Sunday, February 28, 2016


On the scoreboard the Chilliwack Chiefs finished off a 7 game season sweep of the Express with a 8-4 win in Chilliwack in the regular season finale for the Express.

But this game was so much more than just who scored more goals at the end of the night. With the Express and Chiefs meeting in the first round of the playoffs starting next Friday, it was one final opportunity for either side to set the tone for the series before it counts for real.

For the Express it was about showing that this upcoming series is going to be no push over.

They proved that and then some Saturday night in a game that rekindled memories of a time when the Express and Chiefs was one of the most heated rivalries in the BCHL.

It started in the opening minute with Taylor Green and Linden Hora cross checking each other. That would only be the first act in a long and feisty night.

Jackson Cressey opened the scoring just over two minutes in converting a set up in the goal crease form Colton Kerfoot.

Aaron O'Niell quickly pulled Chilliwack even just over a minute later.

But Mitch Newsome quickly put the Express in their second lead of the night scoring 40 seconds after O'Niell's goal.

After the goal more rough stuff ensued with all the players on the ice involved around the Chilliwack net.

This game could have been even higher scoring than it finally ended up being. Jordan Kawaguchi missed an empty net. Kale Kane was robbed by a sliding Jake Brien. For the Express Jackson Cressey had two other good chances that he couldn't convert.

Late in the first period Kawaguchi made amends for his previous miss. He took no chances on a 2 on 0 break with Kale Kane and Kawaguchi went all the way with it beating Lawson Fenton for a 2-2 tie after the first period.

The first period was just the appetizer for a wild and hairy second period.

Colton Kerfoot re-directed a Alex Ambrosio set up to give the Express a 3-2 lead.

It was after this that things really got wild.

Kale Kane and Mitch Newsome with a spirited fight with each landing their fair share of shots.

Vimal Sukumaran scored to tie the game at three. But it was after the goal where things boiled over again with more pushing and shoving during the celebration. Among the combatants were Taylor Green and Rylan Bechtel getting ejected following their fight.

Midway through the second period the Express got a scare as Aaron O'Niell collided with Lawson Fenton while cutting to the net on a rush. Fenton stayed down for a extended period of time getting attention. Initially he would stay in the game. But about three minutes later Fenton left the game and didn't return forcing AP call up Clay Stevenson to enter the game under difficult circumstances.

For the Express they couldn't risk Fenton staying in the game if he wasn't 100% and the status of Tyger Howat still unknown for game 1 of the playoffs.

The collision with Fenton only helped fuel the inferno that emerged between the two teams. For the Express they didn't back down by any means.

Cohen Olishefski scored to give Chilliwack their first lead of the net shortly after Stevenson entered the game.

Jordan Kawaguchi potted his second of the night in the opening minute of the third period for a 5-3 Chiefs lead.

Blake Hayward briefly pulled the Express back within one. Chilliwack then put the finishing touches on the season series on goals from Zach Guitari, O'Niell's second of the game and a goal by Dennis Cholowski.

This emotional game was capped off by one last fight between Jake Brien and Vimal Sukumaran in the third period.

Now that everyone got that out of their system. Let's let the playoffs begin. 

Friday, February 26, 2016


Ryan Coghlan & Jackson Cressey -  Photo courtesy of Damon James
Kale Kane picked up three points in the third period and scored the overtime winner as the Chiefs defeated the Express 4-3 in overtime. Chillwack remained undefeated in six games vs. the Express this season. Click here for boxscore

AP Brady Lynn -  Photo courtesy of Damon James
It was the first meeting between the two teams since their first round playoff rematch was finalized earlier this week.

There wasn't much for either team to play for other than fine tune their game for the playoffs, avoid injury and rest players before it begins for real next Friday in Chiliwack.

For the Express, they wanted to have some positive things to build on heading into the upcoming series vs. a team that was 5-0 against the Express this season and outscored the Express 24-6 in the last three meetings.

Ryan Coghlan opened the scoring for the Express beating Mat Esposito with a deflected point shot  after Jackson Cressey won the face-off in the Chilliwack zone.

Chilliwack rested veterans Rylan Bechtel, Linden Hora and top scorer Jordan Kawaguchi.

