Sunday, August 25, 2013


Less than 24 hours after knocking off the Express 4-1 Saturday night,  the Rivermen took the rematch Sunday in Coquitlam by a score of 3-0.

The game was scoreless through 40 minutes.  One of the highlights of the opening two periods was a pane of glass that broke for a second straight game late in the first period causing a delay.

 The game also featured some rough stuff in the second period when newcomer Shay Laurent dropped the mitts with Braden Gulka following a hit from behind by Nathan Craft on an Express player.

The goaltenders for the Express split the duties equally. Pierce Dushenko was perfect in his 30 minutes of work. Jett Salinas played the second half of the game.

It wasn't until the third period until the scoreless deadlock was broken.

Braden Kearney opened the scoring snapping home a feed from James Robinson on a 2 on 0 down low. Marcus Vella scored on a breakaway to put Langley up a pair. That was followed by a goal by James Robinson just over a minute later to finish off the scoring.

A total of 6 BCHL veterans were in the lineup for the Express. Adam Rockwood, Jace Hennig and Travis Stephens up front. And Cameron Marks, Shay Laurent and Callum Hofford on the blueline. 

The exhibition schedule resumes Tuesday night when the Express travel to Hope to play a game with the Chilliwack Chiefs. The exhibition schedule concludes Friday night back at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre vs. the Powell River Kings. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013


The exhibition schedule for both the Coquitlam Express and  Langley Rivermen opened up Saturday night at the Langley sportsplex, and it was the Rivermen who came away victorious by a score of 4-1.

Returning veteran Daniel Urbani got the start in goal for the Express.  Langley jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead on goals by Matt Ustaski and Kevan Kilistoff less than 3 minutes apart.

The Express cut into the lead in the second period on their only goal of the night off the stick of Adam Rockwood who buried the rebound of a point shot.

Late in the second period with 3:45 remaining in the frame the game was delayed by about 25 minutes when a slapshot by a Rivermen defenceman caught the glass up high behind the Express net shattering it causing the delay.

When the game resumed Langley added two more goals in the third period by Evan Anderson and Travis Maxwell.

For the first game of the exhibition it was a fairly entertaining contest that saw both clubs play a good up tempo game.

The Express dressed a total of 6 returning veterans.  Forwards Mitchell Fyffe, Will Cook, Adam Rockwood.  Defencemen Mark Biega and Ben Israel. And goaltender Daniel Urbani.

The two teams will play a rematch in Coquitlam Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


The intensity of Coquitlam Express training camp got raised another level on Wednesday with the returning veterans hitting the ice for the first time.

The group has been reduced following the first set of cuts after two days of on ice sessions veteran free.

It was pretty clear to see the level of competition go up another level after watching one of the intra-squad games on Wednesday morning. The vets that were skating in the one game I was able to catch were split equally.

One of the more notable aspects that stood out was the increase in physical play. There were a good number of big hits thrown throughout the game. Most of them in the neutral zone or at the attacking blue line where a defenseman or forward was able to read the play and get themselves into a position to deliver a big hit. You couldn't be skating around the ice with your head down and with the puck on your stick for too long without risk of turning it over or being knocked on your backside.

Will Cook and Mitchell Fyffe each were able to pot a pair of goals. Cook who is entering his second BCHL season scored his two goals in quick succession. And his first may have been one of the more prettier goals seen so far. He was able to make a quick toe drag move into the middle of the ice before quickly throwing it top shelf. Then he used his strength to power in from the right wing cut across the crease then slide the puck home.

On Fyffe's first goal of the game the puck came into the slot and as he read the play developing he was able to bear down and lean into a hard shot and snap it home. Fyffe is entering his third BCHL season.

Camp continues the rest of this week at the Poirier Rec. Centre before the first exhibition game Saturday night in Langley.

Following the game I had a chance to speak with Will Cook.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Day 2 of Express training camp was a last opportunity for players to make an impression on Head Coach Barry Wolff before he makes his first cuts and gets the group down to a more manageable number and the veterans hit the ice on Wednesday.

It didn't take long for the new Express bench boss to have a good idea of players he will consider moving forward with once camp gets ramped up another level on Wednesday. Once the veterans hit the ice, the competition level will go up and the coach will get a better idea of who can and who can't play against BCHL level competition and the identity of the 2013-14 Express will begin to take shape.

There are few pre-concieved notions going into the evaluation process. The players on the ice will have to earn their spots for this season. And that even includes players who are returning for this year. Barry Wolff is looking to build a team in his vision consisting of the best 22 players he feels will field the most competitive roster. And that is his main mandate in this training camp.

The veterans in attendance are chomping at the bit to get going. They're looking forward to hitting the ice Wednesday as their season truly gets going with their first official on ice session of the season. A good number of them have had a good first hand view of what is in camp so far having spent time behind the bench of the scrimmages for the first two days.

Wednesday I had a chance to speak with the Express Head Coach to get his assessment of what he's seen in the first two days of training camp.

Monday, August 19, 2013


An off-seasons worth of visiting camps looking to identity players for consideration comes to a head today for new Express Head Coach Barry Wolff with the first official day of training camp.

The players have been divided into teams and are on the ice participating in scrimmages with hopes of catching the attention of the bench boss.

His off-season has primarily been spent attending camps around North America identifying players to compliment the group of returning players and off-season acquisitions. 

Wolff who is no stranger to the BCHL takes over a team that missed the playoffs last season and relived Jon Calvano of his duties shortly after his third season behind the Express bench.

Now the task for Wolff is to try and build a team and try and return it to the playoffs.  Even though the work has been underway for months. In another way the work begins today now that the players are on the ice and can be assessed in a competitive camp environment. 

The group of players attending camp is fairly large at the moment, but will be quickly reduced to a more manageable number with veterans mixed in. The numbers need to be quickly reduced with the exhibition quickly on the horizon with a pair of exhibition games Saturday night in Langley then a return engagement Sunday afternoon in Coquitlam.

The veterans didn't hit the ice today, but were in attendance. They will hit the ice later in the week as task of getting the Express back on track has officially commenced.