Saturday, March 30, 2013


The first of the future considerations the Express acquired in the January 10th trade deadline deals with Chilliwack, Penticton and West Kelowna is now known.

The Express have acquired defenceman Shay Laurent (93) from the Chilliwack Chiefs to finalize the trade the Express made to send sniper Phil Zielonka to Chilliwack. Laurent is the third player the Express acquired in the deal. Garrett Forster and Ben Israel were first acquired when the trade was made.

With the Chilliwack Chiefs season coming to an end earlier this week following the sweep in their second round series by the Surrey Eagles, the news of the Express' acquisition of Laurent was released.

Laurent will be a 20 year old next season. He stands at 6'1, 205 lbs. He's played the last 2 seasons in Chilliwack scoring 5 goals and 28 assists for 33 points in 108 career BCHL games.

Considering how quickly we learned about the acquisition of Laurent shortly after the completion of the Chiefs season, we my know pretty quickly more of the Express future considerations from their January 10th trades when the Interior Conference final ends with the other two teams involved in those deals Penticton and West Kelowna going head to head right now in the Conference finals and one team will be eliminated within the next week to ten days. 

Friday, March 22, 2013


Thursday we learned that the Coquitlam Express made a change in regards to the General Manager and Head Coach position relieving Jon Calvano of his duties.

He leaves the club after serving the Express for three seasons from 2010-13. His first two seasons he served as the Head Coach for the Express. He added the title of General Manager to his responsibilities prior to the 2012-13 season.

Calvano guided the Express to the playoffs in his first two seasons with the Express after the club missed the playoffs in it's previous two seasons which were played in Burnaby. In 2010-11 he guided the Express to a 22-28-1-9 record for a 7th place finish in the Coastal Conference. In the playoffs the Express were eliminated in 4 games by the Surrey Eagles in the first round.

The next season 2011-12 the Express made a 14 win improvement by posting a 36-19-3-2 record and a 4th place finish in the Coastal Conference.  The Express set franchise records for most wins and points in a season and fewest losses in a season. In the playoffs the Express were eliminated in the Coastal Conference semi finals in 6 games by the Powell River Kings.

In 2012-13 the Express started with the best start in franchise history at 4-0 and were 8-3-1 in their first 12 games. Then injuries began to take their toll on the Express and they ended up finishing with a 24-31-1-0 record for 49 points in 56 games finishing 5 points back of the Langley Rivermen for 4th place and the final playoff spot in the Mainland division. It was the first time under the three seasons Jon Calvano guided the Express that they missed the playoffs. And the third time in the 12 year history of the franchise the Express missed the playoffs.

The Express are in the process of working through their shortlist of candidates for a new Head Coach with an announcement expected to come in the next few weeks.

I've had a chance in the last two days to speak with both Jon Calvano and Coquitlam Express President Darcy Rota about the decision by the Express to make a coaching change.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


This is on the Coquitlam Express website right now...

"The ownership of the Coquitlam Express formally announces that Jon Calvano has been relinquished of his duties as General Manager and Head Coach effective immediately. A very strong shortlist of Head Coach candidates has ben indentified and a decision on a replacement is pending. The Coquitlam Express wish Jon the best of luck in his future endeavours."

 I'm working on reaching all parties involved for more details.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


You couldn't have asked for a better ending to the season for the Express.

The 2012-13 campaign came to an end when 20 year old Michael Maciag scored the overtime winner in the 2nd overtime on a feed from Brandon Morley to give the Express a 3-2 win over the top club in the BCHL this season the Surrey Eagles.

With 4 20 year olds and a number of other players heading off to college for next season, the Express wanted to end this season on a winning note.

For Brandon Morley who is off to the University of Alaska next season and starred at the South Surrey Arena for parts of three seasons before a trade to the Express this season had one grand finale in front of the fans that watched him and his brother Tyler leave their mark on the BCHL. Morley scored the game tying goal in the third period and set up Maciag for the overtime winner.

Surrey scored the only goal of the first period as Kevan Killistoff followed up on an Eagles rush and poked the puck past Cole Huggins. It was a fairly even first period that saw the Eagles edge the Express in shots 12-11.

In the second period the Express began to take over the game. They really began to push the pace of play and generate a good number of scoring chances. The Express were rewarded for their strong play when Mitchell Fyffe scored 7 minutes into the period to tie the game at one.

At one point in the second period the Express had a 10-0 advantage in shots.

