Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Coquitlam Express defenceman Marc Biega has been named the BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending Dec. 29, the league announced Monday.

Biega scored the game-winning goal in both games as the Express swept their home-and-home set with the Langley Rivermen. The Pointe-Claire, Que. native opened with a hat trick and an assist and an overtime winner on top in a 6-5 OT road win Saturday where he was named 3rd Star. He followed that up with a pair of goals and a 1st Star nod in a 3-2 win at home.

Honourable mentions this week:

Chilliwack Chiefs F Austin Plevy: 1G, 2A, GWG, 1st Star

Chilliwack Chiefs F Tanner Cochrane: 2G, 1A, 2nd Star

Coquitlam Express F Adam Rockwood: 5A, 2nd Star

Surrey Eagles F Mitch Fyffe: 2G, 1A

Langley Rivermen F Gage Torrel: 1G, 1A, 3rd Star

Sunday, December 29, 2013


It was the second sweep of a home and home of a division leader for the Express this season. Earlier it was Penticton. Now coming out of the Christmas break the Express did it to the Langley Rivermen taking game 2 by a 3-2 score.

Marc Biega picked up right where he left off the night before where he had 3 goals and an assist and added 2 more goals to pace the Express attack Sunday.

The Express defenceman struck for his 4th goal of the weekend blasting home a one timer on a feed from Adam Rockwood on the power play.

This game much like Saturday's had it's fair share of animosity between the two clubs which only seems to be growing.

John Saunders and Joey Santucci seem to be two key targets of the Rivermen ire. They were both involved in some of the extra curricular activity that was prominent in the first two periods.

Like Saturday the Express made Langley pay when on the power play.

Ryan Rosenthal struck on a 5 on 3 to give the Express a 2-0 lead with a blast from the left circle.

Tyson Witala cut the Express lead in half 3:37 into the second period.

The Express had a response and again it was Biega 4 on 4 as he took a pass from Adam Rockwood as he snuck in backdoor and had the time to go to the backhand and put it past Brock Crossthwaite for his second of the game and 5th goal of the weekend to go with his assist Saturday for a 6 point performance in the home and home.

Considering most of the BCHL is still on their Christmas break, and there's not too many candidates, Biega's performance makes him a pretty simple choice for player of the week one would think.

Tyson Witala scored his second of the night on the power play midway through the second period to again cut the Express lead to one.

From that point forward the Express shut the Rivermen down.

They limited their number of quality scoring chances, and when they did break through, Pierce Dushenko shut the door as he made 19 saves to post the victory.

This win against Langley is another reminder of how the Express can not only compete, but succeed against the top teams in the BCHL. They have shown an ability at various points this season how they can shut down any team in the league when they focus on their defensive side of the game. It's being able to find that focus for a stretch of more than two games which is the real challenge as the Express seek consistency in their game. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Marc Biega's 3rd of the night gave the Express a 6-5 overtime win in a wild game with the Langley Rivermen.

It was the first game back from the Christmas break for both teams. The Express were off for just over a week. Langley nearly two weeks.

Gage Torrell got the proceedings started taking a nice feed from Will Cook and snapping it past a stretched out Gordie Defiel.

This game was filled with penalties assessed to both teams.

Just moments after a 5 on 3 for the Express expired Marc Biega snapped a wrister past Lyndon Stanwood for his first of the night.

That was followed by another shorthanded goal for the BCHL's most dangerous team while a man down.

Canon Pieper blocked a shot at the blue line and he was free on the breakaway where he made no mistake scoring on the backhand with a deke into the roof.

It was the 14th shorthanded goal for the Express this season. And Canon's 4th shorthanded goal of the season.

Biega added his second of the night midway through the second period as his one timer on the power play hit a stick and got past Stanwood.

Langley had a quick response just 43 seconds later as Marcus Vela set up Darien Craighead to jammed it through the legs of Gordie Defiel.

The Express response to the goal was impressive. They re-stored their two goal lead just under 4 minutes later when Joey Santucci blasted home a set up from the slot by Adam Rockwood.

That goal brought Lyndon Stanwood's night to a close after allowing 4 goals on 16 shots.

Brock Crossthwaite was welcomed to the game by Canon Pieper's second of the night on a shot from the point that was tipped for a 5-2 Express lead just 56 seconds after Santucci's goal.

Then things started to get silly. Brendan Gulka tried to goat Joey Santucci into a fight when he lined up for the face-off following the goal. Additional rough stuff ensued including Crossthwaite challenging Gordie Defiel to a fight.