But the reigning BCHL player of the week Darien Craighead picked up the slack. He cut to the net from the left wing and scored the tie the game just 2:11 after Coghlan's goal.

For the Express this was a key moment in the game to see if they would be able to not lose momentum and allow Chilliwack to take over the game and pull away like they had in previous outings.

The Express were able to do that Friday. Still tied at one late in the second period Jack Surowiec set up Nic Coltura who scored his third of the season from the slot giving the Express their second lead of the night.

When there's two games left in the regular season teams are stressing the little things that need to be done come playoff time. And part of that is learning to protect a lead in the third period. Or battling back when trailing.

We saw a little bit of both for the Chiefs and Express Friday night.

Mitch Newsome -  Photo courtesy of Damon James
Darien Craighead scored his second of the night on a scramble early in the third period to tie the game at 2.

Less than two minutes later an Express turnover in the neutral zone resulted in a 2 on 1 for the Chiefs and Craighead set up Kale Kane who snapped it home to give the Chiefs their first lead on the night.

For Express Head Coach Barry Wolff he's looking at his lineup to see who he can trust and play in key situations late in close games.

Tonight it meant that the line of Cressey, Kerfoot and McIlMurray saw limited ice time in the third period after the Express fell behind 3-2 and that line being on the ice for two Chiefs goals.

It meant more ice time for Mat Michie, Jack Surowiec, Cam Bertsch, Owen Stout, Mitch Newsome and Blake Hayward.

It was the latter two teaming up to equalize for the Express. Hayward did the work along the boards with the puck and set up Mitch Newsome racing into the play off the bench and he converted a pass in the slot to tie the game at three. Newsome has four goals for the Express since coming over from Salmon Arm. Three of those goals have either tied the game or given the Express the lead in the third period.
Jackson Cressey - Photo courtesy of Damon James
With the game hanging in the balance the Express got into penalty trouble but rose to the occasion killing off all three Chilliwack third period powerplays. Including one to the BCHL's most sportsmanlike player Colton Kerfoot for slashing. Both teams finished 0 for 4 on the power play.

It didn't take long for the Chiefs to prevail in overtime. Kale Kane walked off the boards in the Express zone and beat Lawson Fenton with a backhand from the slot to give the Chiefs the 4-3 overtime win 14 seconds into overtime. Kane tallied two goals and one assist in the third period and OT to pace the Chiefs comeback.

The Express will wrap up the regular season Saturday night in Chilliwack. 


Photo courtesy of Damon James
Coquitlam Express forward Colton Kerfoot (96) has been named the BCHL's Most Sportsmanlike player (Bob Fenton trophy) for the 2015-16 season. Kerfoot joins his older brother Alexander who also won the award while playing for the Express during the 2011-12 season. Click here to see the full list of BCHL award winners

Kerfoot, a West Vancouver native is in his second season with the Express. He's dressed in all 56 games this season. He leads the team in scoring with 76 points and is 8th in BCHL scoring. His 53 assists leads the Express and is the 3rd highest total in t
he BCHL this season. His 23 goals is 3rd on the Express this season. He's put up all these numbers while taking just 12 minutes in penalties.

In two seasons with the Express Kerfoot has tallied 34 goals and 73 assists for 107 points in 99 career games.

Aside from the Kerfoot brothers, the other Express player to win the BCHL's Most Sportsmanlike award is Brock Bradford who won it in the 2003-04 season.

Next season Colton will join his older brother Alexander at Harvard University.

Congratulations Colton.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Photo courtesy of Damon James
Coquitlam Express forward Colton Kerfoot (96) has been nominated for the BCHL's Most Sportsmanlike award (Bob Fenton trophy). Click here to see all the BCHL award nominees

The other nominees are Taro Hirose of Salmon Arm and Chris Schutz of Alberni Valley.

Kerfoot, a West Vancouver native is in his second season with the Express. He's dressed in all 56 games this season. He leads the team in scoring with 76 points and is 8th in BCHL scoring. His 53 assists leads the Express and is the 3rd highest total in the BCHL this season. His 23 goals is 3rd on the Express this season. He's put up all these numbers while taking just 12 minutes in penalties.

In two seasons with the Express Kerfoot has tallied 34 goals and 73 assists for 107 points in 99 career games.