The Eagles did strike late in the second period for their second lead of the game. Michael Stenerson scored on a re-direction of an Adam Tambellini shot on the powerplay with just 1:20 remaining.

In the final period the Express resumed their strong play especially at 5 on 5.

Cole Huggins playing in his final BCHL game came up with his best save of the game in the third period as he turned aside Trevor Cameron who was set up by Brady Shaw on a 2 on 1 break. Huggins finished with 34 saves in the Express crease.

Shortly after the save by Huggins, Brandon Morley stole the puck from an Eagles defenceman and cut in front of the Surrey net and slid the puck through the legs of Michael Santaguida and the game was even at 2.

60 minutes of hockey wasn't enough for the Express. They wanted to play a few extra minutes to extend their season.

The best chance for the Express to win the game in the first overtime came when they were awarded a powerplay when Brandon Morley was hauled down going to the net by Dan O'Keefe. But the Express couldn't convert the 4 on 3 advantage.

In the second overtime Cole Huggins had to come up with a few more saves before the game was decided.

Brandon Morley raced the puck into the Eagles zone on a 2 on 1 break. He had plenty of time to decide if he wanted to keep the puck and try and win it himself or try and hit Michael Maciag who was racing hard to the net. Morley decided to dish a perfect pass to Maciag who re-directed it home to give the Express the dramatic win.

There's no better way for a season finale to end. A 20 year old playing in his final game of junior hockey scoring the game winning goal. For Brandon Morley it couldn't have ended better for him. To be such a key contributor to the Express victory.

The Eagles showed some great class Saturday night as in the first period they took some time to recognize Brandon who was playing in his final BCHL game at the arena he called home for parts of three seasons. And the fans gave him a nice round of applause.

Morley returned the favour with his performance Saturday night. And he took the time to savior every last moment he could. He made sure to take the time to wave to some fans before stepping off the ice. He then returned to the ice for one final salute to the South Surrey Arena crowd when he was named the games first star.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Here's the highlights of Surrey's 8-1 win over the Express Friday.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen. I would like to thank Cary for his work again this season putting these great highlight packages together.


Prior to the final home game of the season vs. the Surrey Eagles Friday the Express handed out their yearly awards. Here's the list of winners for this season.


TOP FORWARD - Adam Rossignol

MVP - Cole Huggins

TOP SCORER - Justin Georgeson


UNSUNG HERO - Mitchell Fyffe

TOP ROOKIE - Adam Rockwood

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT - Marc Biega and Malcom McKinney

MOST POPULAR - Malcom McKinney


Friday, March 8, 2013


The Surrey Eagles weren't too kind to the Express in their final home game of the season walking out with an 8-1 win.

Surrey's depth was well on display Friday night as the Eagles got goals from 8 different players, 7 players had multiple point nights and 13 players picked up a point in the game.

The Eagles started quickly as Trevor Cameron scored 39 seconds into the game on Daniel Urbani who got the start for the Express.

The opening period was filled with lots of continuous action with nearly 10 straight minutes of whistle free play.

Former Express Brady Shaw extended Surrey's lead late in the first period as he blasted home a one timer from the slot through the legs of Daniel Urbani.

Early in the second period Shaw set up Michael Stenerson for a shorthanded goal at 1:31 for a 3-0 Surrey lead.

Kevin Killistoff's goal 7 minutes later meant the end of the night for Daniel Urbani after allowing 4 goals on 12 shots.

In came Cole Huggins who was welcomed to the game with a number of quality scoring chances turning away Brady Shaw on a pair of occasions with some athletic pad saves. He had another great save off Kevin Killistoff with his left pad.

Craig Wyszomirski re-directed a Adam Tambellini shot from the right circle for a powerplay goal to give Surrey a 5-0 lead going to the third period.

Surrey added third period goals from Colton Mackie, Drew Best and Stefan Burzan. Former Eagle Brandon Morley scored the lone Express goal on the powerplay.

The Express wrap up their season Saturday night with a re-match with the Surrey Eagles at the South Surrey Arena.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


In the latest installment of the Jon Calvano show we discuss the two games last weekend vs. Cowichan Valley and Salmon Arm. We talk about the focus of the club in the final two games of the season knowing that the Express will not be in the playoffs this season. And we discuss the focus of the club looking forward to next season. 


Wednesday the BCHL announced it's 1st and 2nd team all stars. Plus it's all rookie team. Three former Express' John Siemer, Phil Zielonka and Brady Shaw are on the various squads. 