But the Express did a good job of not falling into the trap that Langley was trying to goat the Express into shenanigans and just looked at the scoreboard and let it do all the talking.

A three goal lead for the Express entering the third should have been pretty safe.

But any feelings of easiness may have been lost when Gordie Defiel whiffed on Tony Bretzman's wrister just 2:42 into the period.

The goal gave Langley life and re-focused them. Their push resulted in a 5-3 game just 6 minutes into the third when Mitch McClain from behind the net set up Matt Ustaski.

Langley's comeback was complete when Zach Urban's point shot hit the leg of an Express defenceman and got past Defiel. It took 9:11 for the Rivermen to make the 3 goal Express lead a thing of the past.

We needed overtime for the second time this season between these two teams. Marc Biega put the game on ice when Crossthwaite couldn't find the puck in his equipment and the Express defenceman swooped in and poked home his hat-trick goal for the Express overtime winner.

Biega's hat-trick was just the third by a defenceman in franchise history. And the first since Alan Mazur potted one October 2nd, 2005 vs. the Quesnel Millionaires when the Express were based in Burnaby.

These teams will go at it again in less than 24 hours when Langley comes to Coquitlam Sunday afternoon. Don't be surprised if the bad blood between these two teams carries over to the re-match.

Friday, December 20, 2013


The Powell River Kings snapped a 3 game losing streak in convincing fashion sending the Express into the Christmas break on the losing end of a 8-3 score.

This was going to be the toughest test the Express were going to face all season long. And it certainly proved to be true.

It started quickly as the Kings jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead on goals by Stephen Hiff, Drew Dorantes and Jarid Lukosevicius before the game was 8 minutes old.

From there the Express were forced to use their explosive offense to try and play catch up against the top defensive team in the BCHL.

Bo Pieper pulled the Express back within two with a shorthanded goal thanks to a set up from Ryan Rosenthal. It was the 13th shorthanded goal for the Express this season adding to their league lead in that category.

Bo's brother Canon pulled the Express back within one on a second period power play snapping a shot over the glove of screened Jeff Smith.

In a game where the Express needed top notch goaltending to keep the game competitive saw a goal go in just 39 seconds later as Brian Rideout beat Gordie Defiel with a screen shot from the point. The goal took some wind out of the Express sails at a time when they needed a save when they had begun to chip away at the Kings lead.

Kurt Keats made it a 5-2 game halfway through the second period as he fired a shot over Defiel following a won face-off in the Express zone.

Canon Pieper added his second of the game and pulled into a tie for the team lead in goals with his 20th of the season when he jammed a loose puck home at 15:06.

Powell River put the finishing touches on a strong team effort in the third period tallying 3 more times on a pair of goals from Jarryd Leung and a single from Luke McCaw.

The Express head into the Christmas break with a record of 16-16-0-3 and have lost their last 3 outings.

Everyone will get a chance to refresh their batteries for a little more than a week before the Express return from their break for a home and home with the Langley Rivermen starting Saturday December 28th.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


This years edition of the Coquitlam Express is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get to steal a line from the movie Forrest Gump.

Some nights the Express might light the lamp and win going away. Some mights they might have the opposition light the lamp and win going away. Some nights they will play a tight strong defensive hockey game and come away victorious. And some nights both teams will light the lamp and it's a flip of a coin to determine who will come away with the two points.

Sunday it was the latter that came to fruition in a 5-4 overtime win by the Surrey Eagles.

There were momentums swings, lead changes, pretty goals and a weird one on this night.

Surrey got the offense rolling as Joseph Drapluk scored with 1 second remaining in a two minute 5 on 3 for Surrey in controversial fashion.

The two man advantage came about starting with some interference by Zach Hodder in the neutral zone. Then some pushing and shoving after the whistle and some how Surrey came out of it with a 2 man advantage.

On the goal Ben Israel was knocked to the ice away from the play allowing Joseph Drapluk to walk out of from the side of the net and score on Gordie Defiel.

The Express pulled even with a power play goal of their own. Corey Mackin worked the puck down low to Adam Rockwood who zipped a pass cross crease to a pinching Cam Marks who had the pass bounce off his skate and in for his second goal of the season.

Things really started to open up in the second period.

On another Surrey power play captain Brett Mulcahy slid the puck towards the Express net and Gordie Defiel never could get control of the puck as he went to play it and it found it's way to bounce in.

Just 1:17 later Defiel was beat again, this time on a much more difficult shot as Danton Heinen wired it past Defiel from the left wing for a 3-1 Surrey lead.

