Monday, December 30, 2019


Highlights from Saturday's 5-4 Express shootout win in Chilliwack to match a franchise record with their 13th straight win.

Highlights produced by Eddie Gregory. 

Sunday, December 29, 2019


The Coquitlam Express matched the 2006 National championship team with their 13th straight win with a 5-4 come from behind shootout win over the Chilliwack Chiefs in the first of a home and home. Click here for boxscore

In a game where the Express never led in, they got late third period goals to pull even and some highlight reel skill in the shootout to get the win.

Early on Cooper Connell appeared to have the games opening goal on his stick but he couldn't corral it and tap it past Mathieu Caron.

On a Chilliwack powerplay Nikita Nesterenko rushed into the Express zone and had his pass bounce in off an Express defender and slide through Clay Stevenson to open the scoring.

Connell had another great chance on a first period powerplay to find the back of the net, but his one timer was off the mark.

Arlo Merritt took his time closing on from the right wing and snapping a shot over the stick and just inside the post past Clay Stevenson to open a 2-0 Chiefs lead.

Greg Lapointe committed to St. Lawrence University during the Christmas break. He got a big goal late in the period tipping a Josh Wildauer shot over the shoulder of Caron for his 20th of the season and a 2-1 Chiefs lead after one period.

Another Chiefs bounce early in the second saw Trevor Adams get credited with his 9th of the season to put Chilliwack up 3-1.

The second period saw good spirit of the holiday season go out the window when Addison Macey delivered a hit just inside the blueline and next thing you know he's trying to hold off a number of Chiefs players that came to the defence of their teammate.

Massimo Rizzo cut the Chiefs lead back down to one by digging out of the corner and cut to the net and snapped a shot under the bar to make it a 3-2 game.

The third period saw the Express let a number of powerplays slip through their hands to keep Chilliwack in the lead.

Then with 4:26 to go Will Margel slid it back to Steven Bellini who blasted home his 7th of the season to tie the game at 3 briefly.

30 seconds later the Chiefs went back into the lead with a chance off the rush and Xavier Henry's shot went high and off the glass. The rebound bounced to the side of the Express net where despite Clay Stevenson's best efforts at a marvellous save, Kyle Penny's shot slid in the give the Chiefs the 4-3 lead.

Again the Express were presented with another powerplay opportunity with 3 minutes to go, but the Express didn't covert. They did seconds after it expired on a rebound goal by Ethan O'Rourke with a minute to go to send the game to overtime tied at 4.

Chilliwack had their share of possession of the puck in the opening half of overtime. Their best chance was a breakaway opportunity for Nesterenko but was stopped by Stevenson's glove. He finished with 26 saves to extend his personal winning streak to 15 games.

In the final minute of overtime Greg Lapointe was hauled down setting up another Express powerplay. Before the whistle was blown the Express were smart to recognize the situation to set up in their 4 on 3 set up with the clock winding down to make the most of the limited time remaining in overtime. Finally when the play was blown dead and the powerplay kicked in, nothing was decided and it was off to a shootout for a second straight meeting between the teams. The powerplay finished 0 for 5 on the night.

Nikita Nestereko opened the shootout with some soft hands and then quickly snapping it through Clay Stevenson's pads to get things going.

Then in round three it came down to Will Margel who needed to score to keep the game alive for the Express. And in not a big deal style he pulls off the Forsberg move to keep the game going.

Clay Stevenson then needed to shut the door on Kyle Penney which he did to send the game to extra shooters.

In round 4 it was more soft hands this time from Massimo Rizzo deking to his forehand to slide it past Caron to put the Express in the advantage.

Then with the game on the line for the Chiefs, Clay Stevenson shut the door on Peter Reynolds to secure the 13th straight win for the Express. They matched the longest winning streak in team history with the win. The 2006 national championship team won 13 in a row spread over the end of the regular season and into the playoffs that year.

It wasn't the prettiest of wins. But the Express fought hard to stay close all night despite 5 regulars out with various aliments. And losing Addison Macey midway through the third period and found a way to pick up their 32nd win of the season.

The re-match of the home and home goes Sunday night in Coquitlam. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019


Three first period goals in a span of 1:33 was more than enough to carry the Express to their 12th straight win by a 4-1 score over Prince George to head into the Christmas break with a 31-5 record. Click here for boxscore

AP Austin Fraser got the party started for the Express by tipping a Addison Macey shot past Carter Woodside for his first BCHL goal in his 3rd game as a call up.

That was just the start of the fun. Fraser's goal was followed 25 seconds later by Ethan O'Rourke driving to the net and tucking home his 11th of the season. The goal was very similar to his power move against Wenatchee recently and his power game makes him untouchable when he gets going with speed. O'Rourke is riding a 6 game point streak with 7 goals and 4 assists for 11 points.

Then with the Express on the powerplay Cooper Connell capped off the three goal eruption converting a cross ice pass from Greg Lapointe for his 9th of the season.

The chances kept coming for the Express in the second period. But it was the fisticuffs that were the highlights. First it was Christian MacDougall dropping the gloves with Carter Cochrane. That was following a few minutes later with Brad Ong having a go with Cole Leal.

Wednesday's game was the Express first school day game of the year and those were the moments that really got the 1000+ kids in attendance riled up.

Nick Bochen broke Clay Stevenson's shutout with with a wrist shot over his shoulder early in the third. Stevenson finished with 25 saves to extend his personal winning streak to 14 games. He's allowed two goals or less in 13 of those contests.

Cooper Connell capped off his third consecutive two point night taking a Greg Lapointe pass and walking in on a breakaway and roofing a shot over Woodside's glove to cap off the scoring.

The Express were shorthanded 7 times in this game, That includes a pair of occasions where they were short for double minors. But the penalty killing got back to it's high level that has carried them to the BCHL's top penalty killing unit shutting down Prince George each time.

Heading into the Christmas break the Express will carry a 12 game winning streak. One off tying the franchise record of 13. They're 20-0 at home and have won 21 straight home games dating back to last season.

They will return to action on December 28th with a visit to Chilliwack. 

Saturday, December 14, 2019


A new franchise record for regular season consecutive wins was set by the Express with their 11th in a row after a 8-5 win in Prince George Saturday. Click here for boxscore

Heading into the game it would have been understandable if this game slipped through the hands of the Express. Injuries up front and on the blueline meant that 13 forwards and 5 defence were dressed with 4 affiliate players in the lineup.

Early on the patchwork lineup showed. A Jack Watson misplay of the puck behind the net resulted in Thomas Richter opening the scoring at 1:52. That was followed by a pair of Corey Cunningham goals  two and a half minutes apart and Prince George had quickly jumped out to a early 3-0 lead.

From then on Jack Watson settled down and his team did in front of him as well. Greg Lapointe started the comeback for the Express snapping shot past the glove of Jett Alexander for his 19th of the season.

Cooper Connell cut to the net and cut the Prince George lead to 3-2 with a backhand goal before the first period was done.

Prince George native Ethan O'Rourke played a big role (pardon the pun) in helping set Express history at the expense of his former team. Early in the second he tapped home a pass to pull the Express even at 3.

Adam Trotman just past the 5 minute mark gave the Express their first lead of the net speeding in from the left wing and sliding a backhand past Alexander to make it a 4-3 game.

This back and forth game saw Prince George tie things up just a shade under 90 seconds later when Domenic Gorozzo snapped a shot past Watson.

A minute later O'Rourke struck for his second of the night dancing in and roofing a quick shot over Alexander for a 5-4 Express lead through two periods.

O'Rourke capped off his first junior hockey hat-trick potting home a loose puck despite a collision at the Prince George crease that had bumped the net and it's supports to open a 6-4 Express lead.

Now with a two goal lead in hand with just under a full period to play the shorthanded Express just had to dig in as a group and hold this thing to the finish line. Nolan Welsh made it a one goal game just shy of the 8 minute mark.

But this battle tested Express group persevered and Cooper Connell buried his second of the night on a one timer for a powerplay goal with just over six to goal. Then Josh Wildauer sealed the win with an empty net goal with just over two minutes to go.

The 11 game winning streak breaks the regular season franchise record set during the 06-07 season. The all time Express winning streak record is 13 games during 05-06 season split over the end of the regular season and into the playoffs. Overall the Express have won 18 of their last 19 games.