After a poll of the BCHL head coaches, the league has compiled its all-stars for the 2012-13 season.

Since the all-star game was done away with after the 2009-10 season, the league has recognized league all-stars with first-team, second-team and all-rookie squads.

This season, 12 BCHL teams had at least one player named to one of the teams.

BCHL First Team

Interior Conference
F – Wade Murphy, Penticton Vees                  D – Troy Stecher, Penticton Vees
F – Marcus Basara, West Kelowna Warriors   D – Shane Hanna, Salmon Arm SilverBacks
F – Seb Lloyd, West Kelowna Warriors          G – Tyler Steel, Merritt Centennials

Coastal Conference
F – Mario Puskarich, Langley Rivermen   D – Devon Toews, Surrey Eagles
F – Brady Shaw, Surrey Eagles              D – Craig Wyszomirksi, Surrey Eagles
F – Luke Esposito, Chilliwack Chiefs       G – Mitch Gillam, Chilliwack Chiefs

BCHL Second Team

Interior Conference
F – Regan Soquila, Merritt Centennials     D – Brett Corkey, Vernon Vipers

F – John Siemer, Penticton Vees            D – Josh Monk, West Kelowna Warriors
F – Brent Baltus, Trail Smoke Eaters        G – Tyler Briggs, West Kelowna Warriors

Coastal Conference
F – Adam Tambellini, Surrey Eagles          D – D.J. Jones, Victoria Grizzlies
F – Austin Plevy, Chilliwack Chiefs           D – Bo Pellah, Alberni Valley Bulldogs
F – Phil Zielonka, Chilliwack Chiefs        G – Michael Santaguida, Surrey Eagles

All Rookie Team
F – Brad McClure, Penticton Vees          D – Jarrett Brown, Cowichan Valley Capitals
F – Phil Zielonka, Chilliwack Chiefs       D – Dane Birks, Merritt Centennials
F – Luke Esposito, Chilliwack Chiefs       G – Michael Santaguida, Surrey Eagles

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Here's the highlights of Salmon Arm's 5-4 win over the Express Sunday.


 Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen.


Former Express Patrick Weircioch scored his first NHL goal Sunday afternoon on Long Island. The Maple Ridge native took a pass from his Express teammate from the 06-07 season to tie the game at two and send it to overtime.


Congratulations Patrick.


The Salmon Arm Silverbacks scored 4 unanswered goals to erase a pair of three goal deficits and Steven Iacobellis scored with 23 seconds left in the third period to give Salmon Arm a 5-4 win over the Express. 

The loss officially clinched 4th place in the Mainland division for the Langley Rivermen and eliminated the Express from the playoff race with just two games left in the season.

Having won 5 of the last 6 games in 3 in a row entering the contest, the Express appeared to be in good shape to keep the run alive in the first 26 minutes of the game.

Justin Georgeson extended his goal scoring streak to 4 games just over 4 minutes into the game as he scored from a sharp angle on Adam Clark.

Then the Express got into some penalty trouble but found ways to get out of it and find ways to respond. 

Moments after killing off a Brad Ryan interference penalty Marc Biega scored off the rush snapping a shot over the glove of Clark.

More Express penalties resulted in 5 on 3 to kill off for just under a minute and a double minor penalty to Brad Ryan for high sticking. The Express killed off those penalties and again scored shortly after returning to full strength as Brandon Morley poked in a loose puck at the side of the net to give the Express a 3-0 lead. 

Everything appeared to be in good shape for the Express to take a 3 goal lead to the room, but then a brief lapse came back to bite the Express. A wrist shot from distance was turned aside by Cole Huggins but he gave up a big rebound which Brandon Mistal pounced on and roofed it over Huggins cut the Express lead to 3-1 with just 11 seconds left in the first period. 

Justin Georgeson re-stored the 3 goal Express lead in the second period as he snapped home a one timer from the slot on the powerplay to give the Express a 4-1 lead. Georgeson has scored 6 goals in his last 4 games. He also had a pair of helpers on the other two Express goals for a four point afternoon. Adam Rossignol was also in a giving mood with 3 assists.

After re-storing a second three goal lead, at some point afterwards the game began to slip away from the Express. 

Midway through the period Salmon Arm cut the Express lead back down to two on the powerplay as Brayden Sherbinin pinched in from the point and found a loose puck and poked it past Cole Huggins. 

