Thursday, November 30, 2017


Highlights from Wednesday's 3-3 tie with Langley.


Jason Fortier made his Express coaching debut
Photo courtesy of Garrett James
It's been a busy 72 hours for the Express organization that started with making a coaching change announcing Jason Fortier took over as the Express bench boss for Barry Wolff on Monday.

The new Express had coach had little time to get acclimated with his new team before coaching his first game.

Fortier met with the players Monday, ran a practice Tuesday and was behind the Express bench Wednesday night.

He commented on wanting the Express to use their speed and try to be more of a puck possession team. Early on some of those tweeks were showing in the Express game. And it led to some odd man rushes.

One of those chances opened the scoring for the Express as Sam Kozlowski came down the right wing an snapped a shot past Chad Kromar to open the scoring.

E. Linell scored a pair of power play goals - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
That goal was the spring board to give the Express some confidence to try to create more chances, but Chad Kromar held the Express to just one goal in the period.

Rivermen captain Brendan Body pulled the visitors even in the final minute of the first period. He crept in from the left side and took a back door pass and snapped a shot past Brock Hamm.

Nik Ponak gave Langley their only lead of the night just 37 seconds into the second period.

Jason Fortier has done plenty of work in his short time as the Express Head Coach to implement his systems. That includes the power play. Some quick passes and puck movement were notable from the Express with the man advantage Wednesday.

It was a goal off the rush however that even things up for the Express on the power play. Alex Ambrosio raced into the Langley zone on the right wing. He caught a break as a Rivermen defender lost his footing allowing the Express captain to gain entry into the zone. He then put a backhand pass onto the tape of Eric Linell who tipped it home to tie the game at two.

This was the 5th meeting of the season between the Express and Rivermen. In most of the games between the two teams there has been an underlying animosity in the games. It was no different on Wednesday.

In the first period Doug Scott had a notable stare down with Sean Gulka. They met again in the final minutes of the second period. Scott was going to be penalized for a hit on Trevor St. Jean. Gulka didn't take too kindly to the hit and the two dropped the gloves. A pretty even fight saw each guy get in their fair share of shots. Earlier this season Scott had a fight pretty much in the same spot of the ice with Nik Ponak.

Just 13 seconds into the third period Eric Linell was shoved into the corner boards and had a pretty hard collision on the fresh ice. Fortunately for the Express forward he got up right away. But Carter Stephenson was called for boarding.

On the ensuing power play Linell made Stephenson pay scoring his second of the night from another set up by captain Alex Ambrosio at 2:05.

Midway through the third period Langley even things up again. A shot from the right point by Carter Stephenson was tipped by Ethan Leyh and the shot had just enough to trickle through Brock Hamm to tie the game at 3.

Four of the five games between these teams have been tied at some point in the final 6 minutes of the third period.

Wednesday's game was the second of those games to go to overtime. Josh Wildauer used his speed to draw a penalty coming out of the corner in the first overtime.

On the 4 on 3 advantage the Express moved the puck around looking for their opportunity to win it. But bad ice conditions late in the game made it a challenge for the Express to settle a bouncing puck.

Photo courtesy of Garrett James
The Express couldn't convert on their opportunity. They finished 2 for 6 on the power play. Langley was 1 for 2.

In 3 on 3 double overtime Wildauer was stopped powering in from the left wing. Langley goaltender Chad Kromar finished with 23 saves on 26 shots.

At the other end Brock Hamm made overtime saves on a Eric Butte breakaway. Then he had to reach back with all he could to keep a puck out that was rolling towards the goal line. Hamm finished with 31 saves.

With the tie the Express are still winless in their last 14 games, but more efforts like Wednesday and that streak won't last much longer.

The Express are back in action Friday in Chilliwack. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Coquitlam Express President Mark Pettie discusses the decision Monday to relieve Barry Wolff as the Express Head Coach & GM and his replacement Jason Fortier.

Monday, November 27, 2017


This is never an easy day. Especially when it involves a friend.

The Coquitlam Express have relived Barry Wolff as the Head Coach & GM of the Coquitlam Express. Jason Fortier has been hired as the new Head Coach and Assistant GM of the Express.

Barry was hired in the spring of 2013. Over the course of 4 plus seasons behind the Express bench Wolff guided the Express to a 88-148-7-15. His best success coming during his first season in 2013-14 when he led the Express to a 27-26-2-3 record. Then in the playoffs he guided the team to series wins over Prince George, Langley, Victoria and a four game sweep of Vernon for the second BCHL championship in Express history.