And by improving to 30-5 before the Christmas break, the Express have joined a special group of teams with 30 wins before Christmas.

The Express will wrap up their pre-Christmas portion of the schedule Wednesday afternoon at high noon when they will host Prince George in the first school day game of the season.

Friday, December 13, 2019


The Coquitlam Express have matched a regular season franchise record with their 10th straight win with a 4-2 decision in Prince George. The streak matches the Express regular season record set during the 06-07 season when the team was located in Burnaby. Click here for boxscore

Steven Bellini opened the scoring for the Express just under 4 minutes into the game blasting home a slapshot assisted by Will Margel and Ethan O'Rourke.

That goal sparked a back and forth first period. Mason Waite tied things up for Prince George for a powerplay goal blasting a slapshot past Clay Stevenson to even things at one.

Injuries resulted in the Express dressing three AP's Casey Whintors, Jeremy Hanzel and Nolan Wall. It was Whintors on a two on one who made a great play sliding a pass over to Will Margel to convert giving the Express a brief 2-1 lead.

The briefness of that lead was just 46 seconds as Prince George tied it at two on a rebound goal in close by Nolan Welsh sliding the puck past Clay Stevenson.

The Express elevated their game peppering the Prince George net with 17 shots in the second period. 11 minutes into the frame Preston Brodziak hit Steven Bellini from behind resulting in a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for Brodziak. Bellini meanwhile wouldn't return to the contest putting more of the work load on an already thin defence.

One of those guys taking on more work was captain Drew Cooper. Earlier in the day it was announced that he had committed to Ferris State University. On the ensuing powerplay he blasted home his 7th of the season giving the Express their 3rd lead of the game at 3-2. The powerplay finished 1 for 3.

The third period saw the Express dig in with a short blueline and forward group protecting the one goal lead. They could finally breathe with just over a minute left in the third period when Greg Lapointe found a loose puck in front of the net sliding it past Jett Alexander.

Clay Stevenson shut the door in the final 40 minutes with 13 saves to extend his personal winning streak to 13.

The Express franchise record for consecutive wins is 13 set during the 2005-06 season with that run split over the end of the regular season and into the playoffs.

The weekend set with the Spruce Kings resumes Saturday night up north. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019


Highlights of the Express 4-2 win over Wenatchee Sunday.

Highlights produced by Eddie Gregory. 

Monday, December 9, 2019


Connor Gregga had a three point night as the Express defeated the Wenatchee Wild 4-2 to extend their home winning streak to 20 and overall winning streak to 9 games Sunday night. Click here for boxscore

Gregga got his night going snapping home his first of two goals on the night from the slot past Daniel Chenard assisted by Ethan O'Rourke and Drew Cooper just past the 7 minute mark.

Wenatchee was ravaged with injuries which forced them to only dress 10 forwards. But it didn't deter their group. They pulled even on a goal off the rush when Ethan Wolthers got a half step on the defence and sped in then dished a feed over to Sam Morton who converted the 2 on 1 with a shot past Jack Watson.

A Wild two man advantage allowed them to take their lone lead of the night when Drew Bavaro blasted a rocket of a one timer over the shoulder of Watson for a 2-1 Wild lead.

Sunday's game forced the Express to raise their pace to a high level to match the energy of the Wild. The Express speed paid dividends for the Express all night. They had a strong finish to the period but weren't unable to come out of the first tied.

The Express kept their up tempo play into the second period. It quickly resulted in a good chance for Gregga in the opening seconds of the second period.

Then the teams began to trade chances up and down the ice. Will Margel found himself on a two on one rush. Margel's shot went high over the net as he tried to beat Chenard over the glove. Seconds later Margel found himself at the side of the net tapping in a Greg Lapointe pass to tie the game at two.

For Margel he has a 8 game point streak with 3 goals and 6 assists.

Ethan O'Rourke has taken on the role of entering the line with Margel and Gregga while Massimo Rizzo is at the World Junior A Challenge. And he's making the most of the opportunity right now.

O'Rourke took a Gregga pass in the neutral zone and powered in from the left wing and holding off a Wild defenceman who had no chance after getting the puck off O'Rourke who tucked it in to give the Express a 3-2 lead. O'Rourke has 3 goals and 2 assists in the last 3 games.

Gregga picked up his third point of the night for some Express insurance early in the third period. He took a great cross ice pass from Brad Ong and was poised roofing a shot over the shoulder of Chenard for a 4-2 Express lead.

From there the Express locked it down as Jack Watson finished with 23 saves for the win.

The win caps off a perfect 8 game home stand for the BCHL's top team.

They will head to Prince George for a pair of games next weekend. The Express can match a franchise record for regular season consecutive wins at 10 set in 06-07 with a win on Friday. The all time Express record for consecutive wins is 13 that was split between the end of the 2005-06 season regular season and into the playoffs. 

Saturday, December 7, 2019


On Coquitlam Comets night, the Express made the alumni in attendance proud by staying undefeated on home ice with a 4-1 win over Trail. Click here for boxscore

This game lacked some marquee names with Massimo Rizzo of the Express and Kent Johnson, Phillipe Lapointe, Owen Ozar and Powell Connor of Trail with Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge.

Chase Dafoe for Trail was among the Smoke Eaters with additional opportunity. He opened the scoring by converting a set up in the slot for a powerplay goal.

The Express used their own powerplay to pull on even terms. Connor Gregga returned to the lineup after attending selection camp for Canada West. He teed up a Will Margel one timer for a 1-1 tie after one period.

Gregga on a a second period powerplay quickly sent a Steven Bellini pass on to the tape of Ethan O'Rourke in front of the net for a tap in and a 2-1 Express lead.

Christian MacDougall was feeling pretty confident heading into the game when I chatted with him in the hall prior to the game. He backed his words up with a strong game personally.

Shortly after O'Rourke's goal MacDougall sped in from the right wing and with one hand on his stick he slid home his second of the season past Logan Terness just under three minutes later.

The Express did a great job Friday really tightening their game up defensively the longer it went along not giving the Smoke Eaters a sniff and sparking hope of a comeback in the third period.

Tyler Schleppe entered the game goalless in his previous 8 games. When the offence isn't there you have to find other ways to contribute. One way to do that is on the penalty kill. In the third period he did a great job to pin the puck deep in the Trial zone to help knock off about 20 seconds of a Christian MacDougall penalty.

Schleppe was then rewarded by teaming up with Brad Ong to dig the puck out of the corner and lifting a backhand past Terness to seal the 4-1 win.

The Express held Trail to just 4 shots in the third period and 11 over the course of the final two periods.

Clay Stevenson made 17 saves for his 20th win of the season. And he extended his personal winning streak to 12 in a row.

The Express extended their winning streak to a season high of 8 games. and they've won 15 of their last 16. The home record improves to 19-0. The overall record now stands at 27-5. They need just one win to match last years total in 58 games.

Wenatchee visits Coquitlam Sunday night to conclude the season high 8 game home stand. 

Monday, December 2, 2019

Sunday, December 1, 2019


The Express needed 59 minutes and 58.2 seconds to keep their undefeated home ice record in tact. They did off the stick of Josh Widlauer's powerplay goal with 1.8 seconds to play to give the Express a 4-3 win over Nanaimo. Click here for boxscore

The teams were without a combined 5 players from their rosters who were off to selection camp for Team Canada West and the World Junior A challenge. The Express were missing Massimo Rizzo and Connor Gregga.

Sunday's game was also the Express annual teddy bear toss. It's hard to quantify of the absence of two forwards and or the anticipation of the teddy bear toss goal and if it helped play a role in some early nerves in the Express game.

A turnover at the Express line allowed Travis Walton to pounce in the puck and snap a shot past the glove of Jack Watson to open the scoring just 2:23 into the contest.

The Express had to dig deep throughout the game to find their rhythm. It started to come as the first period progressed.

Ethan O'Rourke along with Danny Pearson joined Will Margel's line to start the game with Rizzo and Gregga in Calgary. O'Rourke made the most of his opportunity today and he got sent the stuffed animals flying by busting down the wing and snapping a shot past the stick of Jordan Naylor to tie the game at 1.

Cooper Connell came oh so close to giving the Express a 2-1 lead when the puck got behind Naylor and Connell did his best to jam in the bouncing puck lurking in the crease with no luck.

