Thursday, August 30, 2012


The British Columbia Hockey League is pleased to announce the hiring of Trevor Alto as the league’s new executive director. Alto comes to the BCHL after six years in the financial industry. He is responsible for executing all league sponsor deliverables, generating new partnerships, heading the league’s finance committee and overseeing the day-to-day administration of the league office.

In addition, Alto is tasked with meeting the objectives of the BCHL Strategic Plan including building the BCHL brand and ensuring players advance in and beyond the BCHL. He will be responsible for applying the BCHL’s discipline regulations and will work with BCHL director of officiating Derek Adams to ensure the long-term effectiveness of the BCHL Officiating Program.

“I am excited to join the BCHL and take on the challenge of growing what is an already-solid league,” said Alto, 33. “As a former junior and university hockey player, I realize the opportunities hockey provides and am looking forward to ensuring those continue to be available for our current players.”

Alto played in the BCHL with Prince George Spruce Kings and the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Crowsnest Pass Timberwolves. The White Rock, B.C. native went on to play for the UBC Thunderbirds from 2000 to 2003 while he completed studies in sports management and commerce. While playing at UBC, he also appeared in the movie "Miracle" where he portrayed Team USA forward Neal Broten.

“We are pleased to have a person of Trevor’s calibre join the BCHL office,” said BCHL commissioner John Grisdale. “Trevor’s experiences in business and hockey will be a real asset to us as we continue to grow our league and provide opportunities for players and their families.”


Express alumni Kyle Turris has signed a new long term contract extension with the Ottawa Senators.

See the full press release from the Senators here:

OTTAWA - Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray announced today that the club has signed centre Kyle Turris to a five-year contract extension through the 2017-18 NHL season.

Turris, 23, recently completed his third full season in the National Hockey League and played 49 of his 55 regular season contests in 2011-12 as a member of the Senators. He was originally acquired by Ottawa from the Phoenix Coyotes on Dec. 17, 2011, in exchange for defenceman David Rundblad and a second-round draft pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

A native of New Westminster, B.C., Turris concluded the 2011-12 campaign having established new career highs in goals (12), assists (17), points (29) and penalty minutes (27). He recorded three points (one goal, two assists) and two penalty minutes while skating in each of Ottawa’s seven post-season contests against the New York Rangers. In 186 career NHL contests with Phoenix and Ottawa, he has recorded 75 points (31 goals, 44 assists) and 70 penalty minutes.

On April 18, Turris became the 13th player in franchise history to record a playoff overtime-winning goal, when he helped lift the Senators to a 3-2 win over the Rangers at Scotiabank Place in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final series.

Turris was Phoenix’s first-round pick (third overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


After opening the pre-season with a 2-2 in Chilliwack Saturday, the Express played to another draw Sunday in a 4-4 decision with the Surrey Eagles.

The powerplay was the story for the Express on the afternoon tallying all 4 of their markers. Connor Burke scored the only goal of the opening period to give the Express the 1-0 lead on a second chance opportunity.

Surrey pulled even in the second minute of the second period as Demico Hannoun stole the puck behind the net off goaltender Daniel Urbani and tucked it into the open net for a shorthanded goal.

The Express re-stored the lead with their second powerplay goal of the game as Cody Gordon from the slot re-directed a Mark Biega point shot past Brenden Sharp.

Cole Huggins took over for Urbani midway through the second period. Sharp played the full 60 minutes for the Eagles who played their 3rd exhibition game in as many days.

Sam Majka scored the 3rd powerplay goal of the game for the Express to put them up 3-1 at 12:39.

Surrey cut the deficit to one before the period was done as Nicolas Pierog buried a pass from behind the net by Brett Mulcahy at 17:06.

Brady Shaw capped off a strong game for the Express powerplay by tallying his teams 4th extra man goal from his office in front of the net off a rebound off the end boards of a Dillon Walker shot.

34 seconds after Shaw's goal Roshen Jaswal cut the lead back to one. Then Brett Mulcahy completed the come back for the Eagles at 13:22 to finish the scoring.

The Express finished 4/6 on the powerplay and killed off all 3 Surrey advantages. Through two periods the Express were out shooting the Eagles 28-19. I didn't catch the final shot total.

The pre season continues Monday at home vs. Langley.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


He's bided his time. Taken his share of lumps but he has always came back looking for more.

