Sunday, December 30, 2018


Chase Danol for the Express and Harrison Blaisdell for the Chiefs each had hat-tricks, but it was Chilliwack tickling the twine more often in a 7-5 victory over the Express. Click here for boxscore

The first game back from the Christmas break usually ends up being a sloppy affair due to the rust on both sides. That held true in the Fraser Valley.

Chilliwack got the early jump on the Express on a Matt Holmes backhand sliding it under Clay Stevenson on the first shot of the game just 1:42 into the contest.

It took about 5 minutes for the Express to find their skating legs. Once they did some chances started to come. Connor Gregga who went into the Christmas break on a tear had one of the few chances not go his way with a backhand that hit the post in tight on Nolan Hildebrand.

On a first period powerplay Alex DiPaolo set up in the slot clanged a shot off the goal post that could be heard all the way in Abbotsford.

Then Chase Danol was robbed by Hildebrand after the netminder handed the puck to Danol who quickly snapped off a shot, but Hildebrand recovered for his best save of the first period.

Danol would get his revenge minutes later ripping a shot from his off wing for his first of the night and a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes.

The Express got their only lead of the night just over 3 minutes into the second period off a Regan Kimens dump in that hit a stanchion and bounced right to a surprised Connor Gregga who was robbed by Hildebrand who went out to play the puck. But there was a rebound for Josh Wildauer to jam in for a 2-1 Express lead.

Then came a key turning point in the game. Henry Rybinski split the Chilliwack defence then went to the net and in the process collided with Nolan Hildebrand. The Chiefs goaltender was shaken up a little on the play, but quickly shook off the effects of the contact.

Rybinski meanwhile was given a 5 minute major for a game misconduct.

Just over a minute into the powerplay the Chiefs struck. A Jacques Bouquot backhand was deflected ever so slightly in front of the net by Harrison Blaisdell to tie the game at 2.

Just over two minutes later Cole Donhauser converted a set up at the side of the Express net for the Chiefs second powerplay goal on the Rybinski major.

Following the game the 5 minute major to Rybinski was reviewed by BCHL Director of Officiating Brad Lazarowich and the penalty was reduced to a two minute minor penalty. If the major stood, Rybinski may have faced a two game suspension under the terms of the Junior A Supplement.

Chilliwack carried the momentum into their next powerplay where Jacques Boquot was set up in the slot for the Chiefs third powerplay goal of the frame and a 4-2 lead.

The third period didn't start well for the Express as in the opening minute a turnover behind the net quickly resulted in Carter Wilkie getting set up in the slot and snapping a wrist shot past the glove of Clay Stevenson.

Credit to the Express they never gave up. Chase Danol 5 and a half minutes into the 3rd deflected a Jordan Schulting point shot to make it a 5-3 contest.

It was at this point every time the Express would strike, the Chiefs would have a response.

Harrison Blaisdell took a pass in behind the Express defence and slid him his second of the night to make it 6-3 at 9:50.

The Express response to that goal was Jared Power finishing off a Connor Gregga set up to make it 6-4 at 12:09.

Blaisdell took care of the Chiefs response with his hat-trick goal taking advantage of the space given to him by the defence and snapping a shot past the glove of Stevenson for the Chiefs third three goal lead of the third period. Clay Stevenson was beat for 7 goals on 30 shots.

Chase Danol would finish off his first BCHL hat-trick by sneaking in his 20th of the season with 2:37 to play.

The Express are right back in action Sunday afternoon when they host the Langley Rivermen in the Express annual Coquitlam Comets night. 

Saturday, December 15, 2018


Highlights of the Express 10-5 win over Chilliwack.

Highlights produced by Eddie Gregory. 


The Coquitlam Express have a new season high for goals after a 10 goal outburst in a 10-5 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs. Click here for boxscore

Josh Wildauer paced the Express attack with his first BCHL hat-trick. The rest of the offence was supported by 7 other guys who chipped in with one goal.

Chilliwack jumped out to the early 1-0 lead on a goal by Skyler Brind'Amour 1:12 into the game.

