Saturday, November 26, 2011


The Express scored three power play goals and took advantage of a frustrated Langley Rivermen squad to take the second of a weekend home and home 6-3 at the Langley Events Centre.

24 hours earlier the Express fell behind early and got caught up in Langley's 1-3-1 trap.

Giving up the first goal last night allowed Langley to quickly settle into their defensive set up. The Express fortunes were better on this night as Cody Michelle followed up his two goal performance Friday by opening the scoring Saturday.

The lead only lasted 16 seconds as former Express Evan Campbell tied it up poking a puck that snuck through Khaleed Devji's pads.

The game last night tested the resolve of the Express when Langley wanted to stir things up. On this night the Express made Langley pay for any shenanigans by striking on the powerplay.

Brady Shaw put the Express back in the lead as he scored on the powerplay with Jim Kruger sprawling in his crease.

Malcom Mckinney blasted the second powerplay goal of the period for the Express from the left boards to open up a 3-1 lead. The goal was helped by a deft screen by Cody Michelle.

The lead prevented Langley from going into complete lock down mode like they did Friday.

Zac Holstrom showed great determination to set up the 4th Express goal in the second period. He came out of the penalty box and muscled off a Langley defender then fired a great backhand pass to Alex Petan who put it in the gaping net.

Chris Tracy got one back for Langley scoring in the final minute.

Stephen Ryan played as an AP Saturday. He was the was the recipient of a great break out pass by Michelle and Ryan roofed it short side from the left wing.

As it became more and more apparent that the Express would come out of this one victorious, Langley started to lose their composure and tried to take some liberties on the Express.

It just resulted in more powerplays and Brady Shaw scored his second of the game and the third powerplay goal for the Express to put them up 6-2.

Much like Friday, Langley was willing to stir things up after the whistle. This time around the Express did a better job of keeping their emotions in check.

There were a number of times when Express players were slashed away from the play or were shoved to the ice in front of their net.

Aiden Cavallini scored his first BCHL goal to round out the scoring.

Khaleed Devji made 28 saves to pick up the win. The Express have now won 6 straight games on the road.

The win combined with Nanaimo losing in Alberni Valley pulled the Express within two points of 4th place. Plus the Express surpassed Victoria who fell 1-0 to Cowichan Valley.

These two teams will meet for a third straight time again Friday in Langley.


Here's the highlights from Friday's 5-2 win for the Rivermen over the Express.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen.

Friday, November 25, 2011


It wasnt very pretty, but it sure was effective as the Langley Rivermen trapped their way to a 5-2 win over the Express Friday night.

The Rivermen set the tone for the night early by going to a 1-2-2 or 1-3-1 neutral zone set up with at times minimal fore checking pressure.

Their cause was helped when newcomer Aiden Cavallini set up the games first goal just 1:12 in by Austin Plevy on an odd man rush.

With the lead early on the road, it was game on for Langley to try and play the 'perfect road game'. They forced the Express to try and weave their way through the neutral zone and force them into turnovers.

It was effective early and pretty much all night for the visitors.

Langley added to their lead on the powerplay when Mike Tebbutt scored his first of the game at the lip of the crease to give Langley a 2-0 lead.

The goal chased starter Cole Huggins who was pulled in favour of Khaleed Devji. Langley's fast start also saw them jump out to a early 10-1 advantage in shots.

Devji's task was to shut the door the rest of the way to keep the Express within striking distance while trying to figure out Langley's trap. He made a few saves in the second half of the first period and in the second to keep the deficit at just two.

The Express did take some penalties that at times reflected their frustration with how challenging it was to generate offence.

Mike Tebbutt added his second of the game in the final minute of the second period on the powerplay when he had the puck bounce to him at the side of the net following a blast by Richard Coyne from the point off the end glass.

Tebbutt completed his hat-trick in the third when he was able whack a puck under Khaleed Devji.

5 on 5 the Express weren't able to generate much. They got their two goals on the night in the third period off the stick of Cody Michelle who scored his first two goals of the season. Those tallies had to be somewhat rewarding considering what he's been through this season after having his jaw broken in the pre-season.

Mario Puskarich sealed the game for Langley into an empty net.

The two teams will do it all over again Saturday night in the re-match at the Langley Events Centre.


As part of the BCHL's 5oth anniversary celebration this weekend, the league announced it's top 50 players of all time Friday following an online vote by fans.