That's the case for 20 year old forward Malcom McKinney. The West Vancouver product enters the 2012-13 season as the longest serving Express player as he embarks on his 4th and final BCHL season.

The list of players who will have played 4 or more seasons in Express colors is pretty short. All time games leader Mark Soares is the only player to dress for 5 seasons (2001-06). The other player to play a good chunk of at least 4 seasons is Matt Allen. (2001-05).

Malcom will never be the biggest player on any team he plays on. But he has found a way to be persistent and stick in the BCHL.

In his first year in 09-10 he dressed for 32 games and scored 4 goals and 9 points. That season he was on the receiving end of a vicious head shot from Langley's Brandon Thompson and suffered a concussion.

Year 2 in 10-11 he improved his point total to 12 goals and 22 points in 52 games. Following the year he was a member of a select team of BCHL players that represented Canada at the Region Centre cup in Podolsk Russia just outside of Moscow. McKinney had a good showing in Russia. He chipped a little offensively. And he wasn't afraid to mix it up when the going got tough. Canada finished 2nd place in the 4 team tournament with a 2-1 record. Perhaps that showing was a sign of things to come for the 2011-12 season.

Entering the year as a 19 year old, the time had come to show he was ready to be a solid contributor at the BCHL level. As last season progressed McKinney's development continued to trend in the right direction.

He posted his best numbers to date in his BCHL career scoring 21 times, 4 of them for game winners. He finished with 53 points while dressing for all 60 games. He also added a physical element to his game. Throwing his weight around which didn't go unnoticed by the coaches.

Now entering his final seaon of junior hockey. McKinney is looking to cap off his junior career on a strong note. His confidence level when it comes to his ability to play in the BCHL has never been higher. He has paid his dues for sure. And the opportunity is there for Malcom McKinney to be rewarded for biding his time.


It was the second day of intra squad games for the Coquitlam Express Wednesday.

With one full day under the players belt, the rust is slowly being knocked off for all involved and the players to begin to find their legs and hands again.

One thing that is noticable about camp is the up tempo pace. With the collection of skill that has been brought in this year, it makes for a good pace of play.

From an entertainment stand point it is a treat to watch. Head Coach Jon Calvano has always stressed how he enjoys to coach up tempo hockey.

Personally from a broadcasters point of view, it is enjoyable to call a game if the game is played at top speed. And it isn't coached down to a snails pace and it appears as if the game is played in mud.

Speaking with a few of the players again today, they're certainly excited with what the have seen so far. As we get closer to the regular season, it will be interesting to watch how the line combinations and defence pairs come together. The sense I get is there will be plenty of options to choose from.

There's two days remaining of playing against teammates for the Express before the pre-season begins in Chlliwack Saturday.

If you're wondering about the lack of audio, i've tried to record a few interviews but my mini disc recorder is on its last legs and the quality has been compromised and I can't post them. I do have a new one ordered and will post some when it arrives.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


The 2012-13 edition of the Coquitlam Express hit the ice for the first time as training camp began at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre.

The players have been divided into two groups. The main group consisting of returning veterans and recruits among others.

Then there is a second group of younger future prospects.

Certainly there is plenty of optimism around Express camp this season. And there's good reason for it. Many of the faces who were significant contributors to last years 36 win club have returned a year older and wiser.

And in junior hockey having that additional year of experience is so valuable when it comes to physical strength, hockey sense and overall ability.

I have crunched the numbers and the Express have the most total career BCHL goals and points among their returnees of any team in the BCHL with  151 goals and 373 points. The Vernon Vipers aren't that far behind with 369 points, but their total games played of all their players of 701 far exceeds the amount of games by the Express players at 569.

See below if you want to see how every team in the BCHL stacks up.

You throw in the skill that Head Coach and GM Jon Calvano has brought in via recruiting this year it's easy to understand why there's a good feeling on the opening day of training camp.

As Coach Calvano embarks on his 3rd season behind the bench this year, he enters the year with the deepest talent pool he's ever had it his disposal since taking over as Head Coach.

Speaking with Jon and other players around the rink today, they certainly feel very optimistic about the overall collection of talent on the ice at camp this year after getting a little familiar with them over the course of camp today or informal skates prior to training camp.

