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. 

Thursday, September 26, 2019


The Express kept their strong start rolling Wednesday by defeating the Merritt Centennials by a 6-3 score to improve their record to 5-1 on the season. Click here for boxscore

Four different players paced the attack with multi point nights. Led by Adam Trotman who scored his first two BCHL goals while adding an assist.

The game marked the return to Coquitlam for the first time for Barry Wolff as the Head Coach of the Centennials. He saw his team test Clay Stevenson with the first four shots of the game. Plus a shot off the goal post by Rylan Van Unen in the opening minute.

Ryan Tattle quickly helped turn the tables in the Express favour by taking a pass from Greg Lapointe after he took a hard hit in the neutral zone and Tattle drove hard to the net from the right wing holding off a Centennials defender and stuffing it past Tanner Marshall for Tattle's 1st BCHL goal.

Daniel Tkac pulled Merritt even following up on a Chase Nameth rush who had the puck poked off his stick by Clay Stevenson and Tkac snapped a shot past Stevenson's glove to tie the game at 1.

An unfortunate bounce led to Merritt's lone lead of the night. Off a won face-off by Adam Trotman in the Express zone to the right of Clay Stevenson, the puck bounced and trickled past Clay Stevenson for a 2-1 Merritt lead. Matt Osadick was credited with his first BCHL goal.

The Express entered the second period with nearly a full two minute powerplay with Rylan Van Unen in the box for high sticking. Then in the opening minute of the 2nd period Troy Quinn was whistled for boarding giving the Express a two man advantage for 1:28.

Right from the get go the Express powerplay was dialled in looking for the equalizer.  Steven Bellini and Noah De La Durantaye were unloading shots from the point. Then Bellini changed things up dishing a great pass to Adam Trotman who roofed a shot from a tight angle for his 1st BCHL goal to tie the game at 2.

1:22 later James Bohn made a great play at the Merritt blueline to hold the zone, he then poked the puck to Danny Pearson who turned and scored his 4th of the season with a shot over the glove of Tanner Marshall and a 3-2 Express lead.

Noah De La Durataye potted the third Express goal in a span of 5:20 lurking around the Merritt net where he found a loose puck bounce to him where he buried his second of the season on the powerplay and a 4-2 Express lead. The powerplay finished 2 for 6 on the night.

Each team had lengthy two man advantages in the second period. The Express made theirs count early in the period. Then when they had to defend a Merritt two man advantage the Express penalty killers rose to the occasion. Merritt's advantage was for 1:28 and they peppered Clay Stevenson with a number of shots. But each time they were denied by a number of quality pad saves by Stevenson to preserve the Express lead. That was the highlight on a perfect 6 for 6 night for the Express penalty killers.

Midway through the 3rd Greg Lapointe took a high stick on a rush into the Merritt zone. He thought it warranted a penalty which wasn't called. So he just kept playing and moments later he took a pass from Addison Macey alone in front of the net and beat Marshall on a backhand for a 5-2 Express lead.

Three minutes later the Express lead was again cut to a pair after Payton Matsui slid the puck under Clay Stevenson to make it a 5-3 game.

1:25 later Adam Trotman capped off his three point night taking a pass out of the corner from Ryan Tattle and snapping home his second of the game. Tattle finished with one goal and an assist. In each of the Express first 5 wins this season at least one player has scored a pair of goals.

The shots finished 39-33 in favour of the Express. The 39 shots is a season high on the young season.

Saturday will see two hot teams go head to head as the Express will host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks who are a perfect 6-0 entering Wednesday's play. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


Highlights of all three Express games last weekend.


Chilliwack: (Home opener)

Prince George:

Highlights produced by Eddie Gregory. 

Sunday, September 22, 2019


Photo courtesy of Damon James:
If the Prince George Spruce Kings were a deciduous tree, they would have lost all their leaves all at once on this September Sunday afternoon in Coquitlam as the Express completely sucked the life out of them all afternoon long in a 5-1 win. Click here for boxscore

They literally gave the Spruce Kings nothing for nearly the first half of the game while pulling away over the course of 60 minutes.

Shift after shift in the first period saw the Express spend the vast majority of the time controlling the puck in the Prince George end. And when they lost the puck, the Express tracked back hard to get it back before the Spruce Kings could generate an attack.

The Express strong play saw them blank the Spruce Kings 14-0 in the first period in shots but the game remained scoreless. Despite the Express dominance, it was Prince George who had the best scoring chance of the period. Thomas Richter was hauled down cutting to the net and awarded a penalty shot. He would walk in and snap a shot off the post stick side on Clay Stevenson.

