Saturday, September 26, 2015


Jackson Cressey scored twice and added an assist - Photo Courtesy of Damon James
They were ready to go right from the drop of the puck and it carried the Express right on through for the next 60 minutes. They came away from the 2015 Bauer BCHL showcase splitting their two games by taking Saturday's game 4-2 over Nanaimo. Click here for boxscore

Coming off a disappointing 7-2 set back in the opener vs. Powell River, the Express wanted to make amends against a very good team. That's exactly what happened.

Right from the start the Express were physical, skating creating chances and eventually their work paid off.

The top line of Captain Jackson Cressey, Colton Kerfoot and Austin McIlmurray carried the load for the Express offensively. They scored all four goals with Kerfoot and Cressey each scoring twice. While McIlmurray chipped in with a pair of helpers. They combined for four goals and three assists for seven points.

Colton Kerfoot celebrates one of his two goals - Photo Courtesy of Damon James
Kerfoot scored his first of the game just over 5 minutes in as the puck came to him in the slot and he scored on a backhand beating Clippers goaltender Jakob Walter.

The Clippers got it back just over three minutes later as Sean Buchannon beat Tyger Howat with a shot off the post and in.

The Express top line took over a shift in the Nanaimo zone cycling effectively for a good 30 seconds below the hashmarks. The cycle was helped out by a smart pinch by defenceman Taylor Green to keep the cycle alive. Eventually, the Clippers coverage was broken down and Cressey scored on a pass from behind the net by Kerfoot for a 2-1 Express lead.

Eric Udahl - Photo Courtesy of Damon James
Playing with the lead it allowed Head Coach Barry Wolff to get all four lines involved in the game to show their abilities to the plenty of scouts in attendance.

Owen Stout at one point showed good speed and used it to create a chance wiring a shot off the post, Cam Bertsch using his speed defensively to make a good play in his own end, Jake Brien delivered another body rattling hit for a second straight game.

Colton Kerfoot got his second of the game late in the second period converting a clever diagonal pass through the zone by Owen Stout for a powerplay goal to give the Express a 3-1 lead through 40 minutes.

Clippers defenceman Yanni Kaldis pulled Nanaimo within one early in the third period with a shot that beat Howat on the glove side.

Then came a key sequence moments later. A pair of Express penalties in quick succession gave Nanaimo a 5 on 3 for 1:38. The Clippers owned the puck in the Nanaimo zone, but a combination of key saves by Howat and the penalty killing unit held off the Nanaimo surge to keep the Express in front.

Midway through the third period Austin McIlmurray sprung Cressey on a breakaway and he re-stored the Express two goal advantage.

Cressey really showed why he was given the “C” for the Express this season. He may have played his best game in an Express uniform Saturday. In addition to scoring a pair of goals, he was delivering hits, paying the price to block shots. Setting a pretty easy example for the rest of his teammates to follow. And follow they did.

Jack Surowiec was among one of the other players that stood out paying the price to block shots to help preserve the win. Taylor Green was solid breaking up rushes at the Express blue line.

Tyger Howat was 1st star with 48 saves - Photo Courtesy of Damon James
Then Tyger Howat shut the door for good after the Clippers scored their second goal in the third period. He finished with 48 saves on 50 shots to earn the games 1st star. He's faced 40+ shots in each of his first three Express starts. Two of them victories.

This win against a good team can help set the standard the Express would like to set for this season.

Next week the Express are on the road in Victoria and Nanaimo Thursday and Friday. Before playing their home opener in one week vs. Cowichan Valley next Saturday.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Dante Hahn scored in his Express debut. Photo courtesy of Garrett James.
The Express and the Powell River Kings raised the curtain for the 4th annual Bauer BCHL showcase at the Prospera Centre in Chilliwack.

It was the Kings who prevailed by a 7-2 final. Click here for boxscore

Powell River got going just over 6 minutes into the first period when Jonny Evans fired a shot from the circle up over the shoulder of Braden Krogfoss who was down in the paddle down position.

Defenceman Taylor Green - Photo courtesy of Garrett James.
The Express lineup has gone through some changes since the season has began. Thursday the Express dressed former Langley Rivermen forward Dante Hahn (95) as an AP. The 150 game BCHL veteran set the tone for what would be a solid effort in his Express debut. He had their best scoring chance in the first period as he broke through the middle of the ice receiving a pass then went to the backhand where he was robbed by Kings goaltender Jeff Smith.

Defenceman Jake Brien showed some of his physical prowess in the first period. He had a big hit at the Express line as he lined up a Kings player coming down the wing. He had a similar type hit minutes later. This time he was called for charging.

On the ensuing power play Carter Turnbull finished off a 2 on 1 by firing a shot up over the glove of Krogfoss for a 2-0 Kings lead.

Eric Udahl - Photo courtesy of Garrett James.
It didn't take long for the Kings to add to their lead in the second period as just 18 seconds in Jeremy Leclerc scored with a goal up off the rush.