The Express will be on the ice daily for the rest of week before their pre-season begins Saturday night in Chilliwack. Their first exhibition game is Sunday afternoon at 2pm vs. the Surrey Eagles.

Total combined statistics of all returning players in the BCHL by team.

507       79              128          207

586        92               166          258

569        151             222            373

460         64              119             183

513        112             145           257

662        112          211             323

605        106             153            259

290         95              156            251

551         98              160           258

379        46                97             143

587         85              149           234

374        56               132            188

506         84              142            226

701        142             227            369

785        121            208             329

572        104             172           276

Monday, August 20, 2012


The Coquitlam Express open training camp for their 12th BCHL season on Tuesday at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre.

Here's the full schedule for when the players will be on the ice during camp this week.

The Express Main Camp begins on Tuesday, August 21st!

Drop down and watch the players prepare for the Season! 8:00 am - Futures Camp Ice Session 10:00 am - Main Camp Ice Session 12:00 noon - Futures Camp Ice Session 2:00 pm - Main Camp ice Session Wednesday,

August 22nd: 8:00 am - Futures Camp Ice Session 10:00 am - Main Camp Ice Session 12:00 noon - Futures Camp Ice Session 2:00 pm - Main Camp ice Session Thursday,

August 23rd, the Ice Session will be at 3:00 pm Friday.

August 24th, the Ice Session will be at 10:00 am.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Today at Rogers Arena the BCHL announced it's title sponsor for the first ever showcase weekend September 7-9 in Chilliwack.

See the full press release from the BCHL below.

The British Columbia Hockey League announced Tuesday at a news conference at Rogers Arena that Save-On-Foods is the official presenting sponsor of the BCHL Showcase taking place Sept. 7 to 9 and hosted by the Chilliwack Chiefs.

Save-On-Foods has been a key supporter of the BCHL for the past five seasons and this announcement further illustrates their commitment to the league and its players.

“We’re excited to help the BCHL put on the Showcase and build the partnership we have with the league,” said Jim Bohac, store manager of the Save-On-Foods Sardis location. “It’s always a big plus to be involved with the Chiefs to support the team and the community.”

With 16 games being played in three days at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre, there will be plenty of hockey action to take in. College and professional teams have taken note already and about 100 scouts are expected to attend.

“The BCHL continually strives to provide increased opportunities and exposure for its players and the Showcase is another initiative aimed at that,” said league commissioner John Grisdale. “By putting their name on the Showcase, Save-On-Foods helps ensure all our players get a chance to show what they can do in front of a lot of influential hockey people.”

Also at Tuesday's event, the league announced Nanaimo Clippers alumnus and Vancouver Canucks defenceman Jason Garrison will serve as the honourary chairperson for the inaugural event. Garrison won a Fred Page Cup title in 2004 with Nanaimo.

The first game of the Save-On-Foods BCHL Showcase is slated for Friday, Sept. 7 at 3:30 p.m. as the Langley Rivermen take on the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. There are six games on the agenda the each of the Saturday and Sunday dates. Check out below to hear the full press conference. And to hear from BCHL Comissioner John Grisdale and honourary chairperson Jason Garrison of the Vancouver Canucks.


Tuesday the BCHL held a press conference at Rogers Arena to announce the title sponsor and it's honorary chair person for the upcoming showcase in Chilliwack next month. I will have information about that later today.

The event was also attended by 2012 NHL Draft picks Alex Kerfoot of the Coquitlam Express and Penticton Vees alumni Joey Laleggia.

I had a chance to speak with Alex about his recent commitment to Harvard University for the fall of 2013. And get his first impressions on some of the new faces coming to the Express this season.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


With training camp just around the corner, lets get you familiar with some of the new faces that you will see for the Coquitlam Express this coming season.

As with any junior hockey team, there are always key contributors that depart from the previous season for various reasons, trades, age graduation or college commitments.

This season the Express are no different. They will have a strong returning class for this year, but for Head Coach and GM Jon Calvano it's always about re-stocking the cupboard to compliment the returning core he has for this season.

Some of the key faces who are not returning this year include, Captain, leading scorer and Coastal Conference MVP Alex Petan who does have another year of junior hockey eligibility left, but he will be attending Michigan Tech University this fall.