Fans were able to vote for the top ten players in each of the past 5 decades. Express alum and current Phoenix Coyote Kyle Turris was among the top players to make the list.

It's hard to ignore his contributions in the BCHL when Turris played his two seasons with the Express from 2005-07.

In his rookie season as a 16 year old, he was the Coastal Conference rookie of the year by scoring 36 goals and 36 assists for 72 points. In the playoffs he helped lead the Express to their first Fred Page Cup BCHL championship. Turris' dominance really started to take over once the Express advanced to the Doyle Cup vs. the Fort McMurray Oil Barons where the Express won the series in 6 games advancing to their first RBC.

On the national stage, Turris was magical. He scored the dramatic tying goal in the semi final vs. Fort William with just 11 seconds remaining in the third period. Then in the final, Turris was unstoppable. He scored a hat-trick and added an assist as the Express played their best game in the RBC defeating the Yorkton Terriers 8-2.

Turris finished the RBC with 7 goals and 13 points in 6 games and was named tournament MVP.

The next season all eyes were on the New Westminister native. In his draft year he didn't dissapoint with all the hype surrounding him. He ripped up the league scoring 66 goals and 121 points in 53 games. Perhaps it was a little prophetic that Kyle Turris scored his 50th goal that season in 39 games. If that accomplishment sounds familiar, it was also done by some guy named Wayne Gretzky with the Oilers many moons ago.

Following the season, Turris was named the top player in Canadian Junior A hockey and was the number 1 ranked prospect heading into the 2007 NHL draft. At the draft, it was Wayne Gretzky who made the call as the Phoenix Coyotes drafted Turris 3rd overall. It was a historic moment for the BCHL as it was the highest a player was ever selected directly out of the BCHL.

In his two seasons with the Express, Kyle Turris scored 102 goals and 193 points in 110 games.

To see the full list of the top 50 players click on the link below.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Here's a good feature from the Colorado Avalanche website on getting to know former Express Captain David Jones.

Monday, 11.21.2011 / 5:27 PM / News By Ron Knabenbauer Even though David Jones is the lowest player drafted in Avalanche franchise history to make it to the NHL (ninth round, 288th overall), it has not stopped him from playing an important role in the Colorado offense the past five seasons.

The British Columbia native has 54 goals and 92 points in his time with Colorado, including seven goals and five assists (12 points) in 21 games this season.

Jones talked with us after Monday’s practice at Pepsi Center about married life, his college playing days and what he likes to do off the ice.

How is it practicing at Pepsi Center on a non-game day?“I like it. It is a lot closer to where I live so it is nice just to have a 10 minute commute instead of a 15-20 minute commute. Hopefully it helps us turn things around.”

You just got married this past summer, how has married life been?“It is great. We’ve been together for a long time so I can’t say it is a whole lot different. It was great this summer to get all of the friends and family together all in one spot. It was a great day and a great weekend for everyone.”

How had playing three years of college hockey at Dartmouth College helped you in the NHL?“It was huge for me because I developed pretty late. I didn’t grow when I was 15, 16 like a lot of these guys who played major juniors so it gave me an extra three years to develop. When I was 22, I made the jump to here and I think it was those three years that really helped me develop as a player and as a person.”

Ryan O’Byrne played at Cornell University, do you remember playing him in college?“Yeah we have played against each other for a long time. He grew up in Vancouver Island so we played against each other in minor hockey league tournaments. There is actually a funny story, it was in Atom or Peewee and there was a shootout in one of these tournaments and they picked one guy from each team and the winner got a pizza lunch for the whole team. There was like 50 teams so 50 guys shooting and it was just me and him left in the final two. He scored and I didn’t so I’m never hearing that one down. We’ve played against each other our whole lives, juniors and then college so it is cool that we both ended up here and it’s been great getting to know him more and seeing him around the rink all the time.”

You got your first two fighting major penalties of your NHL career this season, what were those experiences like?“It was definitely something different. Going to college you don’t have the opportunity because you are wearing a facemask. I fought a little bit in juniors, but it was definitely not something that I built my game around. Sometimes it just happens. The first one (Nov. 10 vs. Steve Staios, New York Islanders), their guy threw one of our guys into the back of the net and it is something that you have to show up and stick up for teammates no matter if you are a fighter or not. In the second one (Nov. 17 vs. Justin Falk, Minnesota), I think I hit a guy pretty good and he kind of took exception to it. You just have to stand in there and show up. That is the whole point about it.”