To the Express credit they went right to work trying to chip away at the deficit.

Cody Boyd pulled the visitors within one as his shot hit something on it's way to the net and got past Devon Fordyce.

Then the BCHL's most dangerous shorthanded team struck again. Ryan Rosenthal poked the puck up to Corey Mackin who walked in on a breakaway and beat Fordyce over the glove to tie the game at 3.

It was the 12th shorthanded goal scored by the Express and also the 12th allowed by the Surrey Eagles this season. Both numbers are the highest in the BCHL. It was also the 5th shorthanded goal the Express have scored vs. Surrey this season.

Mackin added his second of the period with 2:16 remaining as he took a pass from Rosenthal and slid it home for the only lead the Express would hold on this night at 4-3.

That lead lasted just :37 seconds as right off a face-off in the Express zone Nic Pierog swatted a puck past Defiel to tie the game at 4.

Nothing was decided in the third period. Each team had their chances in the period to break the deadlock. The best came in the final 35 seconds of the third period as Adam Rockwood came out of the corner powered the puck to the net and was stopped by the right leg of Fordyce who also turned Ryan Rosenthal aside with an even better save on the rebound.

In the first overtime the best chance to end it was a breakaway for Luke Sandler but the Eagles forward lost control of the puck on his attempt to deke to the backhand.

The Eagles prevailed in the second overtime as Jonah Renouf broke in on a 2 on 1, he showed great patience and in the process an Express defender ran into Defiel allowing Renouf to deke past the traffic and slide the puck into an open net for the game winner.

Surrey outshot the Express 40-33. With the win, they pull within 4 points of the Express for 3rd place in the Mainland division standings.

The Express will play their final game before Christmas Friday vs. the Powell River Kings. 

Friday, December 13, 2013


The Nanaimo Clippers posted their second straight win in less than two weeks over the Express spoiling Teddy Bear toss night with a 6-3 win.

The visitors were ready to go right from the start and put the Express in catch up mode most of the night.

Nanaimo established a solid forecheck which gave the Express all kinds of trouble in their own zone. And eventually it led to chances and Clipper goals.

Devin Brosseau took advantage of an Express turn over and opened the scoring at 5:12.

The opening frame belonged to the Clippers. They outshot the Express 16-6. The only decent scoring chance the Express able to muster was a one timer from the slot by Ryan Rosenthal and he didn't hit the net.

Before the period was done the Clippers added a pair of goals.

A bad read on a line change in the neutral zone allowed Nanaimo to turn a 2 on 2 rush into a 2 on 1 and Korey Morgan finished it off sliding it home on the backhand.

That was followed 60 seconds later on a goal by Sheldon Rempal who banged home the rebound of a wide shot off the end boards and past Gordie Defiel.

The fans at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre got their opportunity to toss their stuffed animals on the ice seconds after a power play expired as Canon Pieper wired a shot top corner on Tanner Kovacs at 3:19 of the second period.

On this night the Clips had an ability to match every Express offensive attack.

Brendan Taylor snapped a puck past Defiel just 3:25 later to put Nanaimo up 3 for a second time.

Bo Pieper pulled the Express back within two as he got his own rebound off a shot that hit the end boards and snapped it past Kovacs at 16:14.

90 seconds after that it was a 3 goal Nanaimo lead for a third time on as Nick Guerra took the puck to the net and got his own rebound to put into a gaping 6x4 for a 5-2 lead at 17:44.

The Express had one last legitimate chance to try and claw back into the game in the third period when they got a 5 on 3 for 1:55 following penalties to Eric Margo and Tanner Kovacs for delay of game.

Bo Pieper scored his second of the night on the backhand to pull the Express back within two for a third time.

The home side had some chances in the third period to try and draw closer but just couldn't dig themselves out of the early hole they put themselves in.

Korey Morgan added his second of the game into an empty net to round out the scoring.

The Express outshot 34-31. And this is despite starting the game dressing just 16 skaters. And losing Jace Hennig after he crashed into the end boards in the second period and didn't return. They also played with out Cody Boyd for 12 minutes following a misconduct he was assessed following a fight when he came to the defense of teammate Jackson Cressey after he was hit by Mason Mitchell. The short bench didn't help matters Friday.

The Express will have a day of rest before traveling to Surrey on Sunday afternoon. 

Friday, December 6, 2013


A much better defensive effort, and a 6 goal explosion did the job for the Express Friday as they took the rematch with the Prince George Spruce Kings winning 6-3 Friday night.

