Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Colton Kerfoot - Photo courtesy of Damon James
They tried for their third straight third period come from behind victory, but it wasn't enough Wednesday as the Express fell 4-2 to the Wenatchee Wild. Click here for boxscore

In each of the last two games for the Express they were able to dig themselves out of a third period hole to come away with the win at the end of the night.

Jake Brien & Blake Christensen - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Wenatchee played fast all night and the Express had to do their best just to keep up.

It was scoreless after the first period with the Wild outshooting the Express 10-3. The best chance for the Express didn't even register as a shot with Austin McIlMurray beating Garrett Nieto with a wrist shot that clanged off the post.

The pressure for the Wild finally broke through in the second period with Alex Bates beating Tyger Howat with a point shot through a screen following a won faceoff in the Express zone.

The fortunes for the Express didn't change much in the second period. They were outshot by a wider margin 16-4.

The speed of the Wild forced the Express to be chasing the puck most of the night. That resulted in Express penalties late in the second and early in the third. The Express penalty killers for the most part were able to get the job done. But the Wild got a break in early in the third period to extend their lead.
Tyger Howat made 40 saves - Photo courtesy of Damon James

Charlie Combs beat Tyger Howat with a shot past his glove from the point. Howat appeared to have  clear lane to see the shot but wasn't able to snag it.

Wenatchee's speed then drew a penalty shot for Matt Baker driving to the net and he was hauled down on his shot. On the free pass, Baker couldn't fool Howat with a Claude Giroux type move to keep the Express down just two for the moment.

It was at this point Barry Wolff juggled his top two lines for a second straight game. He put Mitch Newsome back up with Jackson Cressey and Austin McIlMurray. That line got their signals crossed on a dump in that led the 3-0 Wild goal.

McIlMurray dumped the puck into the Wild zone, as the puck bounced around the boards Newsome appeared to leave the puck for Cressey to pick it up coming from behind. Cressey however didn't pick it up then suddenly the Wild were on a two on one and Dakota Raabe finished it off for a 3-0 Wild lead.

Finally in the second half in the third period the Express began using their speed which led to the Wild taking penalites. Just seconds as a 5 on 3 Express advantage began Colton Kerfoot scored his 20th of the season to get the Express on the board.

Seconds later Charlie Barrow was hauled down entering the Wild zone resulting in another Express two man advantage.

Austin McIlMurray scored one second after the two man advantage ended and suddenly the Express are down 3-2 with 3:30 to play.

That goal suddenly sparked hopes of another come back. But with the resumption of 5 on 5 play the Wild went back to managing the puck in the Express zone and working the clock. The Wild broke the Express down and Mike Coyne found himself alone in front of the net and he had enough time to beat Tyger Howat with a deke to the backhand.

The Wild finished the game with 44 shots while the Express mustered a season low of just 15. They quite simply spent too much time all game long chasing the puck on the sticks of the Wild players in the Express end of the rink and generating no where near enough scoring chances of their own.

They were able to dig themselves out of third period holes the last two games, but the low percentages of teams rallying from behind entering the third period trailing caught up with them Wednesday.

This weekend the Express will have one final road trip this season with visits to Powell River, Cowichan Valley and Alberni Valley.


Here's the highlights of the 6-5 Express OT win over the Langley Rivermen Sunday.

Highlights courtesy of Jorge Parra and Underdog Productions. 

Monday, January 25, 2016


J. Cressey celebrates his game winning goal Friday - Photo courtesy of  D. James
Coquitlam Express captain Jackson Cressey has been named the BCHL player of the week.

Cressey scored the game winning goal in both games this weekend Friday vs. Wenatchee (on his 20th birthday) and Sunday afternoon in Langley.

In Sunday's game Cressey potted his second hat-trick of the season with all three goals coming on the power play and added an assist sparking an Express come from behind overtime win over the Langley Rivermen.

The Princeton University commit leads the Express with 29 goals this season and is second in team scoring with 59 points in 39 games. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Jackson Cressey's second hat-trick of the season completed a dramatic come back for the Express 6-5 in overtime vs. the Langley Rivermen. Click here for boxscore

The captain's third of the night came in overtime on the power play in a game where the Express scored a season high four power play goals.

