Friday, January 27, 2017


Mark Sinclair made 26 saves and Kohen Olishefski and Cole Poliziani each had a goal and an assist as the Chiefs blanked the Express 3-0 Friday night. Click here for boxscore

Chilliwack went to work right away jumping on the Express like they had done in the previous two meetings this month.

The Chiefs owned the puck in the Express zone and all Express netminder Reid Cooper could do was fight off the Chilliwack attack as best he could.

Eventually the Chiefs broke through and it was their hockey IQ which opened up the game in their favour.

A heads up play by Cole Poliziani saw him quickly lift the stick of an Express defender steal the puck and quickly snap a shot from the slot past Cooper to open the scoring.

Then it was Anthony Vincent who was tied up nicely along the boards, but the Express forgot to take out his legs that Vincent used the kick the puck in front of the Express net to Aaron O'Neill who outwaited Cooper to make it 2-0 Chilliwack.

It took until the 15 minute mark of the first period for the Express to register their first shot off the stick of Blake Hayward at the side of the Chiefs net. By that point the Chiefs already had 14 on the Express net.

Brett Cox registered the only other Express shot of the first period a weak wrister from the point. The Chiefs fired 19 shots in the first period.

The second period saw the Express start to pick up their game but were denied at every turn by Mark Sinclair.

Kohen Olischefski from the top of the left circle on the power play beat Cooper with a one timer for 3-0 Chiefs lead.

In the final 40 minutes the Express best chances to to get on the board saw Mark Sinclair make saves on Luca Leone from the slot, Sam Kozlowski alone in front of the net on the power play in the third.

Cooper at the other end had a solid outing despite taking the loss with 35 saves and turned aside 14 of 15 shots in the final two periods.

One of the players that really caught my eye for the Express tonight was young AP Lucas Wong. The defenseman looked confident all night long moving the puck out of the defensive zone, winning battles for the puck and playing an overall steady game.

The Express return to action Saturday night when they visit the Langley Rivermen. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Jake Toor scored the game winning goal - Photo courtesy of Damon James
For the second straight meeting the Express used a third period come back en route to a 4-3 win over the Surrey Eagles. Click here for boxscore

The previous meeting between the two teams needed overtime to decide the matchup, tonight the Express were able to get the job done in regulation.

The win clinches the season series between the two teams in favour of the Express 4-3.

Veteran experience helped the opposition carry them to victory over the Express in the last two games. Wednesday's game the Express can point to their veterans who played a key role in this win.

Alex Ambrosio (middle) scored twice - Photo courtesy of Damon James
A veteran opened the scoring, but it was a youngster helped get the play started. Christian Bosa saw a hit coming from former teammate Domenic Masellis and Bosa braced for it sending Masellis to the ice. Moments later Bosa intercepted a Masellis clearing attempt along the boards setting up Ambrosio who opened the scoring. The assist for Bosa was his third in his last two games.

The lead only lasted a shade under 90 seconds on a long stretch pass that allowed Ashton Calder to get a half step on the Express defence and Calder beat Lawson Fenton on a breakaway to tie the game at one.

Surrey had moments of owning the run of play in the Express zone. But one mistake resulted in a turnover allowing Ambrosio and Sam Kozlowski to break out on a two on one. Ambrosio had his options on the rush to send the puck across to Kozlowski who opened up for a one timer, Ambrosio decided to keep the puck and rang in a shot off the post for his second of the night giving the Express their second lead of the game.

The Express took their 2-1 lead to the second period. And they have Lawson Fenton to thank for that who made 19 saves in the opening period.

The power play had three chances to help break the game open for the Express. But they had trouble breaking out of their own zone and setting up in the Surrey zone letting an opportunity to build on their lead slip away.

Eagles AP Owen Williams evened things up for the visitors late in the second period when his original shot off a won draw in the Express zone was blocked, but his second shot beat a surprised Lawson Fenton for his first BCHL goal to tie the game at two.

There was an ominous sign to open the third period. The red light behind Lawson Fenton was left on for the first few seconds of the period. Three minutes later the Eagles took their lone lead of the night when Darius Davidson slid a shot under the pads of Fenton for a 3-2 Eagles lead.

Captain Luca Leone returned to the lineup after missing the previous three games. He played a key role in the Express comeback. He set up Will Lawrence at the 6 minute mark who tied the game at three. For Lawrence it was his third goal in his last three games vs. Surrey. He also has four goals in his last five.

Devon Mussio - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Leone then picked the puck up off the dasher boards in the Surrey zone and set up Jake Toor who scored just over three minutes later giving the Express a 4-3 lead. The Express rookie has 5 goals this season, three of them have come vs. Surrey.