Colton's older brother Alexander won the BCHL's most sportsmanlike award during the 2011-12 season with the Express.

Next season Colton will join his older brother Alexander at Harvard University. 

Friday, February 19, 2016


Jordan Kawaguchi scored a hat-trick - Photo courtesy of Damon James.
Jordan Kawaguchi potted his second hat-trick this season vs. the Express and fourth overall this year in a 6-1 Chiefs win over the Express. Click here for boxscore

Kawaguchi didn't waste time getting his big night started opening the scoring just 54 seconds into the game. It was the second straight meeting that Chilliwack scored in the opening minute. Two weeks ago it was Jake Smith opening the scoring 49 seconds into Chilliwack's 9-1 win.

The Express didn't allow the fast Chiefs start put a wrench into their plans into getting into the game right away.

Coquitlam responded with chances by Blake Hayward on a backhand, Mat Michie putting a loose puck off the post and a clean look from the slot for Nic Coltura. Coltura returned to the Express lineup after missing the last 3 plus months and 32 games with an injury. Coltura immediately gave the Express blueline a boost with his ability to quickly move the puck at both ends.

Taylor Green - Photo courtesy of Damon James.
The first period finished with the Express outshooting Chilliwack 9-7.

Chilliwack started to turn their game in their favour in the second period. They started working the puck in the Express zone which eventually led to chances. Darien Craighead gave Chilliwack a 2-0 lead after a prolonged shift in the Express zone.

Needing a spark to get back in the game, the Express got it from a recently unlikely source. Jackson Cressey scored just nine seconds into a power play to cut the Chiefs lead to 2-1.

Prior to the goal the Express power play was 0 for their last 28 and 1 for their last 33.

In his torment of the Express the last two years, Jordan Kawaguchi has found a way to score big goals at key times. Friday was no different. He scored his second of the night just 28 seconds after Cressey's power play goal to kill any momentum the Express could have built off it.

4:34 later Kawaguchi completed his hat-trick coming off the bench, picking up the puck behind the net, cutting into the slot to beat Lawson Fenton for his 38th of the season and a 4-1 Chiefs lead.

Dating back to the start of last season Kawaguchi has 18 goals in his last 18 games regular season and playoffs.

The third period the Express used some fight to try and get physical with the Chiefs. Chilliwack took the Express lumps and just kept playing. Kawaguchi picked up his fourth point of the night setting up Jesse Lansdell's 5-1 goal with a delayed penalty in effect for a hit delivered on Kawaguchi.

Ryan Coghlan & Linden Hora - Photo courtesy of Damon James.
Zach Guittari rounded out the scoring beating Lawson Fenton with a wrist shot for a power play goal after the Express cleared the puck away from the goal crease.

Chilliwack was 1 for 3 on the power play while the Express were 1 for 4.

Matt Esposito turned aside 18 of 19 Express shots to get the win.

The win improved Chilliwack to 5-0 vs. the Express this season.

Chilliwack remained three points up on Wenatchee for first place in the Mainland division after the Wild defeated Victoria 2-1. The Express will play the Mainland division winner in the first round of the playoffs in two weeks.

Saturday the Express play host to the Langley Rivermen. They will wrap up the regular season with a home and home with Chilliwack next weekend.

Sunday, February 14, 2016


Austin McIlMurray scored twice and Luca Leone had one goal and one assist as the Express knocked off Prince George 4-1. Click here for boxscore

Leone returned to the lineup after missing the last 14 games with an injury. His return was a welcome addition to a team that has battled through a rash of injuries in recent w

It didn't take long for Leone's return to make a positive impact for the Express. He found himself with room on the wing in the Spruce Kings zone and he snapped a shot past Liam McCloskey just 1:01 into the game.

That goal sparked the Express for the first half of the first period, but the tables turned as the Spruce Kings ramped their game up looking for the equalizer but were turned away by Lawson Fenton.

This game had it's moments of rough stuff throughout the contest. Whether it was Austin McIlMurray and Adam Brunett coming together and the former being punched in the face by the latter.

Then in the second period McIlMurray made his mark on the scoresheet where he's used to in the offensive department. Blake Hayward set up McIlMurray who scored off the rush for a 2-0 Express lead.