Things didn't start well for the Express. Justin Szeto opned the scoring for Langley burying the rebound of a point shot following a won face-off in the Express zone. 58 seconds later the Rivermen added to their lead on Ryan Barrow's first of two on the night.

Keegan Jones cut into Langley's lead before the first period was done holding off a Rivermen defender and powering the puck to the net and beating a stretched out Bo Didur. For Jones it was his third goal of the season.

Langley took their second two goal lead of the night in the second period off a goal by Rivermen Captain Jordan Schneider whose wrist shot tipped off an Express defender and fluttered over the shoulder of Lawson Fenton.

All night long when the Rivermen went up a pair, the Express had a response and stayed within striking distance. A quick give and go on the power play between Alex Ambrosio and Taylor resulted in the former scoring with a quick shot over the glove of Bo Didur.

Midway through the second period the Express got into penalty trouble with Blake Hayward and Alex Ambrosio being called for hooking and cross checking penalties 17 seconds apart resulting in a lengthy Rivermen two man advantage.

The Rivermen were patient with their opportunity slowly moving the puck around in the Express zone. Finally William Campion found Torrin White alone at the side of the Express net who had a tap for Langley's third two goal lead of the night at 4-2.

Period two wound down with the Express on the power play, and the rallying Express cut into the deficit in the dying seconds with Jackson Cressey scoring his first of the night snapping home a hard pass across from Austin McIlMuarray to make it 4-3 going to the third period.

Five minutes into the third period Ryan Barrow's second of the game put Langley up a pair for a fourth time.

Jackson Cressey scored his second of the night and the third power play goal of the game scoring off the rush with just under seven minutes to go.

It was at this point Express Head Coach Barry Wolff took a look at his bench and decided who was going and who wasn't. He juggled his lines and shortened his bench looking to spark one final come back.

He placed Mitch Newsome on the line with Austin McIlMurray and Jackson Cressey. Keegan Jones was skating with Cam Bertsch and Colton Kerfoot. The resulting changes altered the look with a little more grit on the top line and a combination of size, speed and skill on the second line.

The changes paid off late in the game as the Express completed their comeback with former Rivermen Mitch Newsome carrying the puck into the Rivermen zone then getting the puck in deep for McIlMurray who set up Newsome in front of the net who scored his second Express goal to tie with with just over two minutes left in regulation. Both of Newsome's goals for the Express have come in the third period in two games against his former team.

It was a slow start for the first four minutes of the four on four overtime. Then after a Langley rush in the Express zone Rivermen captain Jordan Schneider was called for a roughing penalty with just 14 seconds left in the first overtime.

The red hot Express power play didn't take long for Schenider to pay for his penalty. They won the draw and quickly set up and Colton Kerfoot put a pass on the tee for Cressey to unload a one timer up over Bo Didur for Cressey's third power play goal of the game. That capped off a 4 for 6 night for the Express on the power play which was a season high for power play goals for the Express.

For Cressey it was his second hat-trick of the season. This weekend the captain scored the game winning goal in both of their games and he now has 29 goals on the season.

Lawson Fenton made 33 saves for his 10th win of the season.

The Express return home for one game on Wednesday vs. Wenatchee before the Express hit the road for their final road trip of the season next weekend on the Island. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Here's the highlights of the Express 2-1 win over the Wenatchee Wild Friday.

2016-01-22 WEN @ COQ Highlights
Highlights from the January 22, 2015 BCHL Live game, Wenatchee Wild Hockey at Coquitlam Express Jr A Hockey Club brought to you by UnderDog Productions
Posted by UnderDog Productions on Saturday, January 23, 2016
Highlights courtesy of Jorge Parra and Underdog Productions. 

Friday, January 22, 2016


The Express will wear Matt Hutchinson's initials on their helmets for the rest of the season
It could very easily have been Lawson Fenton's best game of the season making 40 saves in a 2-1 Express win over the Wenatchee Wild. Click here for boxscore

Fenton's play kept the Express close allowing them to rally for the comeback in the third period.

It didn't take long to realize that the Express goaltender was going to have a busy night and he was on his game.

He turned aside all 17 first period shots to keep the Wild at bay. He made saves stretching out his right pad, scramble plays in his goal crease. But his best of the night was a glove save going to his left to steal a goal away from Alex Bates on a one timer on a hot pass from the left wing.

At the other end the Express were only able to muster 6 first period shots.