A late third period power play for the Express could have put the game away, but it wasn't meant to be. The Express finished 0 for 5 on the power play. But it was another perfect night on the penalty killing shutting down three Surrey powerplays.

The Express survived one final Surrey push and they held on for the win. Lawson Fenton finished with 37 saves for his 6th win of the season.

Friday the Express host the Chilliwack Chiefs. They will then head to Langley Saturday night. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017


The Trail Smoke Eaters scored five unanswered goals in the final 23 minutes to double the Express 6-3 Saturday night. Click here for boxscore

The loss was the fourth straight by the Express. And for Trail it salvaged the final game of a three game Mainland division road trip after dropping the first two games in Surrey and Chilliwack.

Blake Hayward opened the scoring for the Express converting a saucer pass from Will Lawrence at 6:27. For Hayward it was his first goal since November 9th in Penticton.

Kale Howarth's one timer from the point on the power play teed up by Carter Cochrane tied the game at one just over 7 minutes later.

That was followed by a power play goal from the Express from an unlikely source, Hayward from the boards slid the puck back to Troy Robillard who snapped a wrist shot up over the shoulder of Zach Dyment for his first BCHL goal in his 54th career BCHL game giving the Express a 2-1 lead after one.

Midway through the second period the Express went up a pair on a Sam Kozlowski tip of a David Guinta point shot on the powerplay. The Express finished 2 for 6 on the power play.

That goal chased Trail goaltender Zach Dyment after three goals on 16 shots. Linden Marshall replaced Dyment and was perfect the rest of the way stopping all 9 Express shots sent his way in the second half of the game.

It was at this point Trail began to ramp up their pressure on the Express. Lawson Fenton did the best he could to fend off the pressure, but eventually Trail broke through.

Ryan Moon cut the Express lead to 3-2 re-directing Braedon Tuck's shot up over the glove of Fenton.

That goal sparked a frantic sequence on the Express zone. Josh Lafromboise rang a shot off the post. Then seconds later he didn't miss his spot beating Fenton with a wrist shot through a screen to tie the game at 3.

The late second period surge by Trail carried over to the third period.

Ethan Martini's shot from the left point beat a screened Lawson Fenton at 2:41 giving Trail the lead for good.

Five minutes later Troy Ring found a lane to the net open up and he cut to the net and slid the puck through the legs of Fenton for a 5-3 Trail lead. Korbyn Chabot then rounded out the scoring in the dying minutes walking out of the corner and dribbling a shot through the pads of Fenton.

Trail outshot the Express 42-25 and 29-16 in the final 40 minutes.

The Express return to action Wednesday when they host the Surrey Eagles who they have defeated three times in six meetings this season.

Friday, January 20, 2017


Tory Robillard and Reid Cooper - Photo courtesy of Damon James
A fast start in the first 10 minutes for the Langley Rivermen put them on the right path to a 6-2 win over the Express Friday.

The Rivermen put the Express in a hole in the opening minute on a goal by Mckay Flanagan on just the second Langley shot just 35 seconds into the game.

Alex Ambrosio - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Langley owned the puck for the first few minutes of the game. Max Kaufman converted a pass from behind the Express net for a 2-0 Rivermen lead just over 7 minutes into the game. Zac Masson set up both Langley goals in the first 7 minutes. At one point in the first period the Rivermen had a 9-0 advantage in shots.

Will Lawrence got the Express on the board just 8 seconds into a power play burying the rebound of a David Giunta point shot. Those were the first two shots of the game for the Express just shy of the 9 minute mark of the first period.

One theme from Friday's game saw the Rivermen have a quick response just when it appeared the Express might be turning the game looking to mounting a come back.

Just 1:44 after Lawrence's goal the Rivermen re-stored their two goal lead thanks to Gavin Payne whose pass intended for Max Kaufman deflected off an Express defender and past Reid Cooper for a 3-1 Langley lead just past the 10 minute mark.

David Giunta struck at 11:11 of the second period when his point shot surprised Braedon Fleming to get the Express within one a second time at 3-2.  Ginuta finished with a goal and an assist.

D. Giunta had 1G, 1A
Photo courtesy of D. James
It was a challenge for the Express to consistently generate shots in the game. Late in the second period a penalty to Langley's Cooper Leitch presented an opportunity for the Express to even the game.

But again Gavin Payne killed those hopes. With just 7 seconds left in the second period he stole the puck off Reid Cooper and beat him back to the net for a shorthanded goal for a 4-2 Langley lead through 2 periods.

The timing of the shorthanded goal and considering the circumstances was too much for the Express to overcome on this night.

Langley put the finishing touches on the game with goals by Angus Crookshank and Cooper Leitch 19 seconds apart giving Langley a 6-2 lead.

The Express were only able to muster 12 shots in the game, Langley finished with 37.