David is among a handful of Avalanche players participating in "Movember" to help raise awareness for men's health, specifically prostate cancer.

What kind of response have you received from your Movember moustache?“I don’t think my wife is too happy about it, but it is for a good cause so it is the least I could do – just not shave the top lip there.”

What do you like to do outside the rink to help you relax?“The basic stuff, go see movies and just get my mind off of hockey the best I can. I know a lot of guys watch a lot of hockey and watch a lot of sports when they are away from the rink. I’m not one of those guys. I like to separate the two and when I have the day off I like to relax. I have a couple of dogs that I’ll take for a walk or go out to lunch with my wife. I like to get my mind off of hockey when I have a chance.”

Do you have any hobbies?“I bought a guitar last year and I have been kind of working at that. I don’t have the skill like (Matt) Duchene or any of those guys, but I’m working on it. I watch a lot of T.V. shows and read quite a bit.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


The Kyle Turris contract stalemate has come to an end. He has come to terms on a new two year contract with the Phoenix Coyotes worth 2.8 million.

He will earn 1.2 million in the first year and 1.6 in the second. Turris didn't report to training camp and held out while awaiting to get a new deal done. He would have been ineligible to play in the NHL this season if he didn't get a new contract signed by December 1st as per the NHL's Collective Bargaining Agreement rules.

Back in October, the Turris camp had requested a trade out of Phoenix.

Before re-joining the Coyotes, Turris will report to their AHL affiliate in Portland to practice and get into game shape pending he passes a physical which shouldn't be a problem.

Last season in 65 games with the Coyotes, Turris scored 11 goals and 25 points, and had an even plus minus rating. In the playoffs he had 1 goal and 3 points in 4 games.

In 131 career NHL games, Turris has 19 goals and 46 points.

The New Westminister native played two seasons with the Express from 2005-07. He ripped up the league in those two years to the tune of 102 goals and 193 points in 110 games. He helped the Express win the 2006 Royal Bank Cup, and was the highest player drafted directly out of the BCHL in 2007 going third overall.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Coquitlam Express netminder Cole Huggins has been named the British Columbia Hockey League's Player of the Week for the week ending Nov. 20, the league announced Monday.

Huggins led the Express to a trio of wins on the road and stopped 137 of 141 shots in the process. He began with a win in relief over the Powell River Kings where he was 1st Star and followed that up with a 36-save shutout performance against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs taking 3rd Star. He then stopped 39 of 42 shots against the Nanaimo Clippers to close out the week.

The Englewood, Colorado native is now 5-0 on the season and carries a 1.86 goals-against average to go along with a .952 save percentage.

Honourable mentions this week go to Penticton Vees forward Steven Fogarty (four games, five goals, seven assists, 1st Star, 2nd Star), Nanaimo Clippers goalie Billy Faust (two games, two wins, 0.50 GAA, .985 sv%, 1st Star), Langley Rivermen forward Darnell Dyck (two games, two goals, four assists, 1st Star), Surrey Eagles goalie Andrew Hunt (two games, two wins, 1.50 GAA, .959 sv%) and Prince George Spruce Kings goalie Kirk Thompson (three games, three wins, 1.28 GAA, .959 sv%, two 1st Stars).

Sunday, November 20, 2011


A perfect weekend for the Express as they went 3 for 3 taking all 6 points with wins on the road in Powell River, Alberni Valley and Nanaimo.

Just taking a quick glance at how things are going for the Express here's a few things that stand out.

I can't recall the last time the Express took all 3 games in a 3 game in 3 night weekend. And to do it on the road is that much more impressive. Closest thing I can recall to taking all 6 points was a weekend during the 05-06 season when the Express took 5 out of 6 points on the road with two wins and a tie in Quesnel, Prince George and Williams Lake.

The Express are now 7-5-0-1 on the road. The 7 road wins matches the number they were able to accumulate on the road all of last season.

Entering the season it is well known that the Express were going to do everything in their power to crack one of the top 4 spots in the Coastal Conference, in order to achieve that certainly one area that needed to improve was more success on the road, and that has happened.

The Express have much more options to choose from at various positions.