A won battle behind the Express net midway through the second period resulted with the second Clippers lead of the game on a goal from Steve Agriogianis set up by Sean Donaldson.

Again it was Ethan O'Rourke with a key role to help pull the Express even. This time his shot from the right wing was kicked out by Jordan Naylor but Adam Trotman quickly pounced on the rebound to tie the game at two. For Trotman it was his first goal since his two goal effort at the end of October in Nanaimo.

Nanaimo had an answer for an Express tying goal for a third time. Devon Mussio went D to D to Aidan Hansen-Bukata whose seeing eye shot eluded Jack Watson through a screen for a 3-2 Nanaimo lead after two periods.

Sunday's game was Nanaimo's 3rd in as many days with stops in Wenatchee and West Kelowna before coming to Coquitlam.

In the opening seconds of the third period a fall by Steven Bellini allowed Travis Walton to walk in and was denied on a key save by Watson to keep the deficit for the Express at one.

Slowy as the third period went along the tide of the game slowly started to turn in the Express favour. They were spending more time in the offensive zone. Forcing Nanaimo into a number of icing calls. And they were content at times to clear the puck out of their zone by any means necessary while holding on to a one goal lead.

Just shy of the 9 minute mark Brad Ong pulled the Express onto even terms for a third time burying  a rebound set up by Nick Carabin and Will Margel. Margel picked up a pair of helpers for the Express.

Then with just over a minute to play and the Express pressing in the Clippers zone, Josh Wildauer was hauled down behind the net with 1:05 to play for just the second Express powerplay of the game.

The powerplay was patient while waiting for their chance to break the deadlock. It finally came in the dying seconds with Wildauer feeding Steven Bellini at the line and then the puck was back on Wildauer's stick who snapped home the goal that would give the Express their lone lead of the night with 1.8 seconds left on the clock.

The dramatic goal keeps the Express undefeated at home now sitting at 17-0. And it extended their home winning streak to 18 games dating back to game 4 last year vs. Prince George in the first round.

It's now 7 straight wins for the Express and 14 wins in their last 15 games. The Trail Smoke Eaters will visit the Express Friday night in the 7th game of the season high 8 game home stand.

Saturday, November 30, 2019


Will Margel scored on the powerplay and the shootout deciding goal in the Express 3-2 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs. Click here for boxscore

The win kept the Express undefeated on home ice at 16-0. And it was their 17th straight home ice win dating back to last years playoffs.

Each team had their chances early on. Most notably for the Express Ethan O'Rourke was stopped on a breakaway with a crafty glove save from Mathieu Caron.

Late in the frame the Express broke through with a shot from the right wing by Josh Wildauer that eluded Caron's glove. It was the 25th time this season in 30 games that the Express have scored first.

A unique sequence midway through the second period ended up being a pivotal moment. Chilliwack dumped the puck in the corner in the Express zone. Connor Milburn won the battle and setup Clark Nelson in the slot who snapped it past Clay Stevenson in what appeared to be the goal to tie the game at 1.

But after some discussion by the referees the goal was waved off on a too many men penalty for Chilliwack. The Chiefs didn't like the call and were then whistled for a bench minor. So instead of a tying goal, the Express came out of the situation with a two man advantage for a full two minutes.

It took 22 seconds for the Express to strike with Connor Gregga teeing up Will Margel in the slot who blasted home his first BCHL goal for a 2-0 Express lead.

The dynamic Cooper Moore pulled Chilliwack within one late in the second period on the powerplay. He did a good job first of all keeping the puck in the Express zone. Then when the puck rolled behind the Express net Moore jumped into the play and snapped the set up from Brett Rylance to cut the lead to 2-1 with just 22 seconds left in the second period.

8 minutes into the third period Tommy Lyons was whistled for a high sticking penalty setting up an opportunity for the Express to expand their lead. But it remained a 2-1 game as the Express finished 1 for 5 on the night.

Lyons then came out of the box and tied the game shortly there after to make it a 2-2 game as he snapped the feed from the slot past Clay Stevenson.

Nothing was decided after 60 minutes.

Cooper Connell had a good chance to win it but was denied by Mathieu Caron on the cross crease pass.

The shots finished 35-34 in favour of Chilliwack after 65 minutes of hockey.

The shootout saw the first 5 shooters all get turned aside by Stevenson and Caron. So Will Margel stepped off the bench as the final shooter of round three with a chance to win it. Margel didn't waste the opportunity taking his time before lifting a backhand over the glove of Caron to give the Express the victory.

With the win the Express improved to 16 points ahead of Chilliwack for first place in the Mainland division standings. And they have won 6 straight games and 13 of their last 14 games.

The 8 game homestand for the Express continues Sunday afternoon with their teddy bear toss game vs. Nanaimo. 

Saturday, November 23, 2019


Massimo Rizzo mixed in his first BCHL hat-trick as the Express scored six unanswered goals to defeat the Eagles 6-1. Click here for boxscore

The win was the 15th straight home win dating back to last season's playoffs. 

Surrey did something Friday that no team has done all year in Coquitlam and that is score first. Christophe Tellier poked home a loose puck for a powerplay goal to open the scoring. That would be the only puck to get past Jack Watson who made 23 saves for his 4th win of the season. 

That goal woke the Express up who ramped up their energy and didn't take long to tie it on a goal by Ethan O'Rourke who buried his own rebound for his 4th of the season. 

The second period saw the Express pace ramp up even further and the Eagles had trouble keeping up with the hosts. 

It didn't take long for the offence to follow. A nice pass by Will Margel rink wide to Connor Gregga sprung a two on one with Massimo Rizzo, Gregga laid a perfect pass to Rizzo who showed great patience before finishing on the backhand for his first of the night. 

In the dying moments of an Express powerplay Greg Lapointe walked in a ripped a shot short side over the shoulder of Tommy Scarfone for his team leading 16th of the season.

Then Rizzo showed Lapointe 45 seconds later he has a great shot as well ripping one over the shoulder of Scarfone for his second of the night and a 3-1 Express lead after two periods. 

The third period had some similarities to Wednesday night vs. Penticton with a number of players dropping the gloves.

First it was Kabir Gill and Adamo Santia having a go. There was more of that to come as the period went along. 

Josh Wildauer at the side of the Eagles net potted home a loose puck to open a 5-1 Express lead. 

Then there was more fisticuffs. Brandon Santa Juana and Christian MacDougall went at it. That was followed just over a minute later by Steven Bellini and Christophe Tellier settling things while the Express were on the penalty kill. 

The only question that remained was if Rizzo was going to get his first BCHL hat-trick. That was answered in the dying minutes of the game when Josh Wildauer dumped in the puck, Tommy Scarfone came out to play it but he had puck bounce off his stick right in front of the open net to Rizzo who pounced on the gift for his 3rd of the night. Rizzo is the first Express player this season to register a hat-trick. 

The teams will get together again on Sunday afternoon in Coquitlam. 

Thursday, November 21, 2019


Highlights of the Express 7-2 win over Penticton Wednesday night.

Highlights produced by Eddie Gregory. 


Top spot in the BCHL standings was on the line between the Express and the Penticton Vees. When it was said and done, the Express were victorious on the ice and in the alley coming away with a 7-2 result. Click here for boxscore

The win kept the Express perfect at home 13-0. And it was their 14th straight win on home ice dating back to the game 4 victory last season vs. Prince George in the playoffs. The 14 straight home ice wins matches the 14 in a row which is a team record set back in the 06-07 season.

Clay Stevenson won his 9th straight decision with 25 saves. He had to weather a early Penticton powerplay and made a nice stop on a deflection with his right leg early on to keep the game scoreless.

Christian MacDougall was in the box for the penalty after what appeared to be a good honest hit on the forecheck in the Penticton zone. That hit helped get MacDougall going to who was definitely involved all night.

Greg Lapointe opened the scoring by finding a loose puck in front of the net and burying the rebound of a Drew Cooper point shot. It was the 23rd time in 27 games this season that the Express have scored first.

Then before the second period got started the sparks began to fly. As the teams awaited for the start of the period the teams were lining up at centre ice. Connor Gregga was bumped by Conner Hutchison and the two had a few words. More on that later.