One bright spot for the Express Friday was another strong night on the penalty killing which shut down all 5 Langley advantages.

Saturday night the Express will wrap up their 4 game week when they host the Trail Smoke Eaters. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017


Highlights of the Coments 6-3 win over Cowichan Valley Friday.

Highlights courtesy of Jorge Parra & Underdog Productions.


Captain Luca Leone had 1G, 1A - Photo courtesy of Damon James
On Coquitlam Comets night the Express really began to shine as the game was hitting it's twilight in the third period in a 6-3 win over Cowichan Valley. Click here for boxscore

The win for the Express was their second in a row and third in their last six games. This mini two game winning streak is fairly impressive considering the Express schedule the last week that saw them play 6 games in 8 nights and their third game in the last three nights.

The Express did something to start that hasn't been a common occurrence this year and that's get off to a fast start. They opened up an early 5-0 lead in shots.

It wasn't long after that point that the Express opened the scoring. Luca Leone at the side of the Capitals night had his first shot blocked then chipped in the rebound for is 13th of the season.

Less than two minutes later Leone set up the 2-0 Express goal by Will Lawrence who snapped home his 5th of the season. Lawrence has goals in back to back games and three goals in his last six games.

Express mistakes in the second period allowed Cowichan Valley to claw back into the game in the second period.

Lawson Fenton made 28 saves - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Lawson Fenton trying to catch the Capitals on a change tried to quickly move the puck up the ice but fanned on his pass handing it right to Haydn Hopkins who scored a shorthanded goal at 2:41.

Then midway through the period a pass up the middle was picked off by Ayden MacDonald who ripped a wrist shot up over the blocker of Fenton from the slot.

Christian Bosa briefly restored the Express lead finding a loose puck at the side of the Caps net and scoring just his second of the season.

38 seconds later the game was tied again on Max Newton's 21st of the season.

After scoring three goals in the second period, the Caps could have taken control of the game with the Express getting themselves into penalty trouble. But the penalty killing for the Express continues to shine keeping the game tied. The Express had another perfect night on the penalty kill. They've been perfect on the PK in four of their last five games.

Midway through the second period it was the power play then making a difference for the Express.

Brandon Kennedy's point shot was tipped home by Mitch Newsome from the slot for a 4-3 Express lead. Newsome has goals in back to back games.

Will Lawrence finished with two goals - Photo courtesy of Damon James
With the lead in hand the Express settled into shutting down the Caps bids for the equalizer. Alex Ambrosio stole the puck at the Caps line and scored with just over 4 minutes to play for a 5-3 Express lead.

Then Will Lawrence iced the game for good on a late power play taking advantage of a puck handling gaffe by Adam Marcoux and he poked home his second of the game.The power play finished 2 for 4.

At the other end Lawson Fenton finished with 28 saves in the Express crease.

The Express return to action Monday night when they're in Wenatchee for a meeting on Martin Luther King day in the U.S.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Express defenceman Brandon Kennedy potted the overtime winner just 35 seconds into overtime giving the Express a 4-3 win over the Surrey Eagles.Click here for boxscore

The win gave the Express their second straight win over the Eagles.

The finish for the Express was much better than their start. Ty Westgard snapped a wrist shot past Lawson Fenton opening the scoring on Surrey's first shot just 34 seconds into the game.

Darius Davidson doubled Surrey's lead less than 6 minutes later for a 2-0 Eagles lead.

Surrey started 2000 born AP goaltender Lukas Shaw called up from the Greater Vancouver Canadians of the BC Major Midget league. He had his ups and downs in the game. He came close to ending up on a blooper reel, with the Eagles on the power play the Express sent the puck down the ice, Shaw came out of his net to sweep the puck away from an oncoming Blake Hayward and in the process Shaw nearly put the puck in his own net.

After the Express fell into the 2-0 hole Lawson Fenton really settled into the game allowing the Express to mount a come back. He made 18 saves in the second period keeping the Eagles lead at just two. His best saves of the period came off Ashton Calder with a right pad save on a shot from the slot. Then moments later another save off Desi Burgart with the glove on a close play in front of the net. Fenton finished with 39 saves.

Moments later David Guinta raced after a loose puck and split the Eagles defense and was hauled down and the Express defenseman was awarded a penalty shot. With the ice in poor conditions late in the period Giunta took no chances with a deke, he instead snapped a low and hard wrist shot off the post and in getting the Express on the board trailing 2-1 after 2 periods.

One of the best aspects of the Express game since their return from the Christmas break has been their penalty killing. It was sharp again Thursday killing off all 4 Surrey powerplays. Including a early power play for the Eagles in the third period. The Express have been perfect on the penalty kill in 4 of their last 5 games and have killed off 21 of 24 shorthanded situations in that time.