The Express best chance to score Thursday morning came in the second period when Austin McIlmurray was sprung on a breakaway. He was poke checked by Smith. Colton Kerfoot followed up on the play and was robbed by the glove of the fallen goaltender sitting on his backside.

Turnbull added his second power play goal of the game midway through the second period as he beat Krogfoss with a wrist shot top corner over the glove of Krogfoss to put the Kings up 4.

Dante Hahn was arguably the Express most dangerous forward Thursday. The second most dangerous may have been his linemate Blake Hayward. He had two good looks in the second period. His first chance he slid a wrist shot low and just past the far post. Then he ripped a wrist shot off the underside of the crossbar from the slot.

The Express appeared to have gotten on the scoreboard before the second period was done. Colton Kerfoot from the left wing boards threw the puck at the net looking for a streaking McIlmurray. While en route the puck hit a Kings defender and went in the net before reaching McIlmurray who crashed into the cage. The goal was immediately waved off by the referee.

Dante Hahn got the Express on the board in the third period. From the goal line he slid the puck to the crease from the goal line and it bounced in off a Kings defenseman and in to make it a 4-1 game.

The goal was just the second power play goal for the Express this season.

But less than a minute later the Kings re-stored their four goal lead on a goal by Austin Kamer top shelf over the glove. Are you noticing a theme here?

Austin McIlmurray got a small measure of revenge scoring on a similar set up from Colton Kerfoot that resulted on the Express goal being waved off in the 2nd period.

Nick Halagian and Liam Lawson also had third period goals for the Kings.

Powell River outshot the Express 39-33.

The Kings were 2 for 3 on the power play while the Express were 1 for 3.

The Express will play their second game of the showcase Saturday afternoon at 1pm vs. the Nanaimo Clippers. They will play their home opener on Friday October 3rd vs. Cowichan Valley.

Some transaction news to keep you posted on. Forward Michael Merulla  has been traded to the Surrey Eagles. And defenseman Jivan Sidhu (95) has been traded to the Kanata Lasers CCHL for future considerations.

Check out an interview with Express forward Jack Surowiec.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


The Coquitlam Express have traded Forward Daniell Lange (95) to the Kindersley Klippers (SJHL) In exchange for future considerations.

The Langley native, Lange played the last two seasons with the Express.  He dressed for 104 games with 19 goals and 15 assists for 34 points. He also dressed for 29 BCHL playoff and Western Canada cup games with two assists. He was a member of the Express 2014 Fred Page cup championship team.

The Express would like to thank Daniell for his hard work and dedication to the team over the last two seasons.  And wish him all the best in his final season of Junior hockey in Kindersley.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


The Express debuted their new Black and Gold road jersey. 
It was a case of just too little too late for the Express in a season opening loss to the Chilliwack Chiefs at the Prospera Centre in Chilliwack.

The Express rallied from a 4-0 third period deficit to cut it to 4-3 with 89 seconds to play in the third before an empty net goal sealed the 5-3 Chiefs win.  Click here for boxscore

Coquitlam showed plenty of jump in the opening 20 minutes. They fired the first 6 shots of the game.

Jackson Cressey and Austin McIlmurray each had good chances within seconds of each other in the first 5 minutes.

Rookie defenseman Charlie Barrow showed his vision and skating ability with a slap pass set up, then poking a loose puck through the goal crease when the Express were shorthanded.

The Express outshot Chilliwack 16-8 in the 1st period and Chiefs netminder Aiden Pelino was the difference from the Express not coming out the first period with the lead.

The chances weren't as plentiful for the Express in the second period. But their best came in the middle frame. Austin McIlmurray got a step behind the Chiefs defense and set up Colton Kerfoot who was completely robbed as Pelino got his pad down coming to his left.

The deadlock was finally broken 7 minutes into the second period when Jeremy Germain re-directed a Bennett Morrison point shot past Express starter Braden Krogfoss.

7 minutes later the lead was extended when Austin Adam fired a great pass through the middle of the ice springing Vimal Sukumaran on a breakaway who made no mistake beating Krogfoss with a deke to the backhand.

One of the biggest stories for the Express in the game was their power play.

Late in the second period as a power play came to an end, Olivier Arseneau came out of the box and found the puck on his stick and he gave the puck to Germain who took the puck to the net and Jake Smith finished the rush sliding the puck inside the post for a 3-0 lead for Chilliwack after 40 minutes.

In the third a neutral zone turnover allowed Chiefs captain Jordan Kawaguchi to speed to the Express net on a breakaway. His backhand hit the post of Sukumaran was there to clean up the rebound by burying his second of the game for a 4-0 Chiefs lead.

Down four the Express showed some good character on opening night. Newly named captain Jackson Cressey from behind the Chiefs net set up Jonathan Irving who snapped home his first BCHL goal to get the Express on the lead.

