Sunday, March 29, 2015


The 2003 NHL draft is known for the high end talents it produced. It was also historic for the Express as the first two players from the organization were drafted by an NHL team.

Brett Hemingway was drafted in the 7th round and his teammate David Jones was selected in the 9th round. Both by the Colorado Avalanche.

Jones has carved out a nice career for himself. Now with the Calgary Flames. Here's a look at his home in Calgary with some of his Express momentos on display.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Teams shake hands following game 5

The Express reign as Fred Page Cup champions ended last night with a 4-2 loss in game 5 of the Mainland division semi final with the Chilliwack Chiefs. The Chiefs won the series 4 games to 1. Click here for boxscore

Braden Krogfoss got the call in game 5 for the Express between the pipes. Chris Tai was relived in game 4 after allowing 7 goals in 37 shots. Krogfoss who had a good finish to the season was tasked with keeping the Express close and try to help extend the season.

The most consistent trend in all 5 games of the series was the Chiefs opening the scoring. Jake Hand got Chilliwack on the board first banging home a rebound of a Vincent Desharnais point shot for his 4th of the series.

Chilliwack opened the scoring at the 12:14 of the first period of game one. That would turn out to be the latest in the series the Chiefs would get the game's first goal. The next four games the Chiefs would score first within the first 6 minutes of every game. Three times the Chiefs opened the scoring within the first three minutes of the game.

Another constant for the Chiefs in the series was their ability to score on the powerplay. Chilliwack struck at least once with a man up in every game. Scott Davidson kept that streak alive by digging out a loose puck out of a scrum behind Krogfoss and tuck the puck into the open net.

Chilliwack peppered the Express net with 19 shots in the first period.

With 40 minutes possibly left in their season the Express really began to drain the tank and fight for their playoff life.

Brett Supinski scored his team leading 4th goal of the series less than three minutes into the second period tipping home a Daniel Fritz point shot.

That goal would spark the Express toward their best period of the series. The Express outshot the Chiefs 12-8. Their best chance on the night came when Corey Mackin came out from behind the net and zipped a pass across the crease and Brendan Lamont quickly snapped the pass by was completely robbed by the right leg of Scott Davidson who made his best save of the series.

The third period saw some of the bigger hits I've seen in the BCHL in recent years. Dustin Cave and Rory Bell two big boys collided hard at centre ice and the latter getting the worst of the hit. He was clearly wobbly and needed some attention on the ice before being helped to the room. That was followed minutes later by a hit by Colton Kerfoot as he came out of the penalty box.

In a 4 on 4 situation Brandon Potomak used his speed to get a step on the Express defence and throw the puck in front and Mason Boh playing in his second game of the series scored on the rebound for a 3-1 Chiefs lead with 7 minutes left.

Colton Kerfoot pulled the Express back within one scoring his first of the series on the powerplay with 2:36 to go.

The Express kept Krogfoss on the bench the rest of the way looking for the equalizer. It wasn't meant to be as Jordan Kawaguchi who torched the Express all season long scored his 11th goal regular season and playoffs into the empty net in the final minute to seal it. It's somewhat fitting he got the goal considering he scored 4 goals in the series and they all were big goals. Two of them opened the scoring.

Braden Krogfoss turned aside 44 of the 47 shots sent his way in game 5. He did everything that was asked of him in game 5 to give the Express the goaltending they needed to have a chance in a do or die game 5.

It just wasn't meant to be for the Express in 2015. The season didn't go as long as it did a year ago. But the Express fought like champions this season. It was a tough go for the Express with all the roster turnover from the previous season to the most recently completed year. They won just 3 of their first 16 games. But some personnel changes in the first few months of the season turned the season around.

All the players battled hard in the final four months of the season to make the Express one of the better teams in the BCHL by the time the final month of the regular season rolled around. The Express had a chance to finish the year above .500 if they took their final two games of the regular season. To put themselves in that position after their start was quite remarkable.

Individually Corey Mackin and Brett Supinski, their 50 and 48 goal seasons will be remembered for years to come.

Thanks to all the players who busted their tails all season long. And gave their blood, sweat tears and pain for the Express uniform.

For the players moving on, one memorable chapter of their lives closes and another one will soon begin.

For the returnees, they all showed signs of what's to come for next season when the opportunity will present itself.

It's only March, but it won't be long until we're back in Chilliwack in September again for another Express season starting at the showcase.

I would personally like to take this chance to thank everyone who took time to check out the blog and listen to Gord and I during the broadcasts this season. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015


All you need to know about game 4.