Perhaps most notably is in between the pipes. Cole Huggins took all three wins for the Express this weekend. That included his second shutout of the season Saturday in Alberni Valley. He is now 5-0 with the Express. This isn't to take anything away from returning veteran Khaleed Devji, but what it does give the Express is two options they can lean on in the crease.

Offensively the Express have more weapons at their disposal. Earlier this year most of the offence went through Alex Petan, Alex Kerfoot and John Siemer. Now there is much more support as a group offensively for the Express. They've picked up a number of players to give the team more offensive depth in its line up.

If I was to ask you who the second leading scorer for the Express this season is? If you were to answer 19 year old third year forward Malcom Mckinney you would be correct. He has quietly put up 20 points in 22 games this season. He is just 2 points shy of matching his point total in 52 games last season.

Taylor Bourne has produced what the Express were hoping they were getting when he was acquired from the Olds Grizzlys of the AJHL in exchange for Mitchell Deacon. He has 6 goals and 10 points in his first 7 Express games.

Looking at the Express roster shows many weapons for Coach Calvano to choose from when he can pick from the likes of Petan, Kerfoot, Siemer, Bourne, Mckinney, Shaw, Nardi and Clinton Atkinson on the backend.

Special teams has been consistently one of the better aspects of the Express game all season. They've placed themselves in the top 3 in the BCHL in both the powerplay and penalty kill.

This recent run of success has put them in postion to knock on the door of a playoff spot. They have won 6 of their last 8 games having picked up points in 7 of those contests. That run has pulled the Express within just 1 point of Victoria and Powell River who are tied for 4th place.

And just for the sake of discussion the Express are just 4 points behind Surrey for 1st place. Keep in mind that the Express and Eagles will meet for 4 consecutive meetings in early December.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


It wasn't an easy road for Canada West, but they found a way to get better as the World Junior A Challenge went along and came out of it as champions.

They went winless in their two round robin games and needed to take the long route to the gold medal game.

They needed a 4-1 quarterfinal win over the Czechs, followed by needing a overtime goal from Express forward Alex Kerfoot vs. Sweden to advance to the gold medal game.

After playing 4 games in 4 nights, Team West got some much needed rest and it helped in their gold medal contest winning 4-2 over Canada East.

It was the best performance all tournament long for the Western side.

The line of Alex Kerfoot, Evan Richardson of the Powell River Kings and Brandon Morley of the Surrey Eagles were at their best in the championship game.
Kerfoot set up Richardson for the games first goal early in the second period. Then Kerfoot scored a highlight reel goal to put Canada West up 2.

Click below to hear Alex Kerfoot's post game comments

The lead was cut to one entering the third on a goal by Michael Neville, it didn't rattle Canada West, they came out strong in the third period and got a powerplay goal by Carson Cooper. That was followed by another highlight reel goal by Vernon's Aaron Hadley.

Many players for Canada West improved as the week went along. The same could be said for Powell River Kings goaltender Sean Maguire. His play was recognized by being named the tournaments top goaltender.

Click below to hear Kent Lewis' post game comments

The win for Canada West was their third World Junior A Challenge gold, and their first since winning the first two World Junior A Challenge gold medals and 2006 and 2007.

For Canada East they're bridesmaids again for a second straight year and fourth time overall. They're still in search of their first World Junior A Challenge gold medal.

Alex Kerfoot isn't the only member of the Express organization coming away with a gold medal. Athletic Therapist Erin Berkowski served in the same role for Team Canada West.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Photo Courtesy of Damon James.

Friday night the Express went into Alberni Valley and came away with a 6-2 win over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. The win was the third in the last four games for the Express.

Newly named home assistant captain Malcom Mckinney had a 1 goal and 2 assists, Taylor Bourne scored his first 2 Express goals while Rajan Sidhu and John Siemer each had 1 goal and 1 assist.

The Express return home to face Cowichan Valley on Saturday.

Meanwhile at the World Junior A Challenge, Express rookie was the hero as he scored at 2:09 of overtime to give Canada West a 2-1 win over Sweden and send Canada West to the gold medal game.

Click below to hear Colin Tiggelaar call the winner on Fast Hockey.

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Click below to hear from Alex Kerfoot

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It will be an all Canadian final as Canada East got some pay back on the USA who defeated Canada East in the Gold Medal game last year by knocking off the three time defending champions 4-2 in 2011.