The 1st intermission did nothing to deter the Express dominance of play in the second period. Finally they broke through on the first BCHL goal from James Bohn when he let a wrist shot go from the left point that went in off the stick of Spruce Kings goaltender Jack McGovern.

It finally took until the 6:45 mark of the 2nd period for Prince George to be credited with a shot on goal on the powerplay from a one timer off the stick of Nick Poisson. I'd ask you to find me another high level hockey game where one team was held without a shot for the first 27 minutes of the game, but I really do value my time.

The Poisson shot came with Brad Ong in the penalty box. When he came out he rushed to the loose puck and cut to the net and jammed home his 3rd of the season for a 2-0 Express lead.

Once shaking off the goose egg on the shot clock the Spruce Kings tested Clay Stevenson a few more times. One of his best saves was on a breakaway by Preston Brodziak where Stevenson needed a second effort to swat a puck that was behind him over top of the net.

Danny Pearson - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Danny Pearson extended the Express lead to 3-0 converting a cross ice pass at the edge of the crease for a powerplay goal assisted by Greg Lapointe and Adam Trotman.

For most of the game early on it lacked much of a physical presence and emotion. But that changed late in the 2nd period when captain Drew Cooper and Carter Cochrane dropped the gloves after battling in the corner in the Express zone. Cooper was all over the place delivering shots over the top and upper cuts all the while mixing in rights and lefts.

Joe Borthwick was whistled for a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for kneeing in the 3rd period after making contact with Preston Brodziak.

Even while killing a major penalty things were going the Express way. Tyler Schleppe playing against his former team for the first time set up Danny Pearson on a 2 on nothing rush for his second of the game and a 4-0 Express lead.

Addison Macey - Photo courtesy of Damon James
There was very little that didn't go the Express way Sunday. One little gaffe behind the net midway through the third period allowed Preston Brodziak to beat Clay Stevenson on a wrap around to break the shutout bid.

Addison Macey dressed for his first game of the season. And he far and away delivered the best hit of the night crushing a Spruce Kings winner right at the Express blueline.

Cooper Connell capped off the win taking a pass from Greg Lapointe and beating McGovern on the backhand for Connell's first of the season.

The Express finished the game outshooting the Spruce Kings 35-13 to improve to 4-1 for the first time since 2012. They will head into next week sitting atop of the Mainland division standings on their own.

Merritt is in town on Wednesday night as the 5 game home stand continues.

Saturday, September 21, 2019


Noah De La Durantaye's powerplay goal with 3:56 left in the third period stood as the winner as the Express were victorious in their home opener 3-2 over the Chilliwack Chiefs. Click here for boxscore

It was a tight battle all night long that could have gone either way. That went the right way for the home team.

Tyler Schleppe opened the scoring for the Express tipping home a Ryan Tattle shot following a won face-off by Adam Trotman.

Just under four minutes later Cooper Moore's screen shot from the point caught the underside of the cross bar to tie the game at 1.

Clay Stevenson made his second start of the season and had a strong outing finishing with 31 saves. He made a good save off Ethan Bowen off the rush just past the 6 minute mark.

Chilliwack took their lone lead of the night on a powerplay goal from Ethan Bowen burying a loose puck into a open net.

Tyler Schleppe tied the game with his second of the night finding a loose puck following a lengthy scramble in the Chilliwack crease to tie the game at 2.

From this point on the goaltenders Clay Stevenson and Mathieu Caron of the Chiefs took over the game.

In the second period Stevenson showed his progression absorbing the original shots and tracking deflections well.

Connor Gregga and Danny Pearson were denied by the best saves of the night midway in the second period by Caron.

Tyler Schleppe's effort behind the net in the final minutes of the third period drew a holding penalty to Cooper Moore. Halfway through the powerplay Head Coach Jason Fortier called his timeout heading into a offensive zone face-off.

Right off the won draw the Express teed up Noah De La Durataye who unloaded a one timer for his first BCHL goal and a 3-2 Express lead with 3:56 to play.

The Express clamped the game down the rest of the way with Clay Stevenson sealing his first star performance.

Chilliwack edged the Express in shots by a 33-31 count. Special teams saw the Express go 1 for 3 and Chilliwack went 1 for 3.

The win improves the Express record to 3-1 on the young season. They will play their 3rd game in as many days Sunday afternoon when they host Prince George. 


Langley scored three first period goals and never looked back picking up their first win of the season and handing the Express their first loss of the season in three games this young season. Click here for boxscore

Right from the get go it wasn't the Express' night. They were called for a delay of game penalty right at the start when a number of players didn't get off the ice in time during pre-game warm up.