Wolff also served as an assistant coach and Head Coach with Team Canada West at the World Junior A challenge. Winning a gold medal in 2015.

See the Press release from the Express about the coaching change below.

November 27, 2017

New Direction with Coaching Staff

The Jr A Coquitlam Express of the BCHL is pleased to announce the hiring of Jason Fortier as Head Coach and Assistant General Manager.

With 12 years of coaching at the Junior A and AAA Midget levels, Jason brings to the team deep experience and a long track record of success behind the bench.

His last two seasons were spent coaching in the CHL, most recently in 2016/17 as an Associate Coach with the OHL's Kitchener Rangers and then the prior 2015/16 season as Assistant Coach with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL. During his season with Rouyn-Noranda, the Huskies won the QMJHL Championship and competed in the Memorial Cup, ultimately losing in overtime in the Tournament Final.

During the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons, Jason was the Head Coach and General Manager of the Jr A Toronto Lakeshore Patriots of the OJHL, winning back-to-back OJHL Championships and competing in the 2014 RBC Cup in Vernon, B.C. In these same two seasons, Jason also served as the Director of Hockey and Assistant Coach of the Toronto Nationals Midget AAA team, winning consecutive Ontario Midget AAA Championships and earning two trips to the Telus Cup Canadian Championship, claiming victory in the 2015 Tournament.

Over a six year time span, Jason compiled an impressive Jr A coaching record of 234 wins, 100 losses and 28 OTLs and he is one of the few coaches who have coached in the Memorial Cup, the RBC Cup and the Telus Cup.

Jason was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and played junior hockey in the OHL. He subsequently played in Germany and Holland, and then in the Central Hockey League in the USA. His maternal roots are in Trail, B.C. and his father played for the Smoke Eaters in the 1969/70 season. We are pleased to welcome Jason to the Express family and to the Coquitlam community.

At the same time, we want to thank Barry Wolff for his years of commitment and dedication to the Express. Barry helped the team to a BCHL Championship in 2013/14 and has worked tirelessly for the organization. We wish Barry every success in his future pursuits.

Media Contacts:

Mark Pettie
President, Coquitlam Express Jr. A Hockey Club

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Express celebrate parents weekend - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Alberni Valley struck three times in the third period to break open a tight game en route to a 4-2 win over the Express. Click for boxscore
Josh Bruce had a power play goal
Photo courtesy of Damon James

The win salvaged the final game of a three game road trip for the Bulldogs.

It was a penalty filled affair in the first period. Mitchell Oliver opened the scoring for the Bulldogs by beating Brock Hamm with a one timer for a power play goal.

The Express had a lengthy first period two man advantage that buzzed with plenty of chances in the Bulldogs zone but they couldn't finish their chances.

Then on the fourth power play for the Express in the first period Josh Bruce tipped home a pass from Eric Linell to tie the game at one. Troy Robillard made a great play on the goal to hustle and hold the puck in the Bulldogs zone.

Poor ice conditions made for some pretty sloppy hockey for both teams all afternoon long.

The game remained deadlocked until Keaton Mastrodonato beat Brock Hamm with a wrist shot from the right wing midway through the third period.

Less than two minutes later the Express pressed for the equalizer and found it when Doug Scott jumped into the play and found a loose puck in front of the Bulldogs net and poked home his first BCHL goal at 11:37.

That didn't phase the Bulldogs who kept up their attack in the third period. Ryan Steele re-stored the Bulldogs lead just 2 and a half minutes later to make it 3-2. That goal was followed by Jackson Doucet who beat Brock Hamm with a wrist shot up over his glove just 1:18 after Steele's goal at 15:23 to seal the win for Alberni Valley. That goal capped a 17 shot third period for the visitors.

The shots finished 41-28 in favour of Alberni Valley.

Up next for the Express they have a pair of games next weekend up in Prince George.

Friday, November 17, 2017


Murphy Stratton and Jasper Weatherby each scored twice to pace the Wild in a 5-1 win over the Express. Click here for boxscore

Stratton's two goals came in the opening 8 minutes of the game to give the Wild a 2-0 first period lead.

His first goal saw Stratton re-direct a Sam Hesler pass through the pads of Brock Hamm. 3:50 later Stratton snapped home a pass from Chad Sasaki on Wenatchee's first power play of the night. Wenatchee peppered the Express net with 17 first period shots, while at the other end Wild goaltender  Austin Park only saw 5 first period shots sent his way.