Chilliwack's 5 goal second period was more than enough to bury the Express as the Chiefs opened up a 3-1 series lead with a 7-2 win in game 4 of the Mainland division semi final. Click here for box sore

It was the most emotional game of the series with the Express coming out on the wrong side of the power play situation more often than not and the Chiefs made the Express pay. The Chiefs finished with 4 power play goals on the night.

If there's been one constant in this series has been the Express finding themselves in a first period hole. Chilliwack struck first for the 4th time in 4 games in this series when Jordan Kawaguchi opened the scoring for the second time in the series 6 minutes into game 4.

It was shortly after that goal the Express began to get into penalty trouble.

Working on a two man advantage Craig Puffer picked up his first goal as part of a two goal and three assist night by blasting home a one timer from the right circle past Chris Tai.

The shots were at one point 9-8 for the Express in the first period. But by the end of the period they were 19-10 Chiefs thanks to 10 shots on three first period power plays.

The fortunes for the Express didn't change much in the second. In fact they would only begin to compound one another.

Brendan Gulka was given a double minor for roughing and a misconduct for working over Mark Esposito on the corner in the Chilliwack end in the opening minute of the second period. That penalty first of all put a wrench in the Express third line losing Gulka for the game and the Express having lost Owen Stout and not returning in the first period.

Tipper Higgins converted on the power play for a 3-0 Chiefs lead less than 30 seconds into the power play.

Craig Puffer added his second goal on a 5 on 3 power play for the Chiefs with Brett Supinski and Daniell Lange in the box for a 4-0 Chiefs lead.

With the game slipping away the Express needed something to try and turn the game back their way somewhat.

They got some life when Jackson Cressey scored his second power play goal of the series tipping a Corey Mackin shot to get the Express on the board at 4-1. That was quickly followed by Brett Supinski's 3rd of the series 2:04 later to cut the deficit to 4-2 with plenty of hockey left.

But in the blink of an eye the deficit was right back to 4 on a Bennett Morrison goal with a wrist shot from the right point that got past Chris Tai following a won face-off in the Express zone. 15 seconds later the Express were fishing the puck out of the net again as Chris Tai couldn't clear the rebound off the end boards away from the front of the net and Kurt Black buried it for a 6-2 Chiefs lead.

At this point the Express let their frustrations get the best of them.

Tipper Higgins scored his 5th goal in the last two games for the Chiefs 4th power play goal of the game and 3rd of the second period with Joey Santucci in the box serving a double minor for spearing.

Then following the face-off at centre ice, things boiled over and everyone on the ice except both goaltenders was engaged in pushing and shoving. The score in the game and the impending score in the series certainly helped fuel all this frustration shown on the part of the Express. It's better to get this out of the system now in game 4. And hopefully don't let any of it linger and carry over into game 5 Monday when the Express will be playing for their playoff lives.

Chris Tai was relieved following the second period after he was barraged for 7 goals and 37 shots. Braden Krogfoss mopped up in the third making 6 saves.

After facing just 23 shots in a game 1 loss, Tai has since seen 41, 42 and 37 shots in the next three games. In 17 games last season regular season and playoffs with Lloydminster he faced just 35 or more shots once. This season with the Express regular season and playoffs he's seen 35+ shots 26 times and 3 other times he's faced 34 shots.

Now the Express face the task of knowing they will need to find a way to pick up their first win in Chilliwack on Monday for game 5. They're 0-8 in that building this season both vs. the Chiefs and at the showcase at the start of the season. The Express will need at least two wins in that building if they're to advance to the second round of the playoffs.

Saturday, March 7, 2015


Highlights of the Express 6-5 OT win in game 3 of the Mainland division semi final vs. Chilliwack Friday.

Highlights courtesy of Jorge Parra and Underdog Productions.


I'm certain a week ago when he was bed ridden battling a bout of bronchitis the last thing Austin Anselmo was thinking about was returning to the lineup and playing the overtime hero in his first game back in the lineup. Video link to Anselmo goal

Well that is indeed the case. The first year Express defender 13 pounds lighter scored the biggest goal of the Express season for a 6-5 overtime win in game 3 vs. Chilliwack Chiefs in the Mainland division semi final. Click here for boxscore

The win cut Chilliwack's lead in the series to 2-1.

Things didn't start well for the Express. Rory Bell scored a pair of goals in the first 2:27 of the game to quickly give the Chiefs a 2-0 lead. Jake Hand had a helping hand in both goals.

The fast start for the Chiefs got the Express attention for sure. Michael Merulla got the comeback started for the Express banging home the rebound off the end boards of a Daniel Fritz point shot.