Brendan Harris found the lone crack in Fenton's armor early in the second period cutting into the slot and beating Fenton with a shot over his glove for his 10th of the season. For the rest of the night the Wild were shaking their head as they were unable to get another puck past the Express netminder.

In the third period the Express special teams allowed them to turn the game in their favour. It didn't start that way in the period however as they were unable to strike on a power play that carried over from the second period.

Minutes later the Express killed off a key Alex Ambrosio penalty keeping the deficit at one.

Finally the Express were able to strike on the power play, following a scramble in front of the Wild net the puck came out to Austin McIlMurray who turned and fired the puck home with Wild goaltender Garrett Nieto scrambling to get back in his net. The Express were 1 for 4 on the power play while going 2 for 2 on the penalty kill.

Then Fenton put an exclamation point on his stellar effort. In a span of about 35 seconds he made three key saves on close. All of those saves were thanks to Fenton finding a way to keep his pads flat and strong on the ice.

Jackson Cressey gave the Express their lone lead of the night finding the puck in front of Nieto and sliding it under the goaltender for his 26th goal of the season.. The Express finished with only 19 shots, but made their shots count.

The win concludes a season high 7 game home stand that saw the Express finish with a 4-3 record.

Sunday the Express will head down the road for an afternoon game with the Langley Rivermen. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016


This is a post I hope no one ever has to write.

Tragic news coming out of New York State where Express alumni Matt Hutchinson was among three bodies found dead.

Click here for a story on the tragedy.

Hutchinson dressed for 68 of his 129 career BCHL games with the Express during the 10-11, and 11-12 seasons. He also played in the BCHL with Quesnel and Chilliwack.

His 1st Express goal can be seen at the 2:21 mark of the video below.

He was a senior in his 4th year and Geneseo University. Matt was just 24 years old and taken away way too soon.

Sincere condolences to everyone who's life was touched by Matt Hutchinson.

Everyone in the Express organization past and present is mourning his loss. 


Sheldon Rempal scored his 50th of the season - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Sheldon Rempal scored his 50th goal of the season and Devin Brosseau scored twice as the Nanaimo Clippers dropped the Express 5-2 Sunday afternoon. Click here for boxscore

The loss was the third straight for the Express all at home after starting their seven game home stand with a three game winning streak.

Mat Michie - Photo courtesy of Damon James
The Express knew they had to keep a close eye on the line of Rempal, Devin Brosseau and Spencer Hewson. As a result they were matched up most of the night against the Mat Michie, Jack Surowiec and Cam Bertsch line. That line did a good job getting in their face and limiting their chances in the first period.

A hard fought and evenly played first period came to an end scoreless.

It was a much different story in the second period.

Will Reily opened the scoring for Nanaimo on the power play pinching in from the right point.

This game was one of the more emotional games seen in the BCHL this season. As a result there were plenty of penalties.

Two quick Nanaimo infractions gave the Express a 5 on 3 power play for 1:41. Just 30 seconds into the power play the Express pulled even as Charlie Barrow's point shot was tipped past Evan Johnson.

50 seconds later still on the power play the Express struck again. Jackson Cressey sent the puck down low to Austin McIlMurray who zipped a pass across to Colton Kerfoot who buried it giving the Express their lone lead briefly.

1:11 after Kerfoot's goal, Rempal and Brosseau broke out on a two on one, with a chance to snap home number 50 on his stick, Rempal dished a perfect pass to Brosseau who converted to tie the game at two.

Alex Ambrosio - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Then on Brosseau's next shift he struck again. His original shot deflected wide of the Express net. He then picked up the puck behind the net and bounced it in off Tyger Howat to restore Nanaimo's lead at 3-2.

There were a number of lengthy scrums and pushing of shoving at various times after the whistles in the game. One late in the 2nd period resulted in a Nanaimo power play.

That power play saw Devin Brosseau set up Sheldon Rempal who scored his 50th goal of the season in his 45th game giving the Clippers a 4-2 lead heading into the third period.

The Express did strike twice on the power play. But they allowed other key opportunities to slip through their hands that could have helped their cause. They had back to back powerplays in the opening 5 minutes of the third period but were unable to score and cut into the Clipper lead. Then after another scrum in front of the Clippers bench resulted in the Express receiving a second lengthy two man advantage this time for two minutes but they couldn't repeat their second period magic.