Owen Stout gave the Express some insurance in the final minute of the second period scoring with a wrist shot from the left wing for a 3-0 Express lead through two periods.

Lawson Fenton saved his best work in the Express crease for the third period with 14 saves on 15 shots. The only goal to beat him was a one timer off the stick of Kyle Johnson. Fenton made 28 saves for his 12th win of the season.

The Express killed off all four Prince George powerplays with three of them in the third period.

Austin McIlMurray completed the scoring into an empty net but not before he, Colton Kerfoot and Luca Leone passed the puck around before it was tapped into the empty net.

The Express have four games left in their regular season with three of them vs. the Chilliwack Chiefs starting Friday in Coquitlam. 

Friday, February 12, 2016


Lawson Fenton faced 38 shots - Photo courtesy of Damon James
For a second time the Express honored the history of junior hockey in Coquitlam with a Coquitlam Comets night.

The visiting Salmon Arm Silverbacks didn't play along by defeating the Comets 6-2. Click here for boxscore

The Express wore their vintage red Comets jerseys to pay tribute to the junior team that played in Coquitlam from the late 60's to the early 80's. Original owner Sandy Michie was in attendance on his 84th birthday.

Salmon Arm started fast right from the opening face-off, and getting plenty of pucks sent towards Comets goaltender Lawson Fenton.

Kodi Schwarz opened the scoring beating Fenton with a screen shot from the right point just over two minutes into the game.

Two minutes later Mitch Skapski scored for a 2-0 Silverbacks lead.

Colton Kerfoot scored in second period - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Salmon Arm kept the pedal to the floor peppering Lawson Fenton. Marcus Mitchell scored his first of the night on a one timer midway through the first period.

At one point the Silverbacks had a 16-2 advantage in shots. And it was looking like it might be a repeat performance of the first meeting between the two teams in September when Salmon Arm fired 62 shots in a 6-0 Silverbacks win.

The Comets did their best to try and battle back in the game, but when you're missing six regulars it makes it difficult.

Owen Stout got the Comets on the board beating Angus Redmond up high with a quick shot from the boards.

Then late in the first the Comets had a chance to cut into the Silverbacks lead even more with a two man advantage for nearly two minutes. The Comets peppered Angus Redmond with shots but it was a 3-1 Silverbacks lead after the first period. The first period struggles on the power play would be a sign of things to come for the Comets.

In the second period the Comets began to turn the game in their favour. They were getting more pucks on the net. But they had to face a new goaltender in Brandon Kegler who came out to start the second period.

Colton Kerfoot pulled the Comets within one taking a pass out from behind the net and blasting it past Kegler.

Taylor Green - Photo courtesy of Damon James
The Comets had numerous chances to pull even with three second period powerplays but Salmon Arm shut them down at every turn. Coquitlam finished zero for five on the power play.

Seven minutes into the third Marcus Mitchell added his second of the night taking pass down low and beating Fenton with a sharp angle shot. Just over two minutes later Salmon Arm had re-stored their three goal lead on a goal by Taro Hirose who was set up at the side of the Comets net.

Zach Erhardt rounded out the scoring in the final minute with his first BCHL goal in his first game on the power play.

Following the 16-2 start in shots for Salmon Arm, the Comets battled back the rest of the way outshooting Salmon Arm the rest of the way 36-22 to finish the night even with Salmon Arm at 38 apiece.

The loss for the Comets was their 7th in their last 8 games. They continue their 5 game home stand Sunday afternoon vs. Prince George.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Highlights of the Express 7-3 Family Day win in Surrey Monday.

Highlights courtesy of Jorge Parra and Underdog Productions. 

Friday, February 5, 2016


Express bench looks on  - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
Vimal Sukumaran tallied his third hat-trick of the season and was among three Chiefs players with a four point night in a 9-1 win over the Express. Click here for boxscore

Jack Surowiec - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
Chilliwack scored early, often and right through to the end.

It started in the opening minute of the first period with Jake Smith opening the scoring on a scramble play.

Then Vimal Sukumaran started his big night with his first two of the night on a set up from the slot and scoring alone at the side of the Express net for a 3-0 Chiefs after the first period.

