Saturday, September 30, 2017


Reid Cooper made 47 saves - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Prince George snapped a mini two game losing streak with a 5-3 win over the Express in their home opener. Click here for boxscore

Reid Cooper stood tall in the Express crease with 47 saves on 51 shots sent his way.

Colby Pederson - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Right off the bat the Express netminder was put to the test. He faced 21 Prince George shots in the first period. The only puck to beat him was off the stick of Dustin Manz who finished off a give and go with Patrick Cozzi with Manz snapping a shot past the glove of Cooper. That was the lone blemish in an otherwise strong period as Cooper did all he could to hold Prince George at bay.

In the second period breakdowns led to the Spruce Kings adding to their lead. Ben Poisson finished off a 2 on 1 to for a 2-0 lead. That was followed 1:26 later by a goal from Corey Cunningham burying the rebound of a Ryan Stack shot for a 3-0 lead by the 3 minute mark of the second period.

Down 3-0 the Express power play clawed them back into the game. First Jordan Schulting jumped in from the point and found a loose puck and scored his first of the season make it a 3-1 game at 15:14. Then 2:32 later Mitch Newsome's one timer missed the net but the rebound bounced to Christian Sanda who buried his 3rd of the season at 17:46.

J. Schulting had 1 goal & 1 assist - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Early in the third the Spruce Kings re-stored their two goal lead when Ben Brar behind the Express net on a crafty reverse pass set up Manz for his second of the game just two seconds after a Christian Sanda penalty came to an end.

Mitch Newsome scored with just 4 minutes remaining for his first of the season to pull the Express within one. Newsome finished with 1 goal and 1 assist.

But like last night in Salmon Arm a late third period penalty cut into the time the Express could have used to push for the equalizer.

In the final minute goaltender Reid Cooper was pulled for the extra attacker. But before the Express could get control of the puck it was fired up to Ben Brar who hit the empty net to seal the win for Prince George.

The final shots finished 52-21 for the Spruce Kings. The Express went 2 for 5 on the power play while killing of all 5 Spruce Kings powerplays.

The Express will seek their first win of the season Sunday afternoon vs. the Cowichan Valley Capitals.


The Salmon Arm Silverbacks broke a brief 3-3 third period tie en route to a 5-3 win over their Express expansion cousins. Click here for boxscore

The setback keeps the Express in search of their first win of the season through six games. (0-5-1-0)

Clay Stevenson got the call for the Express between the pipes. He was tested early on as the Silverbacks opened the game with a 5-0 advantage in shots. The line of Mason Mitchell, Justin Wilson and Grayson Constable used their size and speed were giving the Express trouble keeping up with them in their zone. Eventually Constable found the puck in the slot and he scored to open the scoring at 4:05.

The Express were seeking their power play to find some production following their 4-2 loss at the showcase to Victoria.

It came through on Friday. Sam Kozlowski potted his third of the season on the power play with a Jordan Schulting pass hitting a skate and coming right to Kozlowski who blasted it home to tie the game at one.

Salmon Arm restored their lead late in the first period when Noah Wakeford found a loose puck in the Express crease and swatted it home for his first BCHL goal.

Clay Stevenson's best work came in the second period. He stopped Rhett Kingston on a breakaway.

The only puck to beat Stevenson in the period was due to an unfortunate break. Trevor Adams from the blueline fired a wrist shot that Express defenseman Doug Scott tried to block with his glove. He only got a piece of it and the puck slipped past Stevenson's left as he was sliding to his right.

Then Stevenson rose to the occasion to keep his team in the game when the Express got themselves into penalty trouble giving the Silverbacks a two man advantage for 1:26. Kingston had a chance for redemption when he was set up for a one timer, but he was robbed by Stevenson who made his best save of the night with his left pad.

Alex Ambrosio was guilty of the second penalty putting the Express down two men. The captain redeemed himself with the Express on a power play blasting home a one timer from the right circle to cut the Silverbacks lead to 3-2.

Jack Graham, Riley Johnson and Christian Rosa saw limited ice time for the Express. Early in the third they teamed up to pull the Express even. Johnson found Rosa alone at the edge of the crease for Bosa's second of the season to tie the game at 3.

The tie only lasted two minutes, Logan Mostat scored a power play goal to give Salmon Arm a 4-3 lead. The Express argued the puck was contacted with a high stick after Austin Chorney's point shot went air bourne. A brief discussion by the referees allowed the goal to stand. Despite the setback, Stevenson had a strong outing in the Express crease with a heavy barrage of shots to keep his team within striking distance.

Nice Tallarico faced 21 shots in the Silverbacks crease. His best save in the third period came off Christian Sanda on a two on one as the Express looked for the equalizer.

Rhett Kingston sealed the game for the Silverbacks with an empty net goal in the final minute.

Salmon Arm outshot the Express 46-21.

The Express finally play their home opener Saturday night vs. the Prince George Spruce Kings. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017


Reid Cooper finished with 20 saves Photo courtesy of Garrett James
A productive power play for the Victoria Grizzlies and the lack of one for the Express was the difference in a 4-2 Victoria win Sunday in the finale at the BCHL showcase for both teams.
Click here for boxscore

The Grizzlies struck twice on the power play while the Express were blanked.