Mitch Newsome - Photo courtesy of Damon James

Gavin Gould rounded out the scoring in the third period bouncing the puck in off Tyger Howat for his first Clippers goal in similar fashion to Brosseau's second of the game.

Evan Johnson in the Nanaimo crease had a very solid night finishing with 37 saves to earn the victory.

The seven game home stand for the Express wraps up Friday vs. the Wenatchee Wild with the Express looking to come out of it with a winning record. 

Friday, January 15, 2016


Mitch Newsome (18) scored in his Express debut - Photo courtesy of Damon James
The Langley Rivermen scored three unanswered third period goals as part of a 5-3 win over the Express. Four year WHL veteran Torrin White led the charge with a four point night to pace the Rivermen attack. Click here for boxscore

The Express entered the game four points back of the Langley Rivermen looking to try and reel in the Rivermen in the race for third place in the Mainland division standings.

In the five games for the Express since the Christms break they've been heavily outshot in the first period in four of those games and the Express made a point of wanting to turn the tables in that department Friday.

They started on the right foot with Taylor Green opening the scoring for the Express just over two minutes into the game.

That goal gave the Express some momentum in the first few minutes of the game.

But puck management for the Express was an area that hurt them throughout the night.

A bad pass back into the Express zone was pounced on by Justin Fregona and he walked in and deked past Tyger Howat scoring his 6th goal in 4 games against the Express this season.

Charlie Barrow - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Late in the first period a turnover at the Rivermen blueline started a Rivermen rush the other way and a give and go between Torrin White and Will Campion saw the veteran blue liner score to give Langley a 2-1 lead. The shots were 9-5 in favour of the Rivermen after 20 minutes.

The Express had the first three powerplays of the game. Then in the second Langley got the next three. The penalty killers rose to the occasion keeping the Rivermen off the board. Then captain Jackson Cressey muscled the puck into the Rivermen zone and cut to the net to score his third shorthanded goal of the season to even the score at two at 17:14.

Friday saw Mitch Newsome make his Express debut against one one his former teams after being acquired Sunday from Salmon Arm. He hit the score sheet for the first time burying a pass from the boards and scoring off the rush to put the Express into a 3-2 lead.

That goal power proved to be one of the few highlights for the Express in the third period that belonged to the Rivermen.

This game had a feel of a playoff game, and in playoff games teams that are successful do the little things right in order to win. Langley's veteran players showed veteran savvy in the final period to earn the two points. It started with the Rivermen working the puck in the Express zone and grinding them down. Dominic Franco was particularly strong using his size and strength effectively doing that.

Then after an effective shift for Franco's line in the Express zone ended, the Rivermen changed on the fly and Cam Ginnetti chased down his own dump in and was first on the puck then set up Torrin White who blasted a shot past Tyger Howat to tie the game at three.

51 seconds later after another Express turnover, a give and go between White and Max Kaufman saw the latter re-direct a pass between the pads of Howat for a 4-3 Rivermen lead.

Tyler Howat faced 35 shots - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Then White put the final stamp on a stellar night by scoring his second of the night from the slot for a 5-3 Rivermen lead. White finished with two goals and two assists. He was doing it at both ends of the rink in the third period. Defensively he came up with a number of blocked shots.

It was a tough night for the Express best players to generate offense at 5 on 5. Austin McIlMurray in particular was on the receiving end of some big hits when matched up against Rivermen captain defenseman Jordan Schneider.

Bo Didur only had to face 18 shots to earn the victory for Langley.

Up next for the Express will be a Sunday afternoon affair against Sheldon Rempal and the Nanaimo Clippers. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016


Express acquired Mitch Newsome from Salmon Arm - Photo courtesy of Damon James.
The Coquitlam Express added to their forward depth at the trade deadline Sunday.

They acquired Mitch Newsome (97) from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in exchange for future considerations.  The Surrey native has split this season with the Silverbacks and the Langley Rivermen. He has 3 goals and 8 assists in 34 games this season. He played his first full season in the BCHL last year with the Penticton Vees.

In 85 career BCHL games Newsome has 10 goals and 25 assists for 35 points. He also added 1 goal and 1 assist last year as the Vees won Fred Page Cup. At the Western Canada Cup in Fort McMurray he chipped in with a goal.

Newsome comes to the Express with a commitment to Michigan Tech for the fall of 2016.