The Express had their chances but weren't able to finish when it came time to bury the puck. Jackson Cressey was robbed by the pad of Aiden Pelino after the Express captain took a drop pass from Austin McIlMurray. Then McIlMurray had a breakaway but put his backhand out of play.

Blake Hayward - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
Cressey had more chances for the Express on a pair of second period powerplays but was unable to bury them either.

Sukumaran completed his third hat-trick of the season and scored his 30th of the year on a breakaway goal after he blocked an Express shot at the Chiefs blueline. Sukumaran finished with three goals and one assist.

Dennis Cholowski made it 5-0 through two periods.

The beat went on for Chilliwack in the third period, Zach Guitarri, Jordan Kawaguchi, Taylor Allan and Kohen Olischefski added third period goals. All told the Chiefs struck for 9 goals on 30 shots. Kawaguchi and Olischefski had one goal and three assists.
Keegan Jones - Photo courtesy of Garrett James

Austin McIlMurray scored the lone Express goal on the night in the third period.

Aiden Pelino battled through a few collisions with Express players and injury to turn aside 19 of 20 shots to post the win.

Chilliwack improved to 4-0 vs. the Express this season.

The Express return to action Monday afternoon on Family day in Surrey.

Thursday, February 4, 2016


Colton Kerfoot picked up his 100th career point - Photo courtesy of Damon James
The Express battled one of the hottest teams in the BCHL right to the end but the ending was bitter losing 2-1 in double overtime to West Kelowna. Click here for boxscore

The Warriors entered the game unbeaten in their last 5 and were 9-2-1 in January. The Express meanwhile had lost their last four games.

Coming off a three game in three day road trip, the Express were a little banged up with Noah Turanski and Tyger Howat joining Nic Coltura and Luca Leone on the injured list. Mat Michie was serving the second game of a two game suspension for a checking from behind major penalty Saturday in Cowichan Valley.

Lawson Fenton had 36 saves - Photo courtesy of Damon James
The Express had to find a way to shut down one of the more offensively explosive teams in the BCHL with a thin lineup.

They pretty much did that most of the night by playing a patient game while being passive at times on the forecheck.

The result limited the amount of quality scoring chances that Lawson Fenton had to face. Once the Warriors had the puck in the Express end, the Express needed to battle along the boards as the Warriors used their size and strength to grind the Express down.

Alex Ambrosio - Photo courtesy of Damon James
It took until early in the second period for the first goal of the game. The reigning BCHL player of the week Jonathan Desbiens carried the puck down the wing in the Express zone and snapped a shot past Fenton for Desbiens' 36th goal of the season.

Both teams had their chances with the power play in the third period seeking that big "next goal" that would either tie the game or give the Warriors the two goal lead but it never came for either team on the power play.

Finally the Express system paid dividends with clock winding down. Austin McIlMurray picked off the puck at the Warriors blue line and he set up Colton Kerfoot at the side of the net to tie the game at one. The goal for Kerfoot was his 100th career BCHL point in his 93rd career game.

In the dying seconds of the game each team took penalties that could have had an impact in the final outcome. Austin McIlMurray and Garrett Forster for the Warriors each took slashing penalties 47 seconds apart.

Blake Hayward - Photo courtesy of Damon James
The Forster penalty carried over into the overtime, but the Express couldn't take advantage of the power play. It was more of the same for the Express not making Kristian Blumenschein pay for his tripping penalty seconds after Forster stepped back on the ice. The Express finished 0 for 5 on the power play.

Ryan Coghlan had the best chance for the Express to win the game but he was stopped in close by Warriors goaltender Keelan Williams who finished with 35 saves and was named the game's second star.

The teams went up and down the ice to begin 3 on 3 double overtime but no real glorious scoring chances emerged. West Kelowna was paitient at times with the puck in the Express zone in 3 on 3. Their patience was rewarded with veteran Liam Blackburn fighting off Express defenders turning and controlling the puck. He was finally able to break free and come out from behind the Express net beating Lawson Fenton to give the Warriors their 5th straight win.

Fenton turned aside 36 of the 38 shots sent his way. The Express deserve to be recognized for not forcing their goaltender to stand on their head just to at least come away with a point in the losing cause.

Up next for the Express is the first regular season visit by division rival Chilliwack on the first Friday of February.