That would be the lone highlight for the Chiefs for a long while. The Express would take complete control of the game for the next 30 some odd minutes.

The beat rolled along for Connor Gregga who tied the game at one converting a pass in the slot from Josh Wildauer just 2:31 after Brind'Amour's goal.

Midway through the first period seconds after a Express powerplay came to an end Josh Wildauer defected a Jack Cameron point shot for the first Express lead of the night.

Just over three minutes later Jared Power found the net for the first time in an Express uniform taking a cross ice pass from Connor Gregga then outwaiting Nolan Hildebrand before roofing it home for a 3-1 Express lead.

Jack Cameron capped off a four goal first period for the Express with a slap shot that was deflected past Hildebrand to open a 4-1 Express lead after the first period.

Daniel Chenard started the second period in the Chiefs net after Hildebrand was hooked following 4 goals in 15 shots.

The veteran Chiefs netminder didn't have any luck go his way as the second period rolled along.

Dallas Farrell extended the Express lead on a story he'll be telling for years. He started a shift by taking a hit that dumped him into the Chilliwack bench. Seconds later he went to the net and tipped home a Cole Edgerton pass for a 5-1 Express lead at 5:19.

Friday saw 4 Express forwards return to the lineup after missing due to various ailments. One of the returnees was Henry Rybinski after missing 2 games. Rybinski swung a pass to the side of the Chiefs net to Chase Danol who buried it for a 6-1 Express lead.

Then Rybinski scored his 1st Express goal right at the top of the Chiefs crease tipping home a Jared Power set up for the second powerplay goal of the night for the Express. Rybinski finished with 1 goal and 3 assists.

Chilliwack made a run in the second half of the middle period and the early minutes of the third to cut the lead to 7-4.

Wyatt Elmer ripped a shot over the shoulder of Clay Stevenson to make it 7-2 after two periods.

Matt Holmes scored just 9 seconds into the third period on the powerplay. Then that goal was followed by Jacques Bouqut converting his second of the season and by the 1:40 mark it was a three goal game.

But any hopes of a Chilliwack comeback were quickly quashed by the Express. Josh Wildauer buried his second of the night after finding an unimpeded lane to the net and scoring on a backhand for a 8-4 Express lead.

Wildauer finished his 1st BCHL hat-trick just over three minutes later taking pass in the slot to bury his 3rd of the night on the 4th powerplay goal for the Express. Wildauer also had an assist for a 4 point night.

Josh Bruce was among the returnees for the Express Friday. He missed a glorious chance for his 1st of the season back in the second period. He finally found the scoresheet 11 seconds after Wildauer's hat-trick goal as the Express hit double digits. The 10 goals is the first time the Express have scored 10 in a game since November 8, 2014 10-5 win in Surrey.

Ethan Bowen put the finishing touches on 6 goals in just over 7 minutes to open the 3rd period to cap off the scoring in the 10-5 game.

Clay Stevenson finished with 23 saves for just his second win since November 2nd.

The Express play their final game before Christmas Sunday afternoon when they host the Powell River Kings. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


The shorthanded Express made the trek through the snowy conditions of the Coquihalla highway for a Tuesday meeting in West Kelowna. When it was said and done the Warriors prevailed by a 4-2 score. Click here for boxscore

Similar to Saturday in Surrey the Express were without 7 regulars and dressed 5 AP's. Despite the roster short on regulars, the Express played hard against the Warriors.

Jared Power was called for a pair of penalties in just over the first 6 minutes of the game. On the second Warriors powerplay Chase Dubois put a pass on the tee for Mike Hardman who scored on a one timer from a tight angle beating Clay Stevenson on the glove side.

That goal sparked a back and forth first period between the two teams.

Connor Gregga continued his hot play Tuesday night in West K., 27 seconds after the Hardman goal, Gregga took a pass in the slot from Dallas Farrell and he ripped home a shot past Connor Hopkins to tie the game at 1.