Eight minutes into the third period the Express pulled even. Alex Ambrosio set up Mitch Newsome who scored from the slot to tie the game at 2.

The tie only lasted 1:21. Jeffrey's Stewart's shot from the right wing went wide of the net and bounced off the boards to the other side of the net where Nick Fea quickly slid the puck across the crease back to Stewart who snapped it home for a 3-2 Eagles lead.

Another third period deficit didn't faze the Express. With just over 5 minutes to go Will Lawrence found a loose puck and roofed it over a sprawled out Shaw to tie the game at 3.

The Express had their chance to win it late in regulation with Paul McAvoy getting called for tripping. But they couldn't convert on the power play. Both teams finished 0 for 4 on the power play.

Overtime didn't last long, Mitch Newsome carried the puck into the Eagles zone and left the puck for Cal Babych who quickly zipped a pass over to Brandon Kennedy who tapped it home to give the Express the 4-3 overtime win. The goal by the Express defenseman wearing number 4 rekindled memories of Bobby Orr's most famous goal as Kennedy flew through the air while celebrating his overtime goal. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017


Highlights of the Express 5-2 win over Surrey Friday night.

Highlights courtesy of Jorge Parra and Underdog Productions. 


It was a way too long of a time coming. 24 games in fact, but the Express snapped their 23 game winless streak with a 5-2 win over Surrey Friday night.

During the streak the Express posted a 0-21-1-1 record. The road between victories was long, laborious and painful at times. And that's what made Friday's victory that much more satisfying when you consider what the team had endured. Prior to Friday the Express last tasted victory October 21st 5-4 vs. Wenatchee.

Alex Ambrosio - Photo courtesy of Damon James
The team was ravaged with injuries cutting into the depth and experience of the team. There were nights with up to 10 regulars out of the lineup and 5 or 6 affiliate players in the lineup as Barry Wolff tried to dress as full of a lineup as possible. Those challenges led to some long nights with some lopsided losses handed to the Express.

But now that streak is a thing of the past.

The seeds for this victory may have been planted when the Express returned from their Christmas break a week ago vs. Surrey. Some of the injured players started to slowly filter their way back in the lineup with the returns of Domenic Masellis, Mitch Newsome, Christian Bosa and Alex Ambrosio. Friday the Express got another key body back tonight with Cam Bertsch dressing for his first game since the home opener in early October.

Lawson Fenton made 36 saves  - Photo courtesy of Damon James

Bertsch's return had an immediate impact. His first shift of the game saw him block a shot and block a pass. That all set the tone for a strong night for the 20 year old forward. Bertsch didn't hit the scoresheet, but his finger prints were all over the game. He made some key defensive plays, used his speed to help get in on the forechek. It was pretty easy to see what the Express were missing in Bertsch.

Will Lawrence opened the scoring for the Express. He was in perfect position to steal a Surrey D to D pass and tuck the puck past Michael Botiz for Lawerence's 4th goal of the season.

Another Surrey turnover along the boards in the Surrey zone led to the second Express goal. Mitch Newsome then set up Alex Ambrosio who snapped a shot up over the glove of Botiz for 2-0 Express lead after the first period.

 Photo courtesy of Damon James
Surrey ramped up their game in the first half of the second period. Darius Davidson got the Eagles on the board in the opening minute beating Lawson Fenton with a wrist shot up over his glove.

The Eagles had the edge in play for the first 10 minutes of the period but Lawson Fenton shut the door to keep the Express in the lead. Fenton would finish with 36 saves for his third win of the season.

Midway through the second period the Express restored their two goal lead. On the power play Jake Brien unloaded a slap shot past Botiz for a 3-1 Express lead on Brien's 2nd goal of the season.

The line of Mitch Newsome, Alex Ambrosio and Cal Babych teamed up late in the second period to give the Express some insurance going into the third period. Newsome picked the puck off the boards and set up Ambrosio in the slot, his shot was blocked but the puck bounced right to Newsome who scored for a second straight game and a 4-1 lead.

The third period saw the Express focus on their play on the defensive side of the game to bring home the victory. Surrey made it a 4-2 game when Ty Westgard potted home a loose puck with 11 minutes to go. From there Surrey never really threatened to complete the come back.

Cal Babych sealed the win for the Express picking up his third point of the night on a empty net goal with just over two minutes remaining in the third period. Babych finished with one goal and two assists. His line along with Ambrosio and Newsome each picking up a goal and an assist help that unit combine for seven points with three goals and four assists.

The Express will hit the road this weekend for a pair of games against Island division foes the Powell River Kings and Cowichan Valley Capitals. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Highlights of the Eagles 4-3 win over the Express Friday night.

Highlights courtesy of Jorge Parra & Underdog Productions