 in the third period until Alex Kerfoot found John Siemer going down the right wing and he slid a backhand between the legs of Gordon at 14:43. Alex Petan came within inches of giving the Express some insurance shortly thereafter but his shot at the side of the net hit the post following a slick feed across from Kerfoot.

SFU had thought they pulled even at the 19:00 mark on Tyler Piller's goal. But it was waved off with a Bevin Ollek goaltender interference penalty.

Former Express defenceman David Dotan played for SFU. Other former Express players Mike Krgovich and Todd Fletcher didn't dress for the Clan.

Next up for the Express is the first of two highly anticipated games this pre-season vs. the Penticton Vees next Friday in Coquitlam.


Austin Carroll and Jason Fram are headed to the Western Hockey League.

Carroll has signed with the Victoria Royals and Fram signed with the Portland Winterhawks.

In his first season in the BCHL as a 16 year old last year, the 6'4 205 pound forward had impressive showing in the league most notably towards the end of the season. He played in 42 games scoring 6 times and totaling 11 points. He then went on to play for Team Canada in April at the Region Centre Cup in Podolsk Russia and was a valuable role player.

Jason Fram was expected to be the designated 16 year old for the Express this season. He played last season with the Greater Vancouver Canadians of the BC Major Midget League. Last year he had 3 goals and 19 assists for 22 points in 40 games.

We would like to wish Austin and Jason all the best in the future.