Lapointe struck again early in the second period from the side of the Vees net bouncing in a puck off Penticton goaltender Yaniv Perets. Lapointe leads the Express with 15 goals on the season.

Just shy of the 4 minute mark Penticton defenceman Conner Hutchison was whistled for a double minor for high sticking. And before the first penalty expired the Vees were fishing the puck out of their net after former Penticton captain Massimo Rizzo's shot was stopped but Connor Gregga on the other side buried the rebound for a 3-0 Express lead. Wednesday's game also marked the first meeting between the teams since their marquee off season trade that saw Rizzo come to Coquitlam and Alex DiPaolo head to the South Okanagan.

Midway through the second period Noah De La Durantaye was tabbed for a double minor high sticking penalty. This time around the league's top penalty killing in the Express stood tall to preserve the Express 3 goal lead. That was the highlight of the 18th perfect night on the penalty kill for the Express. The Vees finished 0 for 4 on the powerplay.

David Silye got the visitors on the board before the second period was done jamming in a loose puck at the side of the Express net for a 3-1 score through two periods.

Entering the third period the game featuring the top two teams in the BCHL had lived up to the hype with not much separating either team. This is when the sparks would really start to fly.

Connor Gregga was hit along the boards in the Penticton zone that resulted in a check to the head penalty for Colton Kalezic and a two man advantage for the Express. During the stoppage Hutchison and Gregga came together again and this time Gregga the gritty Markham Ontario, native dropped the gloves after having enough of the chirping and the Express forward ended up on top of the pile when it was said and done.

Then with Gregga in the room he would hear Brad Ong scoring on the two man advantage tipping home a set up from Will Margel for a 4-1 Express lead.

18 seconds later Ethan O'Rourke scored on the 5 on 4 burying the rebound of a Greg Lapointe shot to open a 5-1 Express lead. That goal chased Yanniv Perets after 5 goals on 23 shots.

Off the ensuing face-off at centre ice more fireworks saw Cooper Connell drop the gloves with Danny Weight and the Express forward left Weight down on the ice in the centre ice circle all the while getting the Express bench fired up as Connell was sent off.

Brad Ong capped off three Express goals in a 1:58 span tipping home his second of the night past Carl Stankowski and a 6-1 Express lead.

The chippiness didn't settle down in the final minutes of the third period. Noah De La Durantaye was on the receiving end of a hit by Jack Barnes that saw the Vees forward ejected with a 5 minute major for checking from behind. Thankfully for the Express De La Durantaye stayed in the game.

An Ethan O'Rourke penalty interrupted the 5 minute major powerplay for the Express. Just as O'Rourke's penalty expired Tyler Ho scored off the rush for a shorthanded goal to cut the lead to 6-2.

Christian MacDougall never let up his gritty style after his first period penalty. He got rewarded late in the game sliding home his first BCHL goal with just over a minute to play in the third period to put the Express up 7-2.

The win improves the Express to 22-5 on the season with 44 points and moving one point up on Penticton for top spot in the BCHL overall standings.

The 8 game homestand for the Express continues Friday night for the first of two visits this weekend from the Surrey Eagles.

Sunday, November 17, 2019


A strong 29 save effort from Clay Stevenson and effective special teams was the difference as the Express improved to 12-0 at home with a 2-1 win over the Vernon Vipers. Click here for boxscore

A low scoring game was to be expected when those two stingy teams went head to head. And it played out as expected.

The Express quickness set the early pace which led to first period powerplays. A theme on those powerplays was keeping the puck moving. Josh Wildauer opening the scoring converting a cross ice pass from Greg Lapointe for Wildauer's 7th of the season.

On their third powerplay of the frame some deceptive puck movement between Steven Bellini in the slot, and Will Margel and Massimo Rizzo trading places at the right wall and goal line kept Vernon guessing as they just repeatedly moved the puck back and forth among themselves. Then when the time was right the puck was fired back to Noah De La Durantaye who wired home his 6th powerplay goal of the season for a 2-0 Express lead. The powerplay finished 2 for 5.

The services of defenceman Addison Macey was lost in the first period for a checking from behind penalty and a game misconduct for a hit on Vernon's Jojo Tanaka-Campbell.

Clay Stevenson really began to shine in the second period. He was seeing the puck very squarely, his legs were making quick reaction saves, all part of a 15 save second period that kept the Express in a 2-0 lead after 2  periods. And by this time the penalty killing had shut down 5 Vernon powerplays. When the night was completed the Express had killed off all 6 man advantages.

Josh Wildauer came close to giving the Express some insurance late in the third period with a shot that clanged off the post behind James Porter and narrowly avoided bouncing in the net off the Vernon goaltender.

In the dying seconds Clay Stevenson was closing in on his 4th shutout of the season and 6th in his Express regular season career which would have set a new all time franchise record. But it wasn't meant to be as a failed clear and 6 skaters on the ice for Vernon saw Dawson Holt break the shutout with just under 5 seconds left.

The season high 8 game home stand for the Express will resume Wednesday with a marquee matchup as  the BCHL leading Express will host the Penticton Vees who trail the Express by one point in the overall league standings after Saturday night's play.

Saturday, November 16, 2019


Massimo Rizzo's breakaway overtime goal gave the Express a 4-3 overtime win over the Surrey Eagles. Click here for boxscore

It was their 20th win of the season and third in four meetings in Surrey this season.

Right from the opening shift of the game it was clear that Massimo Rizzo was going to be a dangerous factor in this game. He started by speeding into the Surrey zone and setting up Connor Gregga for a chance in the slot. Later in the shift Rizzo cut to the net and rolled the puck just wide. Will Margel had a chance to clean up the chance but couldn't quite get his stick on the puck at the side of the net.

Margel made his Express debut Friday after being signed last week out of the USHL's Madison Capitols. The University of New Hampshire committed forward was placed alongside Rizzo and Connor Gregga.

Within the first two minutes the Express had created a number of quality scoring chances.

Tommy Scarfone in the Surrey net held his ground while dealing with the Express early pressure.

Other chances included a redirection off the rush by Danny Pearson. And a Connor Gregga breakaway off a set play from a defensive zone win by the Express.

Midway through the first period the Eagles opened the scoring. Holden Katzalay intercepted an Express rim around the boards and quickly set up Hudson Schandor in the slot and he snapped the pass in a hurry through the pads of Clay Stevenson.

Late in the period a turnover deep in the Express end quickly resulted in Surrey setting up Christophe Tellier for a tap in and a 2-0 Surrey lead after the first period.

The Express began the second period with a minute of powerplay time. They didn't convert on the opportunity. But seconds after it ended Cooper Connell jammed in a loose puck in front of the net to cut the Surrey lead to 2-1.

That goal helped spark a strong second period for the Express. They cleaned up their puck management in their own zone which allowed them to spend more time in the Surrey end.

That built momentum saw the Express tie it on a deflection by Greg Lapointe of a Noah De La Durantaye shot at 13:36. That goal capped of a second period that saw the Express outshoot Surrey 12-4.

Adamo Santia and Christophe Tellier each had great chances early in the third to put Surrey in the lead but they both lifted their in tight chances too high.

At the other end Adam Trotman was denied on a breakaway opportunity by Thomas Scarfone.

Owen Nolan broke the deadlock with just under 8 minutes to play jumping into the rush and taking a pass from Kenny Riddett then snapping a shot through Clay Stevenson.

The Express got right back on their horse looking for the equalizer. It came 1:18 later. Danny Pearson from the left wing fired a shot that Scarfone stopped with his blocker. But the puck went up in the air and the Eagles goaltender couldn't handle it coming down and it found it's way in to tie the game at 3.

That set the stage for overtime where both sides had their chances early on. The quick transition style of 3 on 3 OT got the wheels in motion for the Express to win it. First Sean Ramsay and Carter King broke out on a two on one, when Ramsay's shot went high the puck bounced to Rizzo who quickly sped the other way on a breakaway and he ripped a shot over the glove of Scarfone to give the Express the win in a game they never played a second with the lead.

The victors finished with a season high of 47 shots on goal. And from the start of the second period until the end the Express outshot Surrey 32-15.

It was a fairly clean game with each team only being penalized once and both infractions coming in the first period.

The Express now come home for their longest home stand of the season 8 games starting Saturday night vs. Vernon. 