Haydn Delorme cut the Wild lead in half on a second period power play. The puck came to the Express rookie in the slot who chopped a shot home for his third goal of the season. The Express went 1 for 3 on the power play.

Then in the final minute of the middle period Delorme had some bad puck luck behind the net. Delorme saw bounce over his stick behind the net when he tried to reverse it but it was stolen by Jasper Weatherby who potted his 20th of the season on a wraparound for a 3-1 Wild lead after 40 minutes.

Weatherby overtook Surrey's John Wesley for the BCHL lead in goals with second of the night and 21st of the season on a two man Wild advantage early in the third period. Wenatchee finished 2 for 5 on the power play.

Cooper Zech rounded out the scoring snapping home a shot from the slot at 18:18.

Wenatchee finished with 47 shots while the Express struggled all night to generate many quality chances finishing with a season low 14 shots. The set back was the 10th straight loss for the Express.

The Express return to action Sunday afternoon when they host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Saturday, November 11, 2017


- Photo courtesy of Damon James
Much like 24 hours ago in Surrey the Express battled the Eagles down to the final moments only to see Surrey seal the game in the final minute with an empty net goal. Saturday it was a 5-3 Eagles win coming on the heels of a 4-2 Surrey win Friday night. Click here for boxscore

Brock Hamm was named first star - - Photo courtesy of Damon James
The start was a different story for the Express. Friday Surrey jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead. Saturday the Express returned the favor.

Haydn Delorme opened the scoring for the Express just over 5 minutes in the game when his wrist shot was stopped by Daniel Davidson but the rebound bounced off a Surrey defender and into the net for his Delorme's of the season.

1:11 later Josh Bruce took advantage of Cory Babichuk getting hauled down and losing the puck springing a breakaway for Bruce who scored for a 2-0 Express lead. It was the third straight game for the Express vs. Surrey that they scored a shorthanded goal.

Former Express Dominic Masellis started the Surrey comeback when he picked off a Express clearing attempt and snapped a shot through the pads of Brock Hamm.

Two minutes after the Masellis goal with the Express already shorthanded, Lucas Wong collided knee on knee with Desi Burgart, the Eagles forward was hurt on the play and didn't return. Wong was assessed a 5 minute major for a game misconduct for kneeing.

On the two man advantage John Wesley who had a hat-trick Friday, teed up a one timer for Owen Norton who fired it home to tie the game at two.

Surrey had four powerplays in the first period which helped their cause to finish the period with a 18-7 advantage in shots. The Express started the game by outshooting Surrey 4-0.

Landon Fuller gave the Express their second lead of the night early in the second period as he blasted home a slap shot for his first Express goal in his second game with the club.

Friday night neither team could strike on a  combined 15 powerplays for the Express and Eagles.

Surrey's Jeffrey Stewart scored the third power play goal of the game when he converted a pass from behind the net to tie the game at 3. The Eagles finished 2 for 8 on the power play while the Express went 1 for 3.

Like many games for the Express this season,

the game was hanging in the balance going to the third period. They needed someone to rise to the occasion to get that key third period goal to get them back in the win column.

Josh Bruce had multiple bids to get that key goal for the Express. In the opening minute of the third period his chance set up by Alex Ambrosio was stopped by Daniel Davidson.

At the 6 minute mark Connor Sundquist had his shot stopped by Brock Hamm, then Chase Danol put the rebound off the post and finally Aaron White buried the third chance to give the Eagles their first lead of the night.

Landon Fuller - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Josh Bruce found himself alone in front of the net and was robbed by Daniel Davidson to keep Surrey in the lead with 4 minutes to play. That goal proved to by the key chance the Express needed to finish for the equalizer.

In the final minute Ryan Brushett hit the empty net to seal the win for Surrey.

The Express have had 16 of their 21 games this season decided by two goals or less. They have 8 games decided by two goals with 5 of those games sealed with an empty net goal by the opposition. That shows just how tight the difference has been between winning and losing for the Express in a good chunk of their games this season.

Up next for the Express is a Thursday visit to the Langley Rivermen. 


John Wesley's hat-trick paced the Eagles attack in a 4-2 win Friday night in Surrey. Click here for boxscore

He hit the 20 goal plateau in the first of a home and home between the two teams.

The game saw three new members of the Express make their debut. Oliver Lester and Landon Fuller got the call on the blueline. And Brock Hamm started between the pipes.