Welcome to the Express Mitch.

Mitch Newsome (left) celebrates a goal - Photo courtesy of Garrett James

Saturday, January 9, 2016


Lawson Fenton did all he could to keep the Express in it - Photo courtesy of Damon James
A late third period rally made the final score close, but in reality the Express weren't good enough for the full 60 minutes falling to the Prince George Spruce Kings 4-3. Click here for boxscore

The Express have gotten off to slow starts in four of five games since the Christmas break. They have been able to dig themselves out of early holes, but tonight it came back to bite them.

Lawson Fenton was barraged with plenty of rubber in the first period and he did all he could to try and hold the Spruce Kings at bay. He was beaten by an Adam Brubacher blast that overpowered the glove of Fenton for a power play goal. Then following a won draw in the Express zone Tanner Campbell beat Fenton with a shot over his glove. Fenton was beaten twice on 11 first period shots, but it could have been worse were it not for Fenton considering the quality of chances for the Spruce Kings.

The Express didn't help themselves on special teams either. They had a two man advantage at the end of the first period that carried over to the second for over a minute, but were unable to even muster a shot.

For most of the night the Express were unable to generate much of an attack. It was a different story for Prince George. Corey Hoffman extended the Spruce Kings lead with the second of three Spruce Kings power play goals for a 3-0 second period lead.

Jack Surowiec - Photo courtesy of Damon James

After two periods the Express were limited to just 9 shots.

It took until the third period for the Express to finally try and claw back into the game. Owen Stout scored for a third straight game to get the Express on the board.

Then Prince George capped off a 3 for 7 night on the power play with Campbell's second of the game. The Spruce Kings also shut down the Express on all 5 of their man advantages.

Campbell's goal came just over 4 minutes remaining and it appeared the Spruce Kings were going to cruise to victory. But suddenly it was a one goal game after goals by Blake Hayward and Taylor Green 32 seconds apart.

Those goals made things interesting down the stretch and the Express did have their chances but it was too little too late and the Express couldn't complete the comeback.

Starting with their next game vs. Langley on Friday a better start and a 60 minute effort will be required after playing with fire with their slow starts in four of their last five games.


J. Pinchuk traded to Canmore Eagles (AJHL) - Photo courtesy of Damon James.
The Coquitlam Express have traded defenseman Jarrell Pinchuk (97) to the Camore Eagles (AJHL) for future considerations.

The Fort Saskatchewan Alberta native had 5 goals and 14 assists for 19 points in 37 games for the Express this season. He was acquired by the Express in the off-season from the Drumheller Dragons of the AJHL.

The Express would like to thank Jarrell for his contributions to the Express this season and wish him all the best in Canmore.

The BCHL trade deadline is Sunday January 10.


2016-01-08 TRL @ COQ
January 8, 2015 - BCHL Live game Highlights Trail Smoke Eaters visit Coquitlam Express Jr A Hockey Club Brought to you by UnderDog Productions ©2016
Posted by UnderDog Productions on Saturday, January 9, 2016

Highlights courtesy of Jorge Parra and Underdog Productions. 

Friday, January 8, 2016


Tyger Howat was 1st star -  Photo courtesy of Damon James
Tyger Howat made 41 saves allowing the Express to hold of Trail eventually winning 4-1 for their 3rd straight win on home ice. Click here for boxscore

The Express needed their goaltender especially in the first half of the game until the offense finally woke up.

Trail's speed caused havoc in the first period and that eventually led to Smoke Eaters scoring chances. Nick Halloran finally was able to beat Howat with a screen shot over the shoulder of Howat with just under two minutes remaining in the first period. Trail outshot the Express 16-4 in the first period.

It was more of the same for Trail in the opening minutes of the second period. Howat's best save of the night came when he came to his right and stacked the pads to deny Blaine Caton.

Owen Stout was named 2nd star
The game finally began to turn for the Express in the second period after killing off a tripping penalty to Owen Stout. Seconds after the penalty expired Stout set up Blake Hayward at the side of the Trail net to get the Express on the board.

Two minutes later Trail was called for too many men. On the ensuing power play, Charlie Barrow set up Owen Stout who beat Bailey MacBurnie up high to give the Express their first lead of the night. It was the second straight game that Owen Stout picked up 1 goal and 1 assist in the second period.