Three defenceman graduated as 20 year olds last season, Rajan Sidhu, Nicholas Wong and Clinton Atkinson. Sidhu and Wong were picked up via trade in the middle of the season last year. Atkinson was instrumental at running the offence from the backend last year with an Express franchise record for points in a season by a defenceman with 59 points.

Another key departure from the backend will be Zach Hodder. He joined the Express about a quarter of the way through the year and was a great compliment to Atkinson's offence as a second wave of an attack. He led all defenceman with 12 goals and was second among blueliners with 33 points in 43 games. Hodder who has played in the WHL with Vancouver, Saskatoon and Prince Albert will be giving the "dub" another crack this season with the Prince Albert Raiders.

Cody Michelle who was a hard nosed physical winger for the Express last season was traded away during the offseason to the Okotoks Oilers of the AJHL. He scored 8 goals and 24 points in 40 games last season. 5 of those goals came on the powerplay. He missed a good chunk of the start of the season after suffering a broken jaw courtesy of a Logan Johnston punch in the pre-season. That punch cost the Vees captain the first   20 games of the campaign.

Connor Redmond who played 27 games for the Express last season scoring 3 times will also not be returning.

Here's some of the new faces for the Express this season. Starting on the backend the Express have one familiar face and another new face with previous BCHL experience under their belt.

Mark Begert will be returning to the Express for his second BCHL season this year as a 19 year old. In 2010-11, Begert was just one of 3 players to dress for all 60 games as a 17 year old rookie on the Express blueline. He showed good promise in his rookie season. He scored 4 goals and 11 points that first season. 3 of those goals came on the powerplay.

Begert attended Boston College last season. But he was only able to dress in one game for the Eagles. There is one thing that Begert does have on his resume that very few players in the BCHL have, and that is a NCAA Championship that he won with his former Express teammate Destry Straight. That experience should be valuable heading into Begert's second BCHL season.

19 year old Brayden Pears was picked up from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in an off-season trade. Pears was the future considerations that came the Express way in the deal last December that saw Taylor Love head the other way. Pears has 128 games of BCHL experience under his belt with Powell River, Victoria and Salmon Arm scoring 6 goals and 20 points.

As part of his focus during recruiting for this season, Jon Calvano looked to fill the skill void left behind by the departures of Atkinson and Hodder. He feels he has done that with some of the other new faces on the blueline this season.

Callum Hofford is one player that the Express are very excited to bring into the fold for this season. Coach Calvano described him to me during the off-season as the Alex Kerfoot of defenceman. He was highly sought after by numerous BCHL clubs. He averaged more than a point per game with the Hill Academy Varsity team with 21 goals and 65 points in 62 games. He already has secured himself a college commitment to Northern Michigan University for the fall of 2013.

Another skilled defenceman coming to Coquitlam is Marc Biega. He played Prep School Hockey at Salisbury Academy where he was the captain of his team last season. He scored 6 goals and 36 points in 28 games.

One of the younger faces on the Express blueline this coming season will be 17 year old North Vancouver native Cameron Marks. He did play 2 games last season with the Penticton Vees. He spent most of his season last year with the Vancouver Northwest Giants of the BC Major Midget League. He put up 1 goal and 16 assists in 25 games. Marks already has a post secondary commitment secured to the University of New Hampshire for 2014.

Here are some of the new names you will become familiar with up front for the Express this season.

16 year old Luca Leone will be the youngest face on the Express roster this season. The Vancouver native comes to the Express where he played Midget Hockey last season at Shattuck St. Marys in Minnesota which is renowned for being one of the top hockey schools in the U.S. In 45 games he scored 9 goals and 25 assists for 34 points.

Zach Pryzbek will provide a power forward presence to the Express this season. The 6'3 forward native of St. Catherines Ontario will have a pair of familiar faces as teammates this season having played in the past with Marc Biega and Callum Hofford. Pryzbek played Prep school hockey at Salisbury last season compiling 7 goals and 17 points in 26 games. He will attend Brown University in the fall of 2013. He was ranked 210th overall among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting entering the 2012 NHL draft.

Ever since Jon Calvano took over as Head Coach of the Express in the spring of 2010, he has always included as part of his recruiting class was one of the top scorers of the BC Major Midget League. In 2010 it was Destry Straight who was second in BCMML scoring with 63 points in 39 games. Last year it was Alex Kerfoot who torched the league for 108 points in 38 games. Both would go on to win Coastal Conference rookie of the year honours. Things are no different in 2012. This time it's Adam Rockwood.