Unfortunately for Hamm a 100 game WHL veteran he got off to a rough start. Chase Danol scored on a rebound for a 1-0 Eagles lead just 54 seconds into the game.

Then 54 seconds later Cory Babichuk who returned to the Eagles from the USHL slid a cross ice pass to John Wesley who scored his first of the night.

Rough start with two pucks getting past Brock Hamm within the first two minutes, but then he would settle in and have a pretty strong game the rest of the way.

Moments later another new member of the Express Oliver Lester got tangled up with an Eagle in the corner, he got up on his feet and was seen in discomfort. He didn't return for the rest of the game.

Friday's game was filled with penalties handed out to both sides. When the Express met Surrey two weeks ago their power play let them down going 0 for 5 in a 4-2 loss. It was the same story again Friday night.

The Express were given four first period powerplays, including a brief two man advantage for 11 seconds but the Express were unable to cut into the Eagle lead.

It was hard not to notice the third member of the Express making his debut with the team in the first period. Landon Fuller brings size at 6'5 and puck moving ability to the Express blueline. He narrowly missed connecting with Will Lawrence on a long breakaway pass. Then on the defensive side he used his long reach to poke the puck off the stick of John Wesley cutting in from the right wing.

In the opening moments of the second period Alex Ambrosio broke out with Eric Linell shorthanded. The captain put a pass on the tape of Linell who blasted home a one timer for his 8th of the season. It was the second shorthanded goal for the Express this season.

Wesley quickly restored Surrey's two goal lead converting a set up from behind the Express net by Ty Westgard just 1:34 after Linell's goal.

It was at this point Brock Hamm really settled into the game for the Express. One of his best saves off the night came off a rush as Hamm came to his right and got his pad down to rob Jordan Robert on an odd man rush. Hamm finished the game turning aside 36 of the final 37 shots sent his way after the first two Eagles shots went in. He was recognized as the game's second star.

Penalties assessed to the Express in the first half of the third period cut into time the Express could have used to cut into the Eagles lead. The Express penalty killers deserve credit for killing off all 8 Eagle powerplays.

Will Lawrence made his return to the Express after missing the previous three weeks. He buried the rebound of a Alex Ambrosio shot to make it a 3-2 game with just under 5 minutes remaining in the third period. Ambrosio finished with two assists and Eric Linell had one goal and one assist.

A scrum late in the third period resulted in the 6th power play of the night for the Express. It was a pretty ineffective man advantage with lots of puck control, but not many dangerous chances generated. That was a pretty consistent theme on a 0 for 7 night on the power play for the Express.

In the final minute the puck came back to Landon Fuller at the Eagle blueline, but it bounced over his stick forcing him to go back for the puck in the Express zone, moments later the puck was on the stick of Jordan Robert who set up Wesley who hit the empty net for his third of the night.

The Eagles finished the game outshooting the Express 42-32.

The return matchup of the home and home will be played Saturday night in Coquitlam.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Head Coach and GM Barry Wolff has been busy this week, especially with his GM duties.

He's made a number of moves to change the look of the Express roster.

It started Monday when the Express traded veteran forward Mitch Newsome (97) to the Humboldt Broncos (SJHL) for goaltender Brock Hamm (97).

Newsome was acquired by the Express on January 10, 2016 from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in exchange for future considerations.

In parts of three seasons with the Express, the Surrey native dressed in 61 games scoring 11 goals and adding 25 assists for 36 points. He also had 1 goal and 1 assist in 3 playoff games with the Express in 2016.

Hamm, a Saskatoon native comes to the Express where he played the previous three seasons with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL. In 100 career WHL games Hamm has posted a record of 33-50-6-2 (wins-losses-overtime losses-shootout losses) with a 3.97 GAA and .886 save percentage. He also posted one shutout.

In 2015-16 Hamm played a career high 56 games posted a record of 21-26-3-0. He began his junior career with the Humboldt Broncos in the 2014-15 season where he posted a 9-10-0 record in 21 games while posting one shutout with a 2.78 GAA and .918 save percentage.

Wednesday, the Express traded the rights of forward Blake Hayward (98) to the Prince George Spruce Kings in exchange for forward Nic Holowko (97).

Hayward dressed for 107 games for the Express over the previous three seasons with 15 goals and 28 assists for 43 points. He also represented the Express twice at the World Junior A challenge winning gold in 2015. He committed to Union University late last last season. This season he dressed for 6 games with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL where he didn't register a point and was a -2.