Mat Michie scored the third goal of the second period for the Express by going to the net and banging in a loose puck in the blue paint set up by Jack Surowiec and Cam Bertsch.

It was a rare night for the Express where the line of Jackson Cressey, Colton Kerfoot and Austin McIlMurray didn't have to shoulder the majority of the offensive load for the Express.

Noah Turanski - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Kerfoot did have a goal and an assist for the Express. He capped off the scoring in the 3rd period on the power play by knocking a Jeremy Lucchini clearing attempt out of the air and snapping his 18th of the season past the glove of MacBurnie. The power play finished 2 for 4.

With a three goal lead the Express were able to go into shutdown mode and roll their lines making smart decisions with the puck in the final minutes allowing the clock to tick down to their 18th win of the season. The win put the Express above .500.

The Express return to action Saturday night with Prince George making their second straight Saturday appearance.
It was Canuck alumni night -  Photo courtesy of Damon James


Click here to view Express vs. Cents highlights Jan. 6, 2016
Highlights courtesy of Jorge Parra and Underdog Productions.

Thursday, January 7, 2016


It's been quite a few weeks for Express forward Blake Hayward (98). He was invited to selection camp for Team Canada West and went on to make the team and help them in a gold medal at the World Jr. A Challenge. Click here to view the rosters for the Top Prospects game

Yesterday Hayward was invited to be a part of Team West in the upcoming CJHL Top Prospects game in Surrey on January 26. He will be among 8 BCHLers that will take part in the game.

The CJHL Prospects game was created to showcase top NHL prospects in the CJHL as identified by NHL Central scouting. The game features players from the CJHL's five western leagues BCHL, AJHL, SJHL, MJHL and SIJHL competing against players from the CJHL five eastern leagues the NOJHL, CCHL, OJHL, QJHL and MHL. The winning team is awarded the President's cup.

"We are very proud of Blake and his opportunity to skate once again with the best of the best. He has worked very hard to get where he is today in his game, and to be recognized by NHL Central Scouting, and to be picked to play in the Prospect's game is another feather in his cap." - Coquitlam Express Head Coach and GM Barry Wolff.

This season Hayward has four goals and four assists for eight points in 32 games.

For ticket information to the Prospects game at the South Surrey Arena contact the Surrey Eagles office at 604-531-4625.


Tyger Howat made 41 saves - Photo courtesy of Damon James.
The Express got a measure of revenge over the Merritt Centennials with a 5-3 win in Coquitlam Wednesday. Last week it was Merritt knocking off the Express 5-4 in Merritt. Click here for boxscore.

Tyger Howat made 41 saves to earn the win in the Express crease. He was supported by a balanced attack with goals from their 3 separate forward lines and a defenseman.

Jackson Cressey slides home a 1st period goal - Photo courtesy of Damon James.
Jackson Cressey started the scoring for the Express. He buried the rebound of a Colton Kerfoot shot that was stopped by Cole Kehler. Austin McIlMurray started the play by stealing the puck at the Merritt blueline.

Like last week in Merritt, the story for the Express in the first period was the last line of defense. Tyger Howatt faced a barrage of 22 Merritt shots in the first period. The only puck to get past him came late in the first period on a 5 on 3 power play goal by Brett Jewell. That was the only downside on what was an otherwise rock solid first period for Howat. The Express don't come out of the 1st period tied without Howat's play.

Early in the 2nd period the Express jumped on the Cents. Cam Bertsch lead the rush into the Merritt zone and dropped it for Jack Surowiec who snapped a shot off the post and in to give the Express the 2-1 lead.

Keegan Jones had one assist - Photo courtesy of Damon James.
That was followed less than a minute later by Owen Stout who scored on a loose puck in the crease following a Keegan Jones wrap around after he dug the puck out of a scrum behind the Merritt net.

In each of the two games between the Express and Merritt this season, the Centennials had forward cheating behind the Express defense in the centre ice area with the puck in the Cents zone and the defense trying to hit them with a pass. Wednesday the Cents finally made one count by flipping the puck up to Gavin Gould who scored on a breakaway to cut the deficit to 3-2. The goal coming just 35 seconds after the Stout goal.

Tyger Howat didn't have to be overly spectacular despite being busy turning aside 41 shots. His most important save came seconds after the 3-2 goal to deny Colin Grannary who was looking to pull Merritt even.