A solid contribution from the top 3 lines and steady goaltending from Gordie Defiel paced the Express on this night.

8 of the top 9 forwards hit the scoresheet for the Express. The only forward of that group to not hit the scoresheet was Cody Boyd but made his presence felt with his physical play.

The top line opened the scoring as captain Ryan Rosenthal slid the puck into the Spruce Kings zone, Alex Murray came out of his crease to play the puck and sweep it behind the net. But the Express captain read the play well and picked off the clearing attempt and quickly set up Adam Rockwood who tapped it home.

Brent Lashuk evened it up for Prince George as he took the puck off the boards and cut into the middle of the ice and snapped a shot low to the glove side past Gordie Defiel.

The Express re-stored their lead before the first period came to an end. Marc Biega led the rush into the Prince George end and fired a shot that snuck through the legs of Murray at 18:21. It was Biega's 6th goal of the season and his 5th on home ice this year.

Marco Ballarin pulled the visitors even early in the second period as he had multiple whacks at the rebound of a Sean Landrey shot before lifting it over Defiel just 53 seconds into the 2nd period.

The tie didn't last 3 seconds as Jace Henning broke out of the Express zone and led the attack and snapped a shot that hit the stick of a Spruce Kings defender and past Murray to put the Express in the lead for a 3rd time at 3-2.

Now the Express began to work at pulling away from Prince George.

Bo Pieper blasted home a one timer on the power play on a set up from his brother Canon to put the Express up a pair.

Just 1:02 later Braiden Epp briefly pulled Prince George back within one on a set up from Mitch Eden.

81 ticks of the clock later the Express again were up by 3 as Joey Santucci buried the rebound of a point shot for a 5-3 Express lead.

Then it was the Pieper brothers teaming up again and this time it was Canon banging home a rebound to put the Express up 6-3.

The line of Joey Santucci and the Pieper brothers teamed up for 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points in the second period.

The third period was fairly uneventful as the Express cruised to victory the rest of the way.

They fired 35 shots on this night while limiting the opposition to just 25 shots on goal.

The Express penalty killing had a bounce back night after getting torched the previous 4 outings killing off all 3 Prince George power plays. The Express power play struck once on their 3 advantages.

They will have a day of rest before playing host to the Vernon Vipers Sunday afternoon. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


The effort level in terms of shots on goal in the offensive level is there, but it's the ability to keep pucks out of the net that is really plaguing the Express right now.

It was another tough night Wednesday falling 6-0 to the Prince George Spruce Kings in the first of back to back games between the Mainland division foes.

The last two games have seen the Express fall by lopsided scores. They've now been outscored 14-1 in their last 2 games. It's part of a run that has seen the Express allow 31 goals and score 20 in their last 5 games while going 2-3 in that time.

Prince George got the jump on the Express quickly as just over a minute in Chad Staley beat Pierce Dushenko with a shot from the boards beating the Express rookie to the short side.

The Express had a number of quality chances to pull even. Their best probably came to Joey Santucci who had a loose puck lying in the crease and somehow couldn't tap it home.

Ryan Rosenthal and Adam Rockwood also had good chances but couldn't beat Alex Murray who was steady turning aside 34 shots for the shutout.

When you're allowing goals the way the Express have been recently, it's not surprise that the penalty killing will take a hit as well.

Prince George struck on their first two power plays tonight as Jake Lebrun and Christian Weidauer scored to give the visitors a 3-0 lead after 1 period.

After a goal less second period the goals started going in again in the third.

Jeremiah Luedtke was on the business end of a give and go with Justin Rai and he tapped it home to make it 4-0.

In the dying minutes and a late power play the Express made one last desperate attempt to get on the board as they pulled Dushenko to give them a 6 on 4 advantage. That didn't help the Express cause as  moments after the Spruce Kings returned to full strength Matt Painchaud scored into the empty net.

Then to deliver one last blow Caleb Thompson scored moments into a Spruce Kings power play blasting a shot over the shoulder of Dushenko to put a cap on the goal scoring.

Prince George finished 3 for 5 on the power play. The Express penalty killing is on a run they would like to quickly put to an end that has seen the opposition click at a 50 percent success rate going 12 for 24 on the power play in the last 4 games.

The sooner Friday's re-match arrives, the sooner the Express can try to put this tough stretch behind them. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Here's the highlights of the 9-6 Express win over Surrey last Friday.

Highlights courtesy of Jorge Parra and Underdog Productions.