Click below to hear from Kent Lewis

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It wasn't an easy road for Canada West to get to the gold medal game. Canada West went winless in two games in round robin. That included a 2-0 loss to Sweden on Wednesday.

Canada West gets a much needed day off after playing their 4th game in 4 nights Friday.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


The Express have added some experience on the backend signing Zach Hodder.

The 18 year old native comes to the Express where he played 11 games this season with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL where he had 1 goal and 3 points.

He played 25 games in each of the last 2 seasons with the Vancouver Giants.

In 61 career WHL games, Hodder has 5 goals and 21 points.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Brad Gehl scored twice in the final minute of both the first and second periods, his second of the game turned out to be the winner as the Grizzlies knocked off the Express 3-2 Sunday afternoon.

It was pink in the rink night for the Express who wore special jerseys to help support breast cancer research.

Mitch Nardi opened the scoring for the Express blasting home a one timer on a 5 on powerplay.

Gehl scored his first goal in the final minute of the first period on the powerplay when he banged home a rebound past Khaleed Devji who was swimming in his crease.

Jarryd Ten Vaanholt gave Victoria their first lead when he sniped a great shot over the shoulder of Devji in the second period.

Gehl's second goal came from the right boards in the final minute of the second period. He fired the puck at the net and it tipped off Malcom Mckinney and past Devji to give the Grizzlies a 3-1 lead going to the third.

Alex Petan pulled the Express back within one in the third period, but that's as close as the Express would come.

Grizzlies goaltender Jamie Tucker had a strong game turing aside 35 of 37 Express shots.

The Express finish their 4 game in 5 day week with a 2-2 record.


I'm not sure who, but someone was smart enough to get their cell phone camera rolling and capture Mckinney's penalty shot winner Saturday night.


It was a game that kept you on the edge of your seat, especially in the final minutes of the third and into overtime as the Express dropped the Surrey Eagles 4-3 in double overtime.

Early on the story was the strong play of Eagles goaltender Andrew Hunt. He set the tone for the game in the opening minute with a great right pad save off Mitch Nardi.

Hunt made few good saves in the first period as the Express tested him 15 times and Hunt stopped them all in the first period and the game was scoreless after the first.

The Express kept sending rubber Hunt's way in the second. He finally cracked as Petan and Georgeson broke in on a 2 on 1 shorthanded and Georgeson scored just his second of the season banging home the rebound of Petan's shot by driving hard to the net.

The lead lasted for 43 seconds as Sean McGovern wired a wrist shot past Khaleed Devji to tie the game at one. Just as the Eagles fans stopped celebrating the goal, the Express struck again as Alex Petan converted new comer Taylor Bourne's feed and re-stored the Express lead just 18 seconds after McGovern's goal. All three goals came in a span of one minute and one second.

Surrey began their push looking for the equalizer in the third period. Alex Petan got called for a questionable penalty in the neutral zone. The Eagles capitalized on the powerplay as Captain Tyler Morley wired a wrist shot over the glove of Khaleed Devji to tie the game at 2. Surrey's best period was by far the third. Devji however was putting up a pretty strong wall.

Late in the third the Express went ahead again as Brady Shaw banged home a rebound of a Clinton Atkinson with 2:50 to go.

This lead didn't last either as in the final minute Devon Toews fired a slap shot past a screened Devji to send the home crowd into a frenzy.

Let's go straight to the final minute of the second overtime where Malcom Mckinney was tripped up deep in his own zone and he was awarded the automatic penalty shot.

Mckinney looked as cool as a cucumber as he shaded to left and went in a slid the puck through the legs of Andrew Hunt to give the Express their second straight win. The goal sent the Express players and their parents in attendance into a frenzy.

Andrew Hunt was the story in the first two periods of the game. His counterpart Khaleed Devji at the other end was the story in the third period and overtime facing 28 shots turning aside 26 in the final 29 minutes.

Back in the first period Evan Campbell was assessed a 5 minute major and given a game misconduct for a blow to the head penalty for a hit on Deminco Hannoun.

The Express finish their 4 game in 5 day week Sunday afternoon when they host Victoria.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Cole Huggins made 38 saves in his second Express start for his first shutout with his new team as the Express won 2-0 over the Langley Rivermen.

The Express came out strong in the first period but couldn't beat Rivermen goaltender Jim Kruger. And when they did beat him, he had the red metal behind him backing him up.

