|2019-20 captain Drew Cooper (Graphic by Jacob Lazare)|
The season will start for the Express on Saturday September 7th in Langley. That's all part of the first three games the Express will play on the road, with a visit in Surrey on Friday the 13th and one week later back in Langley on September 20th.
The next night the Express will have their home opener on Saturday September 21st vs. Chilliwack. The home opener kicks off a 5 game home stand for the Express which includes the first meeting between the Express and Spruce Kings since last season's playoffs on Sunday September 22nd at 3:00.
The Express will travel to Langley four times this season. And they will be done with the George Preston Recreation centre before October is done after visits on back to back weekends October 12th and 18th. All told, the two teams will face each other 6 times in the first two months of the season. Considering the competitive nature that comes out of Express and Langley meetings, the two teams will certainly be sick of seeing each other by the time those six games are done. The final two meetings with Langley will be in Coquitlam in January.
All told the Express will play 8 games each vs. Mainland division rivals Surrey, Chilliwack, Langley and Prince George. The Express will have one home and one road game vs. the teams in the Island and Interior divisions.
Of those games that caught my attention, the Express will play 3 straight games vs. Prince George December 13th and 14th in Prince George. Then the Express will host the defending BCHL and Doyle Cup champions for their final game before the Christmas break on Wednesday the 18th at 12 noon. They will also play the Spruce Kings at noon on Wednesday January 22nd.
Then following a 10 day break, the Express get back in action with a home and home with Chilliwack on December 28th in Chilliwack and the next night in Coquitlam.
Surrey will make two visits to Coquitlam in one weekend Friday November 22nd and Sunday the 24th. That is all part of the longest home game of the season for the Express with 8 games from November 16th to December 8th.
They will start the new year with a 3 game in 3 night Interior division road trip with stops in West Kelowna, Vernon and Salmon Arm January 3-5. They will finish January with 6 of 7 games on home ice with a visit to Chilliwack sandwiched in between.
By February the Express will have played most of their home games with only two more games remaining on Poirier during the regular season. They will play 6 of their last 8 on the road. That includes Massimo Rizzo's return to Penticton on Valentines day. What better day for the Vees faithful to show love for their former captain?
The final regular season home game is Wednesday February 19th vs. Surrey before concluding the season with a pair of games in Prince George Friday the 21st and Saturday the 22nd.
Other dates of note include Wednesday November 20th when Alex DiPaolo returns to Coquitlam with the Penticton Vees. Sunday December 8th, Dallas Farrell returns to Coquitlam with the Wenatchee Wild at 7:15pm. Eight times this season the Express will have 7:15 starts for home games.
Last season after playing 3 games in 3 nights only once, in 2019-20 they will do it a total of four times.
The weather may be nice now, but soon it will turn and it will be time to head back into the rink.