Just 1:51 later two quick Warriors passes sprung Lucas Cullen who got a half step in behind the Express defence and slid a shot through the pads of Stevenson for the Warriors second lead of the night.

Again Connor Gregga had an answer for the Express. This time it came late on a powerplay taking a cross ice pass from Jared Power and ripping a one timer for his 13th goal of the season. The assist was the first point in an Express uniform for Jared Power. For Gregga it was his 7th goal and 11th point in his last 8 games.

The Warriors had an edge in play in the opening half of the second period. Clay Stevenson made a number of saves to preserve the tie for a while.

West K. broke through 8 minutes into the second period off the rush on a goal by Brandon Dent going hard to the net and right from the edge of the crease tipping home a pass from Mason Richey for the Warriors third lead of the night at 3-2.

In the latter half off the frame the Express had chances for the equalizer including a two on one shorthanded chance for Chase Danol who put his shot right into the crest of Connor Hopkins. Then late in the period Jared Power got in tight on Hopkins and looked to tuck the puck around the goaltender who found a way to reach back and keep the puck out and carry the Warriors lead to the third period.

Mike Hardman has had a great season in West Kelowna this year. He pulled into a tie for the league lead in goals at 2:36 of the third period banging home the rebound of a shot by Auston Chorney off the end boards for Hardman's 24th goal of the season. The goal ties him in that category with Ryan Brushett of the Powell River Kings.

Connor Hopkins shut the door in the final 40 minutes for the Warriors making 22 saves during that time. That included shutting down a pair of third period Express powerplays. The Express were 1 for 6 on the night.

The Warriors outshot the Express 38-34.

The Express return home Friday playing host to the Chilliwack Chiefs. Then host Powell River on Sunday afternoon. 

Sunday, December 9, 2018


Saturday night the Express were without 8 regulars due to various aliments and had 5 affiliate players in the lineup and they helped play a role in the Express 8-4 win over the Surrey Eagles. Click here for boxscore

Jackson Mainse and Jason Lin dressed on the backend while Nick Amsler, Dante Ballarin and Logan Kurki played up front. Head Coach Jason Fortier had all 5 AP's in the Express starting lineup. By the end of the night they all had a hand in the Express win.

It was the veterans getting things rolling for the Express. Pito Walton zipped a pass into the corner for Josh Wildauer who quickly set up Christian Sanda in the slot who scored on the powerplay for a 1-0 lead just 2:10 into the game.

Saturday was Surrey's teddy bear toss game. The locals tossed their stuffed animals on the ice at 6:10 on a powerplay goal from Jeremy Smith who pounced on a loose puck blasting a shot past Kolby Matthews.

That goal sparked some early momentum for the Eagles. 1:10 later Matthew McKim took advantage of a defensive zone turnover then snapped a shot off the cheater of Matthews glove and in for a 2-1 Eagles lead.

Max Mohagen capped off three Eagles goals in 4:22 tipping a Jeremy Smith snapshot for a 3-1 Eagles lead at 10:38.

After allowing three goals in the first 11 minutes Kolby Matthews really dialled into tame a Surrey push as they looked to extend their lead. His best save was a rebound sequence to deny Teddy Prior and Holden Katzalay.

Christian Sanda's 2nd of the night on the powerplay deflecting a Dallas Farrell wrist shot to cut Surrey's lead to 3-2 after 1 period.

With 8 regulars out of the Express lineup they needed the remaining veterans and even some younger players raise their game.

That certainly began for the Express in the middle frame. Connor Gregga continued his hot play finishing off a give and go with Josh Wildauer to tie the game at 3 just 2:42 into the period.

Then Gregga returned the favour sliding a pass through to Wildauer who was patient before roofing a shot over Cayden Bailey to give the Express their second lead of the night.

Jason Fortier said pre-game he wanted to see his young players to be relaxed and just play their game. They were showing their poise more and more as the second period progressed.

Jackson Mainse made a good play defensively taking on Justyn Gurney in a one a one defensive situation and Mainse played him very well despite the size mismatch and bumped him off the puck.