Thursday, November 7, 2019


The Express scored on all three of their shootout attempts as they defeated Prince George 4-3 to stay undefeated in 10 games at the Poirier Sports and Leisure complex. Click here for boxscore

It took a few minutes for the Express to find their pace, but once they got going, the offence quickly followed.

Massimo Rizzo was really noticeable all night with his quickness. He teamed up with Danny Pearson for a good shift in the Spruce Kings zone. Eventually the puck ended up in the slot where Connor Gregga pounced on it to open the scoring. It was the 20th time in 22 games that the Express have scored first.

11 minutes later the powerplay expanded the Express lead. The collective puck and body movement on the powerplay was looking really dangerous for the Express. Then the puck got back to Noah De La Durantaye who showed great poise to hold onto the puck until he found the right moment to unleash his 5th powerplay goal of the season for 2-0 Express lead after one. Danny Pearson assisted on both first period Express goals.

Prince George cut the lead in half in the opening minute of the second period on a rebound goal from Preston Brodziak sliding a shot past Jack Watson.

The visitors proved to be a pesky opponent on this night. Defenceman Evan Orr pounced on a loose puck chipping it over Jack Watson to tie the game at two 3:30 into the third period.

The Express entered the game tied with Nanaimo for the top ranking penalty killing unit in the league. They earned their money midway through the third period killing off a mid period interference penalty to Steven Bellini. Prince George finished the night 0 for 4 on the powerplay.

Josh Wildauer showed crafty hands to deflect a Drew Cooper point shot to put the Express in a 3-2 lead with just 2:23 to play in the third period.

That goal didn't dissuade the Spruce Kings who forced overtime in a rebound goal by Chong Min Lee following a won face-off in the Express zone with just 11 seconds to go.

The early portion of overtime was the closest either side would come to deciding it in 3 on 3. Massimo Rizzo was stopped after driving hard to the net on the rush. Josh Wildauer had the puck cleared away from the goal crease by Chong Min Lee after Wildauer cut in from the left wing.

Preston Brodziak snapped a shot past the glove of Watson but it rang off the post and stayed out.

So the Express went to a shootout for the first time this season. Connor Gregga on the first attempt got the Express off on the right foot snapping a shot over the stick side shoulder of Jett Alexander.

By the time Thomas Richter made his way to centre ice for Prince George in round two he needed to score to keep the game going after Massimo Rizzo scored on his attempt. Richter did exactly that with a quick fake then a shot over the right shoulder of Jack Watson.

That set the stage for Greg Lapointe in the third round and he made no mistake winning the game for the Express snapping shot through the pads of Jett Alexander.

This weekend the Express will hit the Island with games scheduled for Alberni Valley, Cowichan Valley and Powell River Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday's game in Alberni Valley right now is in question after the Alberni Valley Multiplex was closed Wednesday after a low level ammonia leak was detected last Sunday. More information was expected Thursday about the status of Friday's game. 

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Friday, November 1, 2019


Clay Stevenson made 24 saves for his second shutout of the season and 4th career regular season goose egg as the Express remained perfect at home with a 4-0 win over the West Kelowna Warriors. Click here for boxscore

The Dartmouth committed goaltender made his best save of the night early on to turn away a Ryan Upson breakaway which proved to be a sign of things to come for the Warriors.

At the other end the Express took advantage of sub-par goaltending from Brock Baier to open the scoring on a wrist shot from the right wing by Josh Wildauer that eluded the glove of Baier.

West Kelowna finished the first period outshooting the Express 11-10. But it was the home team that was the quicker squad and in combination with their heavy style it created havoc for the Warriors in their own zone during the opening 20 minutes.

A run of Warriors penalties in the second period paved the way for the Express to expand their lead on a one timer goal from the left circle by Tyler Schleppe for a 2-0 lead on a two man advantage. Schleppe's goal was his 10th of the season which tied him with Greg Lapointe for the lead in that category.

The Express poured on the gas in the third period. Noah De La Durantaye blasted home his 4th goal of the season (all on the powerplay) from the left circle to extend the Express lead to 3-0.

The lines were juggled a little to help spark the finishing touch for a few guys. Danny Pearson was moved along side Connor Gregga and Massimo Rizzo. Pearson played a role by helping get the puck to Connor Gregga who set up Rizzo to open a 4-0 Express lead.

The goal for Rizzo was his first in 8 games. Pearson didn't find the back of the net, but he didn't look out of place on that line as he searches for his first goal since late September.

A lockdown third period for the Express saw them limit the Warriors to just 5 shots in the period allowing Clay Stevenson to cruise to his 4th career regular season shutout. He is now tied with Matthew Gordon for second most shutouts in Express history. Cole Huggins holds the Express shutout record with 5 in his career.

The Express hit the road Sunday afternoon to visit the Chilliwack Chiefs.

Thursday, October 31, 2019


The Express took both games of their mini mid week swing through the Island division defeating Nanaimo 5-2 24 hours after taking care of Victoria 5-1. Click here for boxscore

Ethan O'Rourke paced the Express attack with 1 goal and 2 assists and Adam Trotman scored twice.

Those two hooked up for the opening goal of the night with O'Rourke winning a draw in the Nanaimo zone right to Trotman who snapped a shot in off the cross bar to open the scoring just 1:24 into the game.

It didn't take long for Nanaimo to pull even, off a face-off in the Express zone they were able to get the puck to the net and jam a puck under Jack Watson with Steven Agriogianis getting credit for the goal.

O'Rourke in the final minute of the first period gave the Express lead heading to the room. His line along with Tyler Schleppe and Adam Trotman was having a strong shift of puck possession in the Clippers zone. It was capped off with Ethan O'Rourke tipping home a Nick Carabin point shot for a 2-1 Express lead.

The Express didn't have many gaffes on this night. A turnover at the offensive blueline however allowed Josh Bourne and Kyler Kovich to break out on a two on one with the latter converting a feed to tie the game at two.

Steven Belini struck for a second straight night giving the Express their third lead of the night. His pass from the right point intended for Greg Lapointe deflected off a Clipper and into the net for a 3-2 Express lead.

A double minor high sticking penalty to Steven Agriogianis was a great opportunity for the Express to add to their lead. But the Express weren't able to generate many quality chances.

The final two periods saw the Express do a really good job of locking the game down. They held Nanaimo to just 13 shots in the final two periods and just 18 over the course of 60 minutes.

On a third period powerplay Ethan O'Rourke picked up his third point of the night sliding a pass to Tyler Schleppe to give the Express a two goal lead.

Greg Lapointe was whistled for a hooking penalty with just under four minutes to go, giving Nanaimo one last desperate chance to claw back. They had some confusion getting organized and pulling goaltender Zach Bennett. When they finally did, Trotman immediately fired the puck into the empty net for a shorthanded goal and his second of the night.

The win improved the Express to 6-4 on the road and 15-4 overall.

They return home to host the West Kelowna Warriors on Friday night. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019


Greg Lapointe scored twice while Luke Burke and Steven Bellini each scored their first BCHL goals as the Express opened their two game Island division road trip with a 5-1 win in Victoria Tuesday night. Click here for boxscore

The game started quick with Lapointe potting his first of the night just 1:17 into the game snapping home a great cross ice pass from Connor Gregga to open the scoring. After Tuesday's game the Express are 14-2 this season when they score first.

The lead exactly one minute as Victoria pulled even on a breakaway goal by Cody Monds. That would be the lone goal to beat Clay Stevenson who finished with 28 saves for his 11th win of the season.

Lapointe struck again early in the second period with an absolute wicked wrist shot over the shoulder of Blake Wood to put the Express into the lead for good. He's the first Express player to hit double digits in goals this season.

Then some faces who haven't got in on the scoring parade got rolling. Luke Burke potted his first BCHL goal by re-directing a Nick Carabin in the high slot to open a 3-1 Express lead.

1:46 later the Express broke out on four man rush and Adam Trotman made a nice drop pass to the trailer Steven Bellini who snapped home his first BCHL goal for a 4-1 Express lead after 40 minutes. That goal chased Blake Wood who let in 4 goals on 19 shots.

Like Sunday vs. Langley, the Express spent a good chunk of the opening half of the third period killing penalties. But they got the job done finishing a perfect 6 for 6 on the night on the PK. The Express went 0 for on their lone powerplay of the night.