The top line of Mackin, Supinski and Lamont made sure they were going to be heard from all night in a game as important of game 3 for the Express.

Brendan Lamont who battled like a bulldog and a grizzled 200+ game veteran in the BCHL worked hard behind the net allowing Brett Supinski to come in and take the puck and score on a wraparound to tie the game at two.

Through the first seven periods of the series the Express hadn't yet played a single second with the lead.

That changed early in the second period.

With the Express on a 5 on 3 powerplay for over a minute, Brett Supinski added his second of the night beating David Jacobson on a wrist shot from the top of the left circle.

That goal chased the Chiefs starter after 3 goals on 12 shots and bring in Aidan Pelino into the game.

Game 3 was a roller coaster of emotions for both teams.

The ride swung back in Chilliwack's favour when Tipper Higgins started his big night by tipping a Dennis Chylowski point shot for a 3-3 tie.

Corey Mackin gave the Express their second lead of the night with a backhand rebound chance late in the second period.

Both teams had their chances in the opening minutes of the third period. Craig Puffer hit the post for Chilliwack in the opening minute of the third. Mackin then rang a shot off the post of his own. Mackin was also robbed by the left pad of Pelino with the Express on a early powerplay.

Tipper Higgins on the powerplay found himself in the slot and snapped a shot through the legs of Chris Tai to even it up at four with his second of the night.

The line of Owen Stout, Michael Merulla and Brendan Gulka rose to the occasion in game 3 to provide some secondary scoring. Gulka scored his first of the post-season with just over 7 minutes left in the third sliding it right along the ice.

Any time Jordan Kawaguchi has been on the ice against the Express he's made their observers nervous. He cut down the left wing with less than three minutes to go and found Tipper Higgins in the slot and he finished off the hat-trick to send the game to overtime.

The overtime would be the biggest period for the Express season. A Chiefs goal would give them a stranglehold 3-0 lead. An Express goal got them back in the series.

Very little seperated the teams in overtime in game 3. The OT heroics got started as Brendan Lamont powered the puck to the net, Austin Anselmo reading the play pinched in and found the puck on his stick and his wrist shot found the back of the net to give the Express the dramatic OT win.

The shots finished 42-31 in favour of the Chiefs.

The Express went 1 for 5 on the powerplay While Chilliwack was 1 for 2.

Game four goes Saturday night in Coquitlam Game 5 will be played Monday night in Chilliwack.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


The Chilliwack Chiefs took home ice to their advantage winning the first two games of the Mainland Division semi final vs. the Express taking game 2, 6-2 in Chilliwack.

Chilliwack peppered the Express goaltender Chris Tai with the first 8 shots of the game. They opened the scoring less than three minutes into the contest on a power play goal by Jake Hand whose shot hit an Express defender on the way to the net and found its way past Chris Tai.

In game 1 the Express had 40 shots on David Jacobson, but the Express brass felt they didn't get enough pucks to the dirty areas that could lead to goals. They did a better job of that in the first period of game two. And it made a difference on the tying goal. Daniel Fritz's point shot got to the net leading a scramble and Jackson Cressey finding the puck in the crease to swat home a rebound to tie the game at one.

After the fast start on the shot clock for Chilliwack, the Express raised their game and finished the period only being outshot 14-13.

This game was turned on it's ear in a 1:59 span in the second period. It started with Tipper Higgins finding a loose puck in front of the the Express net and swatting into the open net.

Then just 20 seconds later Higgins shot from the right wing bounced to the Express biggest thorn in their side Jordan Kawaguchi who scored his 9th goal vs. the Express this season and 2nd of the playoffs for a 3-1 lead. That was followed up by a goal by Brandon Potomak who cut to the middle with a toe drag and snapped the puck between the pads of Tai.

The top line of Lamont, Supinski and Mackin cut the deficit back to one as Mackin found himself alone in front and he was able to slide the puck through the legs of Jacobson as Mackin came across the crease.

The top line combined for 1 goal and 4 assists tonight, but they were checked pretty closely most of the night. At times it appeared the Mackin was wearing either Luke McColgan or Eric Roberts as a jacket tonight considering how closely they were keeping Mackin within reach.

One of the areas I felt that Chilliwack had as a strong suit in this series was their balance. It came to the forefront in game two with six different goal scorers. Scott Davidson tipped home a Jake Hand shot for a the 5-2 goal.

Then with Brendan Gulka in the room after taking a double minor for roughing and getting a misconduct, Craig Puffer finished off the scoring tipping home a Dennis Chylowski point shot.

Chilliwack finished the night 2 for 4 on the power play while the Express were 1 for 4.