Austin McIlMurray re-stored the Express lead before the 2nd period ended. He took a pass out from behind the net and beat Kehler with a shot upstairs seconds after an Express power play ended.

Charlie Barrow capped off the balanced offensive attack for the Express keeping the puck on an odd man rush and snapping his 7th of the season for a 5-3 Express lead.

Merritt rounded out the scoring late in the 3rd period on a penalty shot goal by Nick Jermain who beat Howat with a nifty deke to the backhand. It was the first penalty shot for or against the Express this season.

This was a solid team effort for the Express. Noah Turanski was named the third star and it was some nice recognition for the Express second year player. He played on defense tonight. He was physical and using his size very effectively. And he kept his game simple when he had the puck on his stick.

Up next the Express will play host to the Trail Smoke Eaters on Canuck alumni night Friday.

If you missed it earlier today, Express forward Blake Hayward was named to Team West to take part in the CJHL Top Prospects game in Surrey on January 26th. Click here to view the Team West Roster

Saturday, January 2, 2016


Jackson Cressey and company celebrate - Photo courtesy of Damon James.
Taylor Green's goal with 24.9 seconds remaining in the third period a 4-3 win over the Prince George Spruce Kings. Click here for boxscore

The goal capped off a back and forth game that saw the Express play with the lead on four separate occasions.

Austin McIlMurray got the Express off on the right foot by snapping his 19th of the season with a quick shot coming in off the right wing. It was the first of two goals on the night for McIlMurray. That goal set the tone for the line of McIlMurray, Jackson Cressey and Colton Kerfoot. They were dominant at times Saturday night controlling the puck in the Spruce Kings zone.

Prince George evened the game 7 minutes into the first period after a won face-off in the Express end, a point shot was stopped by Lawson Fenton but the rebound was buried by Nik Ponak for his third of the season.

Jackson Cressey gave the Express their second lead of the night on the power play after converting a nifty pass out from behind the net from Colton Kerfoot to give the Express their second lead of the night. The goal for Cressey was his third in his last two games.

Owen Stout - Photo courtesy of Damon James.
One trend that has emerged in the first two games for the Express following the Christmas break has been their inability to hold lead. They lead on three separate occasions Thursday's loss in Merritt.

It was more of the same Saturday night. Jarod Hovde beat Lawson Fenton from the slot in the final minute of the first period for a 2-2 tie.

The Express had all three power plays in the first period converting once. It was the exact opposite in the second period. As it turned it out, it proved to be a key turning point in this game. The Express killed off all three Prince George power plays in the first ten minutes of the second period to keep the game tied.
Ryan Coghlan made his Express home debut - Photo courtesy of Damon James.
Minutes later with a delayed penalty in effect, Austin McIlMurray scored his second of the game for a 3-2 Express lead. The goal was set up by Luca Leone who was the extra attacker after Lawson Fenton hustled to the bench. For McIlMurray he joined Jackson Cressey in the 20 goal club. Colton Kerfoot isn't too far behind from joining his line mates in the 20 goal club sitting at 17 this season.

Prince George erased an Express lead for a third time Saturday midway through the third period after they failed on an odd man rush. Then from behind the net Matthew Stief bounced the puck in off Fenton to tie the game at three.
Blake Hayward - Photo courtesy of Damon James.
In the final minutes of the third period now in a 3-3 tie, Barry Wolff played it safe playing Taylor Green with Jake Brien on a regular basis as a defense pair.

That pair had a hand in the game winning goal. Jake Brien got the puck at the blue line following a pair of prolonged scrums for the puck in the Prince George zone, Brien slid the puck across to Green who had room to walk in and unload a slap shot which beat McCloskey to give the Express a 4-3 lead with 24.9 seconds left.

Jake Brien - Photo courtesy of Damon James.
Lawson Fenton turned aside 20 of 23 Prince George shots for his 8th win of the season. It was encouraging to see the Express not force their goaltender to face nearly 40 shots to pick up a victory.

The top line for the Express gets plenty of headlines for being on the ice for all four Express goals. But as a whole the Express used their speed very effectively through the night creating chances.

It was the third win in five games for the Express vs. Prince George this season as they opened up a 7 game home stand. Up next the Express play host to the Merritt Centennials for the second meeting in less than a week between the two teams.