Tyler Schleppe wrapped up the scoring crashing the net and burying a rebound on Joe Howe for a 5-1 Express lead.

Up next for the Express is a visit to Nanaimo on Wednesday in a game that features two of the better defensive teams in the BCHL this season.

Sunday, October 27, 2019


Ethan O'Rourke celebrates his first Express goal just a little
Photo courtesy of Damon James.
This one went right down to the wire, but the Express held firm for a 3-1 win over the Langley Rivermen. Click here for boxscore

It was the 6th meeting between the teams in the first 17 games of the season for the Express. Coquitlam improved to 4-2 in the season series.

Coming off a 4-1 loss in Surrey and one of their more lacklustre performances of the season, the Express were looking for a much better outing back on home ice. And right from the get go the Express showed their mettle that has gotten them to this point of the season.

The line of Massimo Rizzo, Greg Lapointe and Connor Gregga started the game. They were coming of Friday's game where that unit struggled to find any rhythm. In this game they were clicking right from the get go with a good shift in the Langley zone to start the game.

Midway through the period Connor Gregga took a pass from Rizzo and beat Braedon Fleming on the short side with a shot that rang in off the post to open the scoring.

That was followed 45 seconds later by Ethan O'Rourke's first Express goal. He showed good hands in front of the net to bury the rebound of a Noah De La Durantaye shot for a 2-0 Express lead with a delayed penalty to Langley in effect.

After falling behind 2-0 Langley ramped up their physicality and the Express responded to it by weathering their hits and pushing their pace up a level to come out of the period with a two goal lead and outshooting Langley 8-4.

Langley found themselves in penalty trouble in the second period. That included a two man advantage for the Express for one minute, but they struggled to establish good possession in the offensive zone to make the most of the opportunity.

Jake Livingstone late in the period buried a rebound for a powerplay goal to cut the Express lead to 2-1.

It was at this point going forward where Express goaltender Clay Stevenson showed his MVP status with three quality saves to help the Express take their lead to the room after 40 minutes. He would finish with 19 saves for his 10th win of the season.

With as often as these division rivals have seen each other in a short period of time it's no surprise that the tempers at times would get short. That was highlighted by an early 3rd period fight between Brad Ong and Brendan Budy. It was a good trade off for the Express with Langley losing their most skilled forward while down a single goal.

His loss was felt as the opening half of the third period went on with Langley getting three straight powerplays. Without their top scorer it helped the Express kill off all those penalties to hold on to their one goal lead. All told Langley went 1 for 5 on the powerplay.

Late in the final minute of the game the Express finally got their insurance by clearing the puck out of their zone and getting down into Langley's end where Josh Wildauer hustled to the loose puck and slid home his 3rd of the season into the empty net with 4 seconds to play.

The win improved the Express to 8-0 on home ice at the Poirier Sports and Leisure centre.

The Express will hit the road for their next two games Tuesday night in Victoria and the next night in Nanaimo. 

Friday, October 25, 2019


Holden Katzalay scored a natural hat-trick to round out the scoring to pace the Surrey Eagles to a 4-1 win over the Express handing them their 4th loss of the season. Click here for boxscore

Surrey was desperate to get back in the win column with just two wins in their previous 11 games. As the game went on they ramped up their game and pulled away from the Express.

Jack Watson got his second start of the season and did all he could on this night to keep the Express within striking distance. He made a number of notable first period saves early on. First on a bang bang play in tight on Christophe Tellier. Late in the period with the Express on the powerplay he made a glove save to deny Adamo Santia on a two on one. That was his warm up for what was to come later in the game.

At the other end Ryan Tattle danced into the Surrey zone and fired a cross ice pass to Cooper Connell who cut to the net. His shot was stopped by Tommy Scarfone, but Josh Wildauer followed up to bury the rebound for a 1-0 Express lead after one.

Then right from the start of the second period it was one sided in favour of Surrey. Early on a scramble chance went through Watson's crease and the Express were lucky it didn't bounce in.

Minutes later Watson kicked off a Surrey powerplay with a great pad save on a backdoor set up for Tellier. He would cap off a strong sequence by stretching out his right leg and held it strong to keep the puck out as Surrey tried to jam it in.

Eventually Surrey's relentless pressure broke through to even it up on a goal by Wyatt Schlatt re-directing a puck thrown to the net.

The Surrey pressure kept on coming and Holden Katzalay converted a set up from behind the net from Hudson Schandor just over three minutes later to give Surrey a 2-1 lead.

Surrey's dominance in play was reflected in addition to the score by opening up a 14-0 advantage in shots in the opening half of the second period. Kabir Gill finally got the Express first shot of the second period just shy of the 10 minute mark.

The Express showed a few sparks of life as the period wore on, but could never really turn the tide in the period.

Even a double minor powerplay for the Express couldn't get them going. A turnover at the offensive blueline allowed Katzalay to go the other way on a breakaway where he attempted to tuck the past Watson. Initially the play was ruled emphatically as no goal despite Katzaly's best effort to sell the call the other way.

Finally after a lengthy discussion the call was overturned and Surrey was credited with a shorthanded goal and a 3-1 lead after two periods.

There was minimal pushback in the third and the Express never really threatened a comeback. The game was put to bed on a empty net goal from Katzalay to finish off the natural hat-trick giving Surrey a 4-1 lead.

The shots finished 35-23 in favour of Surrey.

The Express return home Sunday afternoon to face Langley for a 6th time in their first 17 games.

Thursday, October 24, 2019


The powerplay scored four times and the penalty killing was perfect on the night as the Express remained undefeated on home ice with a 4-1 win over Langley.

The Express have now posted a 7-0 mark at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre and overall are 12-3 on the season.

After a number of trades in recent days and roster adjustments the Express had a different look. That included Ethan O'Rourke making his Express debut. His rights were acquired in the 2018 trade that also saw the Express pick up Tyler Schleppe from Prince George for Sam Kozlowski.

O'Rourke watched one the best chances early on for the Express off the stick of Greg Lapointe who ripped a shot off the goal post over the shoulder of Braedon Fleming but it stayed out.

He then left his mark in his debut helping the Express get possession off a won face-off on a powerplay. Then the puck was dished to Josh Wildauer who moved down the right boards then teed up a point shot from Nick Carabin who rang it in off the post and a 1-0 Express lead after one.

Langley tied it early in the second period with Brendan Budy behind the Express net setting up Joseph Musa who quickly snapped a shot past Clay Stevenson. But that would be the only puck to beat the Express netminder who had solid night with 20 saves.

It didn't take long after that for the Express powerplay to take over the game. First it was Greg Lapointe dancing in from the right boards and beating Fleming on the stick side to put the Express back in the lead.

On the goal Langley was whistled for another penalty with Jonathan Stein being sent off for hooking. Adam Trotman on the ensuing powerplay buried the 3rd Express goal of the night cashing in a loose puck for his 3rd of the season. For Trotman it was his first goal in 9 games.

In the Express last victory vs. Langley Greg Lapointe showed off his great wheels to jump into the play and finish off a 2 on 1 to give the Express a big insurance goal.

Wednesday he was flying again. He busted his tail to get to a loose puck at the Langley blueline. He then dropped a pass to Massimo Rizzo who undressed the Langley defence then cut to the net but unfortunately got too much on his backhand and the puck went out of play.

The game settled down in the third period with minimal chances on either side. Late in the frame discipline got away from Langley and the Express found themselves with a lengthy two man advantage. They sealed the game on Greg Lapointe's second of the night scoring from the slot. The four powerplay goals matches a season high which the Express accomplished opening night in Langley.

They finished 4 for 9 on the powerplay. It's an eruption for a unit that was 1 for 25 in the previous four games.

The Express will visit Surey Friday. Then Langley is back in Coquitlam on Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, October 19, 2019


It wasn't the first time, nor was it the second time. It was the fourth time that Langley goaltender Braedon Fleming blanked the Express dating back to the start of the season by posting a 27 save shutout Friday in the 2-0 Langley win. Click here for boxscore

In an odd scheduling quirk it was the fourth visit already for the Express this season to Langley. And now they're done visiting that rink unless the teams meet in the playoffs.

The Express outshot Langley 11-7 in the first period. Their best sequence of pressure in the first period came after their second powerplay came to an end, but Fleming held the fort shut.