The Chiefs outshot the Express 41-36.

They say you're never in trouble in a playoff series until you lose at home.

The Express certainly hope that is true. Game 3 will be Friday night in Coquitlam

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


The Chilliwack Chiefs took game 1 of the Mainland division semi final with the Express by a 4-1 score.

Chiefs netminder David Jacobsen was solid in the net turning aside 39 of 40 shots and was named first star.

The Express had a 14-9 edge in shots in the first period and settled into a good start on the road. They just weren't able to to break through offensively.

The Chiefs have been able to get on the Express in the first period of games played in Chilliwack all season. Game 1 was no different.  Jordan Kawaguchi opened the scoring as he was able to come out from behind the net and beat Chris Tai up high with a shot from the goal line.

Then late in the first period Jake Hand was able to poke the puck past a diving Taylor Green and score on a breakaway for a 2-0 Chiefs lead despite being out shot 14-9. Chilliwack has outscored the Express 19-4 in the first period this season and 13-2 at Prospera Centre.

The second saw the Express get three opportunities to work on the powerplay but they were unable to convert on any of them despite some good puck control and chances. The inability to make those chances count certainly hurt the Express in game one. They finished the night 0 for 4.

In the opening minute of the third period Brendan Gulka was stopped in the slot and Owen Stout put the rebound though the crease missing the open net on the best scoring chance of the night for the Express. 

After a run of 4 consecutive Express powerplays to open the game it was only a matter of time before Chilliwack got their chances.

Kurt Black sealed game one with a powerplay goal with a wrist shot from the slot that trickled past Chris Tai midway through the third.

Daniel Fritz broke Daniel Jacobson's shutout bid with a screen shot from the point with just under two minutes to go.

Jake Hand rounded out the scoring with his second of the night into an empty net.

Game two goes Wednesday night in Chilliwack.

Monday, March 2, 2015


Corey Mackin and Brett Supinski were recognized for their fantastic regular seasons with the announcement of the BCHL award winners Monday afternoon. Click here to see all BCHL award winners

Corey Mackin was named the BCHL's Most valuable player and Brett Supinski was named the BCHL's rookie of the year. The awards were voted on by the coaches in the BCHL.

Philadelphia Pennsylvania native Mackin more than doubled his rookie season production of 50 points in his second season in the BCHL by becoming the first player since 2010 to score 50 goals and register more than 100 points. His 50 goals and 104 points earned him the BCHL scoring championship as well.
Photo Courtesy of Damon James Photography.

Mackin also lead the BCHL with 9 shorthanded goals which led the BCHL and was 6 more than his nearest competition from a group of players who had 3 including teammate Brett Supinski. The 9 shorthanded goals also set a new Express franchise record for most shorthanded goals in a season set by Kyle Turris who had 7 in the 05-06 season.

This is the fourth time in Express franchise history that an Express player has won the MVP award. The previous times were Alex Petan 2012, Carlo Finucci 2008 and Kyle Turris 2007. Mackin is also the 2nd player to win the BCHL scoring championship joining Carlo Finucci in 2008.

His 104 points is tied for the second most points in a season by a player tied equalling Tyler McNeely who racked up his total in 2007. Mackin's 50 goals makes him the third player in Express history to score 50 goals in a season joining Kyle Turris who had 66 in 2007 and Brodie Reid's 52 in 2008.

Next season Mackin will attend Ferris State University.

Collegeville Pennsylvania native Brett Supinski in his one and only season in the BCHL finished second in BCHL goals and points with 48 goals and 98 points trailing only teammate Corey Mackin. It was the first time since 1997 that two teammates finished 1-2 in BCHL scoring.

Photo Courtesy of Damon James Photography

The 9 game winning goals for Supinski led the BCHL in that category. He scored all 3 overtime winning goals for the Express this season including scoring OT winners on consecutive nights December 19th and 20th vs. Victoria and Prince George.

He also set new Express franchise marks for most goals and points in a season by an Express rookie breaking the marks set by Brett Hemingway in the Express first season in 2001-02.

It's the 5th time in 14 seasons, and 3rd time in the last 5 seasons that an Express player has won the top rookie award. Previous Express winners are Alexander Kerfoot 2012, Destry Straight 2011, Kyle Turris 2006 and Brett Hemingway 2002.

To put the statistical achievements of Mackin and Supinski in a little perspective, they put their numbers up in a 58 game schedule when the previous winners did it in 60 game schedules.

Next season Supinski will attend Union College.

Congratulations to Corey and Brett for their fantastic seasons that will be talked about for years to come.