Jason Lin looked poised with the puck on his stick as the game went on.

Then up front the AP's chipped in. Logan Kurki's shot from the right wing generated a scramble that resulted in Dante Ballarin buring the rebound for his first BCHL goal and a 5-3 lead after three goals in a 7:08 span.

That 5th Express goal chased Cayden Bailey after 5 goals on 21 shots.

In the opening half of the third period the Express quickly salted the game away.

Dallas Farrell ripped a shot from the right wing for a 6-3 Express lead on his 8th of the season.

That was followed up less than two minutes later by Josh Wildauer hustling to the Surrey net and poking at a Danny Pearson dump in that was played a little nonchalantly by Hayden Missler and Wildauer's poke found the back of the net for Wildauer's 4th point of the night.

Nick Amsler finished with two assists, he set up Logan Kurki from behind the net for Kurki's 1st BCHL goal and the 7th unanswered Express goal and a 8-3 lead.

Brandon Santa Juana capped off the scoring with a late powerplay goal to make it a 8-4 game. Both teams finished 2 for 5 on the powerplay.  That would be the lone blemish on Kolby Matthews after he had a very strong finish to the game after three goals allowed in the first 10 minutes. Matthews finished with 37 saves.

The Express have an early week visit Tuesday night in West Kelowna. 

Friday, December 7, 2018


Trail goaltender Adam Marcoux made 30 saves to backstop the Smoke Eaters to a 4-1 victory over the Express Friday night. Click here for boxscore

Marcoux's counterpart at the other end Clay Stevenson returned to the Express crease following spending the early portion of the week at Team Canada West selection camp for the World Junior A Challenge.

Stevenson was beat on the first shot he faced when Owen Ozar's wrist shot from the right wing went past Stevenson's glove on the short side just 1:21 into the game.

The teams traded a sequence of penalties resulting in a 4 on 3 powerplay for Trail and Stevenson made one of his better saves of the night getting a glove down to deny Kent Johnson at the side of the net.

Some of the best chances for the Express didn't result in shots on goal with backdoor opportunities that were slightly off the mark.

Chase Danol was stopped on a two on one as he rushed in with Pito Walton after the defenceman stepped out of the penalty box.

Jared Power made his Express debut after being acquired from the Grande Prairie Storm (AJHL) last weekend.

He started the game playing with Hunter Alden and former midget teammate Dallas Farrell.

Power's best chance of the first period was a screen shot after spinning off the boards and shooting through a screen only to see Marcoux take the shot in the chest. His quick release is what stood out from Power's debut.

15 seconds into the second period following a Smoke Eaters face-off win in the Express zone, Kent Johnson alone at the side of the Express net buried the rebound over Stevenson for a 2-0 Trail lead.

The Express had good puck control and looked dangerous on back to back powerplays in the second period, but weren't able to cut into the Trail lead. The Express finished 0 for 4 on the night.

This game had various moments where tempers started to flare. Regan Kimens was involved in a number of the middle period skirmishes. His most notable battle was with forward Tyler Ghirdosi after the whistle.

Late in the frame Michael Hodge went hard to the net and converted a pass off the rush from Ghirdosi for a 3-0 Trail lead after 40 minutes.

The pesky Smoke Eaters had 5 regulars out of the lineup and they put the game away with one of their AP's Chase Dafoe scoring his first BCHL goal finishing off a pass from Carter Jones very much in similar fashion to Hodge's goal late in the 2nd period.

Hunter Alden broke Marcoux's shutout bid snapping home a set up from behind the Trail net for Alden's 3rd of the season at 7:45.

As the game wound down the referees took control handing out numerous misconducts in addition to the original infractions when tempers continued to flare.

When all was said and done, Regan Kimens, Chase Danol, Connor Gregga, Henry Rybinski and Jack Cameron saw their nights come to an end early.

If you're looking for a bright spot for the Express was the penalty killing finishing a perfect 6 for 6 when that unit has taken it's hits in recent weeks.

The Express visit Surrey Saturday night.