At the other end Clay Stevenson did some of his best work off Brendan Budy. First Stevenson found a way to close the pads on a Budy tip of a Tanner Versluis pass while Langley was shorthanded. Then in the dying seconds of the first period the puck bounced to Budy at the side of the net and he appeared to have a sure goal for a tap in. But somehow Budy couldn't finish. Stevenson may have gotten a piece of it as he dove to his right.

Devin Leduc opened the scoring on a second period Langley powerplay ripping a shot from the slot that went post and in past Stevenson on the stick side.

A lack of finish highlighted the Express attack Friday. On a second period powerplay Tyler Schleppe wasn't able to get his stick ready to bury a loose puck at the side of the net. By the end of the second period the Express were 0 for 5 on the powerplay. And now the powerplay has gone scoreless in the last three games.

To compound matters Langley added to their lead while the Express were on the powerplay when a pass eluded an Express defenceman at the Rivermen blueline. That allowed Leduc to walk in on a shorthanded breakaway where he scored his second of the night for a 2-0 Langley lead after two periods.

With these teams playing as much as they have, it's no surprise that tempers throughout the night were short. That was highlighted with a pair of fights in the second period. First it was Luke Burke going with Colten Kovich.  Then late in the period it was Addison Macey and Matteo Pecchia dusting it up.

The Express lack of puck luck carried over to the third period. Massimo Rizzo came the closest anyone would for the Express on this night to find the back of the net when his shot from the left wing beat Fleming but clanged off the post.

Danny Pearson had a chance where drove to the net from the left wing, but just as he went to his backhand his hands were hacked slightly preventing him from getting a shot on goal.

The season series between the teams is now even at two games apiece. And just in case the Express and Rivermen hadn't seen enough of each other already. There's two more meetings before the end of October. But before that the Express will play their pink in the rink game Sunday afternoon vs. Powell River in Coquitlam. 

Monday, October 14, 2019

Sunday, October 13, 2019


The Express scored goals less than a minute apart twice as part of a 4-1 win over the Langley Rivermen. The red hot Express improved their record to 10-2 on the season. Click here for boxscore

Saturday's game was the first of four meetings between the teams between now and the end of October.

Langley entered the game with a season high four game winning streak. And Brendan Budy's hot play was a big catalyst for that success. The Rivermen got a scare early on as Budy crashed into the end boards on his first shift and was down for a long period of time. Fortunately for Langley Budy returned midway through the first period.

Clay Stevenson had to help weather Langley's fast start in the opening minutes of the first period. His best save was one with his right shoulder off Jake Livingstone on a Langley powerplay.

Late in the frame the Express got rolling. Connor Gregga continued his red hot play sliding home the rebound of a Addison Macey shot past Braedon Fleming to open the scoring. For Gregga it was his 4th goal in 4 consecutive games. Three of those goals have opened the scoring for the Express.

29 seconds later the Express struck again with Ryan Tattle freeing up the puck in the neutral zone for Tyler Schleppe who undressed the Langley defence then tucked his 7th of the season for a 2-0 Express lead after 1.

Schleppe appeared to have his second of the night on his stick early in the second period but some put two glorious chances just wide of the net.

Then at the other end Clay Stevenson made one of his better saves of the net stretching out his right leg to prevent Devin Leduc from jamming it home to get Langley on the board.

This game was littered with various chippy penalties all night. With both sides being called for penalties like slashing, roughing, high sticking, checking from behind and even slew footing.

Late in the second period Adam Trotman was whistled for a double minor for high sticking. Jake Livingstone scored on a rebound in the final minute of the second period in the first half of the Trotman double minor penalty.

With all the penalties being whistled, it wouldn't have surprised anyone if the Express got rattled and the game slipped through their hands. But that wasn't the case for this group. They dug in and were backstopped by another strong performance from Clay Stevenson who posted his 4th game giving up one goal or less.

Jason Fortier juggled some of the lines Saturday night putting Josh Wildauer with Danny Pearson and Connor Gregga, And Greg Lapointe moved alongside Massimo Rizzo and Connor Gregga.

Lapointe made the most of his opportunity with the game hanging in the balance busting his tail to join Massimo Rizzo to set up a two on one and Rizzo put a perfect pass onto Lapointe's stick to open a 3-1 Express lead with 4 minutes to play.

13 seconds later Lapointe struck again taking a pass this time from Connor Gregga and sliding home his second of the night to seal the win for the Express.

If these teams didn't get enough of each other Saturday. They will get re-acquainted Friday night right back in Langley. 

Saturday, October 12, 2019


Highlights of the Express 2-1 win in Surrey Friday.

Highlights produced by Eddie Gregory. 


In a chippy affair the Express prevailed for a 9th time in 11 games this season with a 2-1 win over the Surrey Eagles. Click here for boxscore

The Express came out flying in the first period and it didn't take long to get on the board. Connor Gregga intercepted a pass in the neutral zone then attacked the Eagles defence on his own and found some ice in the slot and snapped his 3rd goal in as many games to open the scoring. That goal would be the start of a prominent night for the Express forward.

The visitors responded by opening a 12-1 first period advantage in shots by the 13 minute mark of the period. And were a little unfortunate they weren't able to extend their lead with some the quality chances they created.

Surrey tested Clay Stevenson in the latter half of the period thanks in part to a 42 second two man advantage, but Stevenson was perfect in the opening frame with 7 first period saves.

The emotions began to flare in the second period. It started when Christian MacDougall was hit from behind into the end boards by Cody Schiavon. The Express rookie didn't return to the game. The hit went unpenalized which didn't sit well with the Express.

More on that later. Meanwhile Connor Gregga picked up a loose puck after a Massimo Rizzo chance and Gregga then set up Rizzo who buried his second Express goal for a 2-0 lead at 14:17.

With Addison Macey in the box for the Express, Surrey got on the board on the powerplay when Sean Ramsay took a cross ice pass and slid his second of the season past Clay Stevenson to cut the Express lead to 2-1.

As the second period wound down the tempers drew short and it resulted in the Express coming out of it shorthanded. But the penalty killers rose to the occasion each time to help preserve the lead heading into the third period.

The third period saw the Express pick up their pace looking to extend their lead. But were unable to get the insurance marker past Tommy Scarfone who finished with 30 saves.

During the second period Connor Gregga was assessed a 10 minute misconduct. Unfortunately while sitting in the box serving his penalty he had to endure with some fans who were throwing trash at him  during the third period.

Then when he came out of the box, he came to the defence of Christian MacDougall who was hit earlier in the game by dropping the gloves with Cody Schiavon. The fight and automatic ejection for Gregga did come with the Express on the powerplay. But the main thing was Gregga showing that he wasn't going to let Schiavon not be held accountable for the hit.

Surrey's best opportunity for the equalizer in the third came with Clay Stevenson getting whistled for a tripping penalty after a Eagles player went through the goaltender's crease. Stevenson got help from his best friend while shorthanded as a Holden Katzalay shot rang off the crossbar to keep the Express in the lead. Stevenson would finish with 22 saves to improve to 7-1 on the season.

Saturday night will see the Express face a surging Langley Rivermen team that has rattled off four straight wins. 

Monday, October 7, 2019

Saturday, October 5, 2019


10am is never an ideal start time for any team. So I'm sure neither the Express and Salmon Arm Silverbacks were thrilled about their BCHL showcase start time Saturday. But it's a lot easier to handle when you win the game. And that much more so when you do it in convincing fashion as the Express did by a 7-1 score. Click here for boxscore

The Express were looking to bounce back after their first showcase game Thursday night in Chilliwack where they let a 1-0 third period lead result in a 4-1 loss.

They rolled into Penticton and right from the get go they showed they were ready to respond. Cooper Connell got things rolling scoring on a wraparound for a 1-0 lead 5 minutes into the game.

That sparked a offensive deluge in the first period for the Express. Tyler Schleppe extended the Express lead with a steal at his own blueline and rushing the puck up the ice and deciding to keep on a two on one break and snap a shot that went in off the pad of Dylan Kruss for a 2-0 Express lead.