The Express had a second straight strong start. They outshot the Grizzlies early on opening up a 6-1 advantage. They were physical and controlling the play below the hashmarks in the Victoria zone.

A strong shift in the Victoria zone by Aiden Wagner, Hadyn Delorme and Jake Toor teamed up to open the scoring with Toor burying his own rebound after he was set up alone in front of the net for a 1-0 Express lead.

The Express had their opportunities to expand their lead with three powerplays in the first but were unable to capitalize in their chances.

In the second period Mitch Newsome hit the post and Will Lawrence was stopped in front of the net by Shawn Parkinson on more good scoring chances for the Express to add to their lead.

Midway through the second period the Grizzlies power play used their patience to tie the game. A smart dump and puck retrieval allowed the Victoria to set up in the Express zone.

Troy Robillard - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
Then 16 year old Alex Newhook on a slap pass tipped home by Tanner Hopps tied the game at one.

This was a key point in the game that started to turn it in Victoria's favour.

Late in the period a two on one down low in the Express zone resulted in a goal by Ethan Nother giving Victoria a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Veteran Jamie Rome scored 18 seconds into the third period for a 3-1 Grizzlies lead.

That goal didn't dissuade the Express and they cut the deficit back to one after a good shift of patient puck control in the Grizzlies zone. Eventually the puck was worked to captain Alex Ambrosio who scored his first of the season on the backhand to cut the deficit to 3-2 with just under 14 minutes left.

Then the Express power play let them down again moments after the Ambrosio scored when they were unable to strike with Nico Somerville in the box.

As the final minutes ticked down the game started to open up as the Express pressed for the equalizer. Reid Cooper did all he could to keep the Express within one. His best same coming off Lucas Clark with just over 5 minutes to play.

A. Ambrosio & J. Brien - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
Seconds later Alex Ambrosio was whistled for boarding for a hit delivered in front of the Victoria bench.

The Grizzlies only needed 20 seconds on the power play to convert restoring their two goal lead. Justin Michaelian potted a loose puck in front of the net to give Victoria a 4-2 lead. 16 year old rookie Alex Newhook picked up his third assist on the tally. The Grizzlies finished 2 for 5 on the power play.

In a fitting ending to the game the Express couldn't cut the deficit in the final moments of the game on their final power play of the game. The Express finished 0 for 6 on the power play.

The effort level was there for the Express but they just couldn't take advantage of their chances. The Express outshot Victoria 28-24. The loss now sees the Express winless in their first 5 games (0-4-1) to start the season.

Up next the Express are in Salmon Arm this Friday.

Thursday, September 21, 2017


The West Kelowna Warriors improved to 3-0 all time vs. the Express at the Bauer BCHL showcase with a 7-2 win Wednesday night. Click here for boxscore

It was the second straight year and 3rd time in the last 4 seasons the Express and Warriors met at the annual event.

The setback kept the Express winless through their first 4 games of the season (0-3-1-0).

The first period saw the Express generate some of their best chances of the game. Will Lawrence was stopped in the slot on a set up from Hunter Fraser.

Joshua Wildauer opened the scoring for the Express as he was the beneficiary of some quick passes from line mates Christian Sanda and Colby Pederson who found Wildauer alone in front of the net and he scored his first BCHL goal just shy of the 8 minute mark.

Moments later Eric Linell was inches away from doubling the Express lead as he raced into the Warriors zone and rang a shot off the post from the right wing.

Warriors forward Matt Kowalski has been a human highlight reel early in this BCHL season. He added to it late in the first period as he sped into the Express zone danced around a defender then snapped a quick shot past the glove of Reid Cooper to tie the game at 1 after 20 minutes.

West Kelowna opened the second period on a power play when Sam Kozlowski was called for hooking at the 20:00 mark.

With one second left in the power play the puck came back to Warriors defenseman Stephen Kleysen at the point who snapped a shot over the glove of Reid Cooper for a 2-1 Warriors lead.

At this point the Warriors started the pull away from the Express. Willie Reid and Chase Stevenson both scored with tap ins in front of the Express net just over 5 minutes apart, that in combination of the Express going 0 for 3 on the power play in the period saw the Warriors take a 4-1 lead into the third period.

West Kelowna did an excellent job Wednesday night getting pucks and bodies to the net which led to 4 of their goals.

Max Bulawka deftly redirected a Michael Ryan point shot and Matthew Campese was able to jam the puck under Cooper on the power play to open a 6-1 Warriors lead.

Then immediately following the third period media timeout veteran Jared Marino off a won face-off in the Express zone snapped home his second of the season for a 7-1 Warriors lead.

Rookie Haydn Delorme rounded out the scoring burying the rebound of a Doug Scott point shot for his first BCHL goal at 15:24.

The Warriors outshot the Express 52-32. West Kelowna was 2 for 3 on the power play while the Express went 0 for 3.

Up next for the Express is their second game at the showcase Sunday afternoon vs. Victoria.