The teams were scoreless after the first period.

Kruger continued his strong play into the second period. Finally the Express broke through midway through the frame when John Siemer from behind the net set up Connor Redmond who scored on a backhand for his first Express goal.

The Express got a break for their second goal three minutes later when Brady Shaw from behind the net centered the puck and it hit a defenceman and trickled through the legs of Kruger. The goal for Shaw was his 7th goal of the season with all 7 of those goals coming on home ice.

Langley opened the third period on the powerplay with Clinton Atkinson seated in the penalty box. That powerplay helped set the tone for the period as the Rivermen pressed to get on the board. That powerplay was followed by a few more but Langley couldn't get a puck past Huggins. The Rivermen sent 19 shots the way of Huggins who posted the first shutout of his BCHL career. Langley finished the game outshooting the Express 38-37. Huggins played last season with Langley when the team was nicknamed the Chiefs.

Jim Kruger was very good at the other end for Langley. He did all he could to keep his offensively challenged team in the game. The Rivermen who are the lowest scoring team in the BCHL have now scored just 30 goals in 16 games this season. They have just 3 goals in their last 5 outings. And they have scored 1 goal or less in 10 of 16 games.

The game wasn't the chiippiest of games in between the whistles, but had a fair number of emotional sckirmishes after the whistle.

Rajan Sidhu made his Express debut on defence after being acquired from Drumheller. Taylor Bourne didn't play but is expected to dress Saturday in Surrey.


I hope you've been able to keep up, but the Express have made another trade. They sent forward Coda Engbar and future considerations to the Drumheller Dragons of the AJHL in exchange for 20 year old defenceman Rajan Sidhu.

Sidhu who has a scholarship to RIT, is a name that is familiar to folks in the BCHL having spent the majority of his 97 career games with the Trail Smoke Eaters and Cowichan Valley Capitals. In those 97 career games, the 6'3 Surrey native has 5 goals and 46 points. Sidhu started the season in Trail where he had 1 goal and 4 points in 10 games before having his rights traded to Drumheller for James D'Andrea.

Dating back to the start of last week the Express have been very busy moving bodies in and out.

Here's a list of what's gone on.


Matt Hutchinson
Ben Murphy
Coda Engbar
Mitchell Deacon


Connor Redmond
Bruin McDonald
Taylor Bourne
Rajan Sidhu

Thursday, November 3, 2011


The Coquitlam Express have added some experienced scoring depth in a trade involving the Olds Grizzlys of the AJHL.

The Express have sent 18 year old forward Mitchell Deacon to the Grizz in exchange for 20 year old forward Taylor Bourne.

In this trade the Express have picked up the Grizzlys top scorer both this season and last season. This season Bourne has 11 goals and 23 points in 22 games. Last season he had 28 goals and 60 points in 57 games.

Deacon struggled with injuries in his time with the Express. But he was productive in his time in the lineup scoring 7 goals in 27 games in his rookie season last year. This season he had shoulder surgery before the season and just made his return to the line up last Friday vs. Surrey. He didn't pick up a point in 2 games this season.

Good luck to Mitchell in Olds and welcome to Taylor.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Following the final intra-squad game for Team Canada West, the players and coaches were made available to the inquiring minds just before the final roster of 22 players was announced.

It was a good chance to get a sense on how the selection camp went. And to get an initial idea of how Head Coach Kent Lewis' team will be built.

Click here to listen to Head Coach Kent Lewis.

Click here to listen to Asst. Coach Dean Brockman.

Click here to listen to Alex Kerfoot.


There's a great story on Express rookie Alex Kerfoot in todays Vancouver Sun by Gary Kingston.

Check it out below...

Kerfoot looks to take Express route to pros

Seventeen-year-old son of Whitecaps soccer club owner highly touted and likely headed for NHL draft, scout predicts


Up in the top row of seats at the Langley Events Centre on Tuesday, a veteran scout was asked about the NHL draft prospects of 17-year-old Alex Kerfoot.

"Oh yeah, he'll get drafted," said the scout of the forward who was skating in the final selection camp scrimmage for the Canada West team that will play in next week's World Junior A Challenge at the LEC. "He's been getting a lot of attention."

"And if he doesn't make a team," the scout added with a wry smile, "his dad will just buy him one."

Just a joke, dad.