The soon to be 17 year old Coquitlam native dipped his toes in the BCHL pool last season playing 4 games with the Express. He also dressed for 3 playoff contests vs. the Powell River Kings. Rockwood is reunited again with Express forward Jace Hennig. They teamed up to light up the BC Major Midget League with the Vancouver Northeast Chiefs until Hennig jumped mid-season to join the Express to fill their 16 year old spot. Rockwood just kept on putting up the points and finished atop of the scoring race with 86 points in 40 games. He would have finished 3rd in league scoring on his 70 assists alone.

And finally the last new face for the Express this season will be between the pipes. Daniel Urbani will be joining his former Vancouver Northeast Chiefs teammates Adam Rockwood and Jace Hennig with the Express this season. Urbani was 9-2-2 with 2.62 GAA last season. His recruitment makes an already sticky sitation just a little stickier. Entering the season the Express have a pair of returning veterans in between the pipes in 20 year olds Cole Huggins and Khaleed Devji. Add it all up, that gives the Express 3 goaltenders in the fold. And I don't recall ever a team carrying a pair of 20 year old goaltenders taking up 2 of the 6, 20 year old spots available.

Those are some of the new faces to keep on eye on when the Express hit the ice for training camp shortly. You add those faces to the strong returning core which includes the likes of Alex Kerfoot, John Siemer, Brady Shaw, Malcom McKinney, Jason Bird, Justin Georgeson among others and it should be very interesting to watch this Express team come together as training camp and the pre-season unfolds. 

Friday, August 10, 2012


We're just over two weeks away from the first puck being dropped for the first exhibition game for the Coquitlam Express. 

Here's a look at what the pre-season holds for the Express.

Saturday Aug. 25 @ Chilliwack 7PM - Prospera Centre

Sunday Aug. 26 vs. Surrey 2PM - Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre

Monday Aug. 27 vs. Langley 8PM - Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre

Tuesday Aug. 28 vs. Chilliwack 7PM - Burnaby Winter Club

Wednesday Aug. 29 @ Surrey 7PM - South Surrey Arena

Friday Aug. 31 vs. SFU 8PM - Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre

Saturday Sept. 1 @ Langley 7PM - Aldergrove Arena

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Coquitlam Express forward Alex Kerfoot has committed to Harvard University starting in the 2013-14 season.

It is a monumental announcement for Kerfoot and the Coquitlam Express Hockey club to help send a player of Kerfoot's stature to such a prestiegious academic institution. This wasn't a decision that Kerfoot came to quickly. There certainly was plenty of discussion where he would make his decision about his academic future dating back a year ago when he was a prized rookie recruit for the Express entering the 2011-12 season.

The West Vancouver native is coming off a fine first season in the BCHL. He scored 25 goals and 69 points in 51 games played. In the playoffs he added 4 goals in 6 games vs. The Powell River Kings. Kerfoot's numbers earned him the BCHL's Coastal Conference rookie of the year and Coastal Conference Most Sportsmanlike player honours.

In November, Kerfoot donned the Maple Leaf and helped Team Canada West claim the gold medal at the World Junior A Challenge in Langley. He scored the game winning goal in overtime in the semi final to send his team to the gold medal game. Kerfoot also added a goal in the gold medal game vs. Team Canada East.

In June, the New Jersey Devils selected Kerfoot with their 5th round draft choice 150th overall. It was the 6th time that an NHL club had drafted a player directly from the Express orgranization. Kerfoot will return to Coquitlam for his second full season with the Express this season where he is expected to build on his fine first season in the league before heading off to Harvard.

 Congratulations Alex.


Coquitlam Express forward Mitch Nardi has committed to Lake Superior State for the fall of 2013.

The 19 year old Hamilton Ontario native will be enterting his second full season with the Express where he will be leaned upon to take more of a leadership role with the after one full season of BCHL hockey under his belt.

In 56 games last season, Nardi scored 14 goals and 30 assists. Many of those assists came as a key member of the 1st unit powerplay that ranked second in the BCHL at 27.54%.

Having secured a post secondary opportunity before the season begins will take some pressure off Nardi's shoulders and it will allow him to focus his efforts on the ice for what is expected to be a big 19 year old season for the second year forward.

Congratulations Mitch.