Massimo Rizzo played in his second game of the season at the South Okanagan Events Centre for the first time since last summer's trade. In his debut Rizzo set up Connor Gregga for his first of the year. Saturday Gregga returned the favour feeding Rizzo in the slot who snapped it home for a 3-0 Express lead. The goal coming just 18 seconds after Schleppe's goal. The goal capped a run of three goals in a span of 2:47. Dylan Kruss was given the hook after three goals on seven shots.

Thomas Wardle made his third start of the season in the Express crease. He saw his team jump out to a 3-0 lead before he saw his first Silverbacks shot. He wasn't busy often on Saturday. But made some of his best saves in the first period. First off he stopped Holden Knights as he rushed hard to the net from the right wing.

Then late in the frame he stared down a Simon Tassy breakaway.

As the game wore on Salmon Arm got more and more frustrated which led to Express powerplays. Seconds after a Express five on three had expired, Greg Lapointe walked in from the right circle and snapped a shot in off the post past Ethan Langenegger who replaced Dylan Kruss in the Salmon Arm net.

Drew Cooper extended the Express lead to 5-0 whipping a shot home from the right wing shortly after another Express power play came to an end. The Express already have 10 goals this season from defenceman. That's well ahead of last year's pace at this point where the blueline tallied 23 goals all of last season.

Connor Gregga early in the third period took a cross ice backhand pass from Noah De La Durantaye and ripped home a poweprlay goal for a 6-0 Express lead. It marked the 4th time in 10 games this season that the Express have scored multiple powerplay goals in a game.

One of the few things that didn't go the Express way was Thomas Wardle losing his shutout bid after Daniel Rybarik scored on a breakaway at 8:26.

But the Express were quick to restore their six goal lead with Tyler Schleppe from behind the net teeing up Ryan Tattle in the slot whose shot bounced in for his second of the season.

The shots finished 37-19 in favour of the Express. They finished their first 10 games with a 8-2 record on the season.

Next week the Express stay on the road for visits in Surrey and Langley Friday and Saturday. 

Thursday, October 3, 2019


The Coquitlam Express winning streak was snapped at five games thanks to a third period rally by the Chilliwack Chiefs to defeat the Express by a 4-1 score. The Chiefs scored all their goals in the 3rd period for the come from behind win. Click here for boxscore

The Express stormed Chilliwack in the opening minutes peppering Mathieu Caron with the first five shots of the game. Christian MacDougall had the best chance early on taking a pass and finding himself alone in front of the net only to lift his shot too high and out of play.

Tyler Schleppe then was set up in the slot only to be denied by a quick glove save from Caron. Then Caron made his best save of the night coming to his left to rob Brad Ong on a two on one break with a pad save.

At the other end Tyler Schleppe made a great play defensively diving to get a stick on a cross ice pass to break up a Chiefs two on one break.

Thursday's game saw the return to the lineup of forward Josh Wildauer and Massimo Rizzo made his Express debut. They joined Connor Gregga on a line. And the addition of Rizzo down the middle moved Connor Gregga to the wing.

Rizzo's impact was immediately felt on the first goal of the night. He took a pass with speed on the powerplay from Steven Bellini. Rizzo then slid the puck into Connor Gregga's wheelhouse where he ripped home his first of the season to open the scoring. That goal capped off a strong opening 20 minutes that saw the Express outshoot Chilliwack 13-5.

Chilliwack was determined in the second period to send more rubber the way of Clay Stevenson. That was highlighted by Stevenson quickly shutting the five hole on a chance for Brett Willits.

As the second period wound down the Express created more top notch chances. Connor Gregga came close to adding his second of the night but had his stick checked at the last minute as he tired to tuck it in past Caron. Then Massimo Rizzo dished a cross ice pass to Ryan Tattle who had to adjust his angle to receive the pass but still got a decent shot away and put it wide of the net.

Brett Willits got Chilliwack on the board in the 3rd period finishing a give and go with Peter Reynolds to tie the game at 1 at 4:25.

8 minutes into the third Cooper Connell was whistled for a tripping penalty on Cooper Moore deep in the offensive zone. The Express penalty killers did a good job on the penalty kill by disrupting the Chiefs break out with strong up ice pressure most notably by Ryan Tattle.

But just as the penalty came to an end and before Connell could get back in the play the puck was snapped to the side of the Express net where Joey Larson scored to give Chilliwack a 2-1 lead.

Then in a blink of an eye Chilliwack scored again as Kyle Penny snapped a shot through the pads of Clay Stevenson for a 3-1 Chiefs lead with the goal coming just 16 seconds after the goal by Larson.

Caron shut the door in the third period finishing with 9 saves in the final frame. That capped off a 27 save performance.

Ethan Bowen capped the game off for Chilliwack by hitting the empty net with 5 seconds to play to round out the scoring.

The Express saw their record fall to 7-2 on the season. Chilliwack's win was their 4th straight and they pulled within two points of the Express for first place in the Mainland division.

Saturday will see the Express in Penticton for their second game of the showcase bright and early at 10 in the morning vs. the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. 

Monday, September 30, 2019


Highlights of the Express 3-2 overtime win over Salmon Arm Saturday.

Highlights produced by Eddie Gregory.

Sunday, September 29, 2019


What's better than a perfect 5-0 home stand? A 5-0 home stand that improves the overall record to 7-1 on the season. That's exactly the case for the Express following a 4-2 win over Alberni Valley Sunday afternoon. Click here for boxscore

The 7-1 start is the best 8 game start in Express history.

The Express were catching a Bulldogs team playing their 3rd game in as many nights at the end of a road trip that started Friday in Prince George.

Early on the Bulldogs didn't show many signs of fatigue. Tommy Bannister had three of the better scoring chances for Alberni Valley in the first period but were turned aside by Clay Stevenson each time. He finished with 7 saves in the first period.

At the other end Cooper Connell got the Express offence rolling taking a great cross ice pass from Nick Carabin and burying a powerplay goal for a 1-0 Express lead. Connell has scored in back to back games and has three goals in his last four games.

Late in the period saw a very odd sequence. An Express player made a diving play to defend a Bulldog rush taking the player down in the process, Initially one of the referees had his arm up to indicate a delayed penalty only to bring his arm down seconds later.

That leads to confusion which ends up in Bulldogs goaltender Luke Pearson heading to the bench for the extra attacker thinking his team is on the verge of getting a powerplay. The play ends up in the corner in the Express end and it's never blown dead as it appeared at this point there was no delayed penalty in effect. So by this point the Bulldogs had 6 skaters on the ice and Pearson returned to his net. By this point it appeared as though the Express would be getting a powerplay with Alberni Valley having too many men on the ice.

Now both benches are upset thinking at one point they should be getting a powerplay. When the dust settled nothing was called and the teams remained at 5 on 5.

Moments later the Express extended their lead as Ryan Tattle sped into the Bulldogs zone to recover his dump in. He then fishes out the puck to set up Drew Cooper who snaps home his 3rd of the season for a 2-0 Express lead after 1.

The Bulldogs had some jump to open the second period. Mitch Deelstra from behind the Express net found Tim Gould in the slot who cut the lead to 2-1 just 49 seconds into the frame.

Deelstra then took a pass on a odd man rush and narrowly beat Clay Stevenson on a backhand to tie the game at 2 at 7:19.

Joe Borthwick returned after serving a two game suspension for a kneeing major penalty last Sunday vs. Prince George.

He left his mark on the game 6 minutes after Deelstra's goal by intercepting a stretch pass and cutting back into the Bulldogs zone and snapping his first BCHL goal past the glove of Pearson for a 3-2 Express lead after 40 minutes.

That goal helped turn the momentum which has shifted in the Bulldogs favour during the 2nd period. The line of Logan Kurki, Dante Ballarin and Luke Burke had their best outing collectively of the season. And they didn't need to leave a mark on the scoresheet. Consistently they provided good minutes more often than not working the puck in the Bulldogs end and forcing them to spend more time defending than on the attack.

Tyler Schleppe provided the insurance four minutes into the third converting a loose puck that squirted out from the boards and snapping a shot over the glove of Luke Pearson for a 4-2 Express lead.

From that point forward Clay Stevenson shut the door to finish with 20 saves to improve his record to 5-0 on the season.

The Express will kick off October at the annual BCHL showcase which is split between Chilliwack and Penticton. Thursday the Express will play the host Chilliwack Chiefs. Then Saturday morning the  Express will face the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in Penticton.