Salmon Arm scored a second straight late period goal following a lapse from the Express in their own zone. A turnover in their own end resulted in Harlan Orr stealing the puck and wiring a shot over the glove of Cole Huggins at 18:41 to cut the Express lead to one at 4-3.

The third period opened up with the Express presented a great opportunity to put the game away. Steven Iacobellis was called for holding then had a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty tacked on in the dying seconds of the second period to give the Express nearly 4 minutes of powerplay time to open the third period. 

The Express man advantage didn't pay off as they had trouble setting it up in the Salmon Arm zone. A Brayden Sherbinin slashing penalty in the dying seconds of the Iacobellis penalties meant the Express opened the third period with nearly 6 minutes of powerplay time and came away with nothing. 

The opportunity lost for the Express was a boost for the visitors. Mitchell Ferguson blasted home a slap shot from the left point over the shoulder of Cole Huggins with an Express delayed penalty in effect and the three goal lead was a thing of the past. 

Now with just under 9 minutes remaining in the third period the Express need to at least make sure they got at least one point to keep any form of their playoff hopes alive.

It wasn't meant to be. Steven Iacobellis picked up his third point of the game as he banged home the rebound of a Shane Hanna point shot with 23 seconds left in the third period to give Salmon Arm their only lead of the game and hammer in the final nail of the playoff coffin for the Express. 

The Express will finish off the 2012-13 season with a home and home next weekend with the Surrey Eagles.

Friday, March 1, 2013


Malcom McKinney tied an Express franchise record with a 4 goal performance in a 7-2 Express win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals. The win is the third in a row for the Express and their 4th in the last 5 games all on home ice. 

McKinney who is second all time in games played in franchise history sent a message on his opening shift of the game that this was going to be a game to remember. After Brandon Morley started the shift with a big hit, that was followed by 3 hits in quick succession by McKinney as the Express set an early physical tone for the game.

Cowichan Valley looked to open the scoring with a 5 on 3 powerplay for 57 seconds. But the Express penalty killers which are on quite a roll killed off the penalties to Adam Rossignol and Brad Ryan.

Moments after the penalties expired the Express opened the scoring as Malcom McKinney scored his first of the game as he blasted a slap shot past Connor LaCouvee.

Less than two minutes later a pair of Express youngsters teamed up to add to the Express lead as Spencer Quon fired a quick pass to Jackson Cressey who re-directed it home for a 2-0 Express lead. 

The goals kept coming in the second and they really started to get pretty. 

Malcom McKinney scored his second of the game as he finished off a great passing play that saw Garrett Forster dish it across to Adam Rockwood who quickly tipped it to McKinney trailing who snapped home his second of the game to give the Express a 3-0 lead.

Forster and Rockwood also teamed up to set up McKinney's hat-trick goal. Again it was a thing of beauty as McKinney made a quick toe drag move then snapped it top corner glove side on LaCouvee. It was the second career hat-trick for McKinney. It's also the first hat-trick of the season for an Express player.

Justin Georgeson banged home the rebound of a Marc Biega point shot for a powerplay goal to give the Express a 5-1 lead. Georgeson has now scored goals in three straight games. He then added his second of the game off the rush as he poked home a loose puck in the crease following a pass from Adam Rossignol. 

McKinney capped off is big night in the third period as he took a pass from behind the net and snapped it home for his 4th of the game. He also had an assist Friday night to finish with 4 goals and 1 assist for 5 points. It was the 5th time in Express franchise history that a player scored 4 goals in a game. Kyle Turris did it twice, Tyler McNeely and Rich Manley each did it once. 

Mitch Ball rounded out the scoring in the game scoring just 7 seconds after McKinney's fourth to make it a 7-2 game. 

In addition to McKinney's 4 goals and Georgeson's 2, Adam Rockwood and Adam Rossignol each had 3 assists. Garrett Forster and AP Spencer Quon each had a pair of helpers. 

Cole Huggins turned aside 24 of the 26 Caps shots. The Express had another perfect night on the penalty kill shutting down all 6 Caps advantages. The Express have now killed of 24 straight shorthanded situations and 25 of the last 26 in the last 7 games. 

Despite the best efforts from the Express, the Langley Rivermen continue to not do the Express any favours in the race for 4th place in the Mainland division. Langley posted their 3rd straight win with a 4-3 win over Chilliwack. The Rivermen remain 5 points clear of the Express who have just three games remaining.

The 8 game home stand for the Express resumes Sunday vs. their expansion cousins the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.