Holowko comes to the Express with 208 career games of WHL experience with the Seattle Thunderbirds, Prince Albert Raiders and Kamloops Blazers. He has 21 goals and 32 assists for 53 points in his WHL career. He dressed for 7 games with Kamloops this season he has 3 goals and 1 assist.

Nic is the nephew of TSN 1040 radio host and long time TV sportscaster Don Taylor.

The final move the Express have made is adding defenseman Landon Fuller (99). The Express acquired his rights as future considerations in the January 2017 trade that sent Dominic Masellis to the Surrey Eagles.

Fuller comes to the Express from the Tri City Americans of the WHL. He brings some size to the backend at 6'5, 235 lbs.

He has 16 games of WHL experience over parts of 3 seasons with 1 assist. In 17-18 had his lone helper in 8 games. The Williams Lake native also split 44 games last season with Salmon Arm and Surrey with 1 goal and 4 assists for 5 points. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017


The Express haven't won in Chilliwack regular season or playoffs since the season finale in their championship year of 2014.

The streak was extended to 21 tonight, but it wasn't from a lack of effort tonight as the Express fell by a 6-5 score.  Click here for boxscore

The Express matched Chilliwack stride for stride as the two teams traded blows and goals all night long.

The visitors got off to a great start, it was sparked by Josh Bruce who scored his first Express goal on a breakaway at 4:27.

2:20 later it was 2-0 Express. Eric Linell raced after a loose puck in the Chilliwack zone and put a pass right on the tape of Sam Kozlowski who snapped home his 4th goal of the season. The goal for Kozlowski was his first in 11 games. He was pointless in his last 5 games entering Saturday's contest.

As fast as the Express took the two goal lead, Chilliwack erased it.

38 seconds after the goal by Kozlowski, Adam Berg on a tip of a Bryan Allbee point shot got the Chiefs on the board. 54 seconds later Jared Turcotte with shot from the boards found a hole on Clay Stevenson to tie the game at 2.

It only took the Express 40 seconds to restore their lead. Eric Linell found himself alone in the slot with the puck on his stick. His first shot was stopped by Mathieu Caron, but he buried his own rebound for a 3-2 Express lead. Linell finished with 1 goal and 2 assists.

When everything was said and done the teams combined for 5 goals in a span of 5:32. The three Express goals chased Chilliwack goaltender Mathieu Caron after only facing 6 shots.

In the opening minutes of the second period the Express got pucks to the net only to have pucks cleared away from the goal crease by Chiefs defensemen before any Express forwards could poke home the loose pucks.

While the Express couldn't convert on puck battles in the crease, Corey Andonovski found a loose puck in front of the Express net scoring his 4th of the season to tie the game at 3.

Midway through the period the Express took their third lead of the night. Alex Amborsio's shot was stopped by Daniel Chenard and Josh Bruce buried the rebound for his second of the night. The goal snapped a power play drought for the Express which hadn't scored in their previous 10 opportunities. Enterting the game the Express were just 3 for their last 45 on the man advantage.

Sam Kozlowski drew the second assist on the goal. He finished with 1 goal and 2 assists.

The rollercoaster ride Saturday night continued as Anthony Vincent scored 1:05 later for the Chiefs to tie it again at 4.

Then in the final minute of the second period the Chiefs took their first lead of the night on a goal by Kaden Pickering who sped into the Express zone and snuck a shot through Stevenson's pads at 19:32.

In the opening minutes of the third period Chilliwack seemed content to control the puck as much as they could in the Express zone, and not be overly concerned with throwing pucks at the net. Chilliwack's patience allowed the clock to slowly tick down while protecting a one goal lead.

Anthony Vincent snapped a shot through Stevenson for his second of the game to make it 6-4 at 12:05. That goal hurt the Express as they can't afford any soft goals with such a small margin of error that separates the difference between winning and losing for the Express.

Alex Ambrosio cut the deficit back to one with his 5th of the season at 13:34. Mitch Newsome quickly snapped it to Riley Johnson who made a quick one touch pass to Amborsio who snapped it home from the slot. The goal for the captain capped off a one goal and one assist night. He hadn't had a point in his previous 7 games.

That goal would be as close as the Express would come. They couldn't find the glorious chance that would result in the game tying goal that would send it to overtime.

Up next for the Express is a home and home next weekend with Surrey.