'Dad' is Greg Kerfoot, the reclusive millionaire owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer.

While the talented young Alex likely won't need any help from his father's fat pocket, he wouldn't mind some of Pop's height. Hockey Canada's initial list of selection camp invitees from the Junior A leagues in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba had Kerfoot, a West Vancouver native who plays for the Coquitlam Express in the B.C. Hockey League, listed at 5-foot-7 and 130 pounds. A pipsqueak.

On Tuesday, a newer roster had Kerfoot at a more appropriate five foot nine and a half and 153 pounds.

"Yeah, that's pretty much right," he said, grinning through a set of braces.

"My dad's 6-3, so he's big. Hopefully, I've still got some room to grow."

Kerfoot stamped himself as a legitimate prospect last season when he won the B.C. Major Midget League scoring title with 36 goals and 72 assists in just 38 games. "He's a very highly skilled player," said Coquitlam general manager Darcy Rota.

"He's a strong playmaker, that's his forte. He also can score goals, but he's got great vision on the ice. He tore apart the midget league."

In 12 games with the Express this season, Kerfoot has five goals and 10 assists.

"It was a little bit of an adjustment," he said of the jump to Junior A. "Coming in from midget, everyone is bigger and stronger. But as it's gone on, it's becoming easier to play and the game has kind of slowed down."

Canada West and Canada East will be joined in the six team World Challenge by squads from the U.S., Sweden, Russia and the Czech Republic. The Canadian teams are restricted to just five 1992-born players, leaving ample room on the rosters for the draft-eligible 1994-born players that the NHL scouts will be keeping a keen eye on next week.

"[Alex] is a very smart player," said Canada West head coach Kent Lewis of the BCHL Powell River Kings. "He's got a skill set that's well above average. He's a learner, a quiet kid ... but definitely, his talent level is very high."

He showed that Tuesday, sneakily stick-checking the puck away from a defenceman to score a third-period power play goal. He then got the overtime winner for his Red squad, making a power move to the net on a two-on-one break.

Kerfoot, who has never played on a Hockey Canada team, says it will be a "really cool experience" to face the European squads with their different styles of play. A late-round bantam draft pick of the WHL Seattle Thunderbirds, Kerfoot has decided to pass on the major junior system and will play NCAA hockey in the U.S.

"Just because I've always been a smaller guy, it'll give me some time to develop. And I'm not in any rush to go anywhere. And going to college, I'll have something to fall back on if hockey doesn't work out."

Kerfoot made recruiting visits a week ago to Boston College and Harvard and has another one planned for later this month at Yale.

"Amazing facilities and all the guys and the coaches were really great. I saw Boston College play Northeastern and it was crazy, definitely different than Junior A. The Northeastern student section in the upper deck was crazy, going non-stop the whole time. It was loud."

With Harvard and Yale on his three-school short list, Kerfoot, currently in Grade 12 at Collingwood in West Vancouver, is clearly no dummy.

"I have pretty good grades," he says with a smile. "I wouldn't get into Harvard by myself though, but good enough [grades] that they can take me."

As befits the son of a modern high-tech financier, Kerfoot says he'll "probably" study business.

A standout tennis and soccer player, Kerfoot actually played two seasons as a midfielder with the Vancouver Whitecaps under-13 team that won a couple of tournaments on a tour of Europe. He had to give up soccer a couple of years ago, however, when the commitment level needed to play major midget hockey increased.

"I love soccer, but hockey has always been my passion."

And how did dad react when he picked hockey?

"Until he started [with his purchase of the Whitecaps], he wasn't that into soccer. He never played soccer. He grew up with hockey."

IN THE CREASE: The BCHL placed 14 players on the 22-man Canada West squad

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Coquitlam Express Forward Alex Kerfoot has made the final cut of 22 bodies that will represent Team Canada West at the up coming World Junior A Challenge.

Unfortunately his linemate and Express Captain Alex Petan didn't make the team.

The BCHL is very well represented with 14 players on the team, it is then followed by 7 from the AJHL and then just one player from the SJHL Riley Kieser from the Humboldt Broncos. There were no players selected from the MJHL and no one from the SIJHL was in camp.

Canada West next has an exhibition game Thursday night vs. Team Canada East at the Langley Events Centre.

They will begin their quest for gold Tuesday November 8th vs. Sweden.

For the full roster click on the link below.