Minutes later Colton Kerfoot who was snake bitten at times during the night with quality scoring chances got a break as he scored from the corner in the Chiefs zone as his wrist shot bounced off the glove of Pelino and into the net.

As I mentioned earlier the Express power play was a story in the outcome of this game. Bennett Morrison was penalized for hooking which was followed seconds later by a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for Sukumaran. The Express had a 5 on 3 for 1:46 and 3 minutes of 5 on 4 time on top of that. The Express weren't able to strike on the man advantage  and another power play minutes later when Jordan Kawaguchi was called for hooking.

The Express finished 0 for 9 on the night.
Barry Wolff calls a 3rd period time out.

With 1:29 remaining in the third period Matt Michie won a face-off in the Chiefs zone and the puck found it's way to Owen Stout alone in front of the net and he made no mistake roofing it over the shoulder of Pelino.

But that would be as close as the Express would come as the Chiefs sealed the game on a empty netter by Jesse Lansdell.

Despite being on the wrong side of the final score, the Express throughout the night had their fair share of quality scoring chances. They finished with 42 shots but Pelino was solid in the Chiefs crease.

Pelino's counterpart at the other end Braden Krogfoss was solid in the Express crease. He didn't have much of a chance on the pucks that got past him on the night.

The Express are right back in action Sunday afternoon in Surrey.

Former Langley Rivermen forward Eric Udahl made his Express debut after being picked up Friday.

Friday, September 11, 2015


Forward Jackson Cressey (96) has been named captain of the Coquitlam Express for the 2015-16 season.

The West Vancouver native is entering his third full season with the Express. Cressey has dressed for 118 games for the Express over the last three seasons dating back to when he began as an affiliate player during the 2012-13 season. He has 20 goals and 54 points in his BCHL career. 

Last season Cressey played a leadership role with the club serving as an alternate captain.

Cressey and the rest of his Express teammates begin the 2015-16 season Saturday night in Chilliwack. 

Congratulations Jackson.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Jordan Kawaguchi capped off a three point night by scoring the game winning goal with 8.8 seconds left in the third period to give the Chiefs a 4-3 win over the Express in Hope Tuesday night.

The Express remain winless in three pre-season games this season. Head Coach Barry Wolff has used his veterans and top recruits sparingly so far in pre-season. A few more veterans hit the ice for the Express with returnees Jivan Sidhu and Austin Anselmo seeing action on the buleline. While Daniell Lange and Michael Merulla were on a line with the PJHL's third leading goal scorer Carson Rose.

Merulla got things rolling for the Express opening the scoring on a power play with a shot from a sharp angle.

Kawaguchi picked up his first point of the night by setting up Vimal Sukumaran who scored his first of two on the night.

The Chiefs outshot the Express 17-9 in the first period.

The middle frame saw the Chiefs open up the period with a flurry but Express starter Jeff Vietsch was up to the task with a great rebound save coming to his right. Then making a save on a deflection seconds later.

Jeremy Germain gave Chilliwack their first lead of the night finding a loose puck in the Express crease.

Then midway through the second period Sukumaran scored his second of the night for a 3-1 Chiefs lead. That was the perfect time for the Express to make a change between the pipes as they split their goaltending duties equally as Jimmy Poreda played the second half of the game.

Being the most experienced forwards in the lineup for the Express, Michael Merulla and Daniell Lange were expected to be your most dangerous forwards. That was exactly the case. Most notably in the second period. They created at least four scoring chances for the Express in the second period alone.

Michael Merulla even drew a penalty shot. But was denied as he couldn't beat Chiefs started Aidan Pelino with a backhand deke.

Sam Kozlowski scored in the third period to cut the Chiefs lead to 3-2.

Then the Chiefs were called for three consecutive penalties giving the Express three power plays including a 5 on 3 for 1:05. But the Express weren't able to take advantage of the opportunity. The Express finished the game 1 for 6. The Chiefs meanwhile were 0 for 3 on the power play.

With 2:23 the Express pulled even as Merulla and Lange teamed up to tie the game at three.

Last season whenever the Chiefs needed a big goal against the Express it always seemed Jordan Kawaguchi found a way to get it. Well he picked up where he left off last season Tuesday night by finding a loose puck in the crease and poked it home with just 8.8 seconds left in the third period to give the Chiefs the win.

The Express outshot the Chiefs 38-37 and 29-20 in the final two periods.

Jeff Vietsch allowed three goals in his first half of the game for the Express. Jimmy Poreda allowed one goal in his 30 minutes of action.


3 - Michael Merulla CQ 1G, 1A
2 - Vimal Sukumaran CH 2G
1 - Jordan Kawaguchi CH 1G, 2A

The Express will play host to the expansion Wenatchee Wild Thursday night at the Burnaby Winter Club in their next pre-season game. They will round out the exhibition schedule the next night in Surrey.

The regular season opens Saturday September 12th in Chilliwack.