Gregory Lapointe was officially whistled for the penalty giving Langley the powerplay. Will Dow-Kenny made the Express pay at 1:17 snapping a wrist shot past goaltender Thomas Wardle making his second consecutive start in Langley.

That goal sparked Langley who kept peppering the Express net with shots. And Thomas Wardle did all he could to hold off their push. Just shy of the 6 minute mark they added to their lead when Matteo Pecchia chipped a rebound over the pad of Wardle for a 2-0 Langley lead.

Late in the first period saw a number of penalties called in quick succession. With the teams skating 4 on 4 Tristan Fraser scored on a backdoor pass from Brian Scoville off a won face-off in the Express zone. Before the play resumed there was some confusion on the ice and it resulted in Tyler Schleppe getting whistled for a cross checking penalty. When everything was all said and done Langley had 6 first period powerplays and a 3-0 lead.

A different Express team returned for the second period. They had more jump and a little more edge to their game.

Christian MacDougall undressed a Langley defenceman then cut to the net where he put his shot off the post. In the process MacDougall was hit by a Rivermen defender on the play and ended up making contact with goaltender Braedon Fleming. The officials never whistled the play dead as Fleming laid on his side with an equipment issue. All the while the puck came back to Joe Borthwick whose shot from the point couldn't find an open portion of the net with Fleming out of position.

Langley Head Coach Bobby Henderson wasn't happy with the lack of what he felt deserved to be a call. He was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a game misconduct. Fleming's equipment issue forced him to leave during the Express powerplay for repairs forcing Kristian Lyon into action.

Lyon held the fort making three saves during the Express powerplay.

Gregory Lapointe got the Express on the board taking a pass out from behind the net and snapping it over the glove of Fleming now back in the Langley net to get the Express on the board.

He had two other top notch chances later in the period, but was unable to finish to help pull the Express closer.

Tanner Versluis re-stored Langley's three goal lead on the powerplay on the edge of the Express crease re-directing a Brian Scoville shot between the legs of Wardle for a 4-1 lead.

The third period capped off the night with Logan Kurki dropping the gloves with Will Dow-Kenny.

Then Langley put the finishing touches on the game on the second goal of the game by Tanner Versluis and Kalen Szeto 1:34 apart to extend Langley's lead to 6-1. Langley finished the night going 3 for 10 on the powerplay. The Express meanwhile went 0 for 6 on their own powerplay.

The Express will come home for their home opener to play host to the Chilliwack Chiefs Saturday with a 2-1 record. 

Sunday, September 8, 2019


The Express first four goals of the night came on the powerplay and Thomas Wardle made 41 saves in his BCHL debut as the Express opened the 2019-20 season with a 5-2 win over the Langley Rivermen. Click here for boxscore

Wardle got thrust into the starting role on opening night and not once did he show signs of nerves.

The West Vancouver native needed to be ready right from the get go as Langley peppered the Express net often in the first period. He made two good saves off Rivermen forward Joseph Musa in the first period. The second save coming on a one timer off the rush.

At the other end the Express had quality chances from Ryan Tattle and Tyler Schleppe but couldn't beat Braedon Fleming. The first period finished with Langley outshooting the Express 20-11.

The visitors settled down in the 2nd period. Then began to tilt the ice which led to powerplay opportunities.

On their second man advantage of the night the Express quickly struck by winning the face-off and setting up Drew Cooper for a one timer just seven seconds into the powerplay opening the scoring.

Langley got that one back right away with Kalen Szeto lifting the puck over Wardle to tie the game at 1 just seconds later.

The captain potted his second of the night exactly at the midway mark of the game. Again on the powerplay. This time creeping in back door and converting a cross crease pass from Connor Gregga to put the Express into a 2-1 lead.

The collective movement of the Express powerplay left Langley guessing all night long. And it played a role in the 3rd Express goal of the night. A quick set up and one timer into the slot was stopped by Fleming. But the rebound was buried by Tyler Schleppe for his first Express goal and a 3-1 lead.

Thomas Wardle was less busy in the second period turning aside 10 of the 11 Langley shots in the 2nd period as the Express carried a 3-1 lead into the third period.

The powerplay kept rolling into the third period. Adam Trotman was set up in the slot and ripped a shot high bouncing off the end glass right to the side of the Langley net where Danny Pearson jammed in his first of the season for a 4-1 Express lead with everyone of their goals coming on the powerplay. For all the attention that the Express powerplay generated. The penalty killing meanwhile shutdown all 6 Rivermen powerplays.

Finally the offence at 5 on 5 for the Express got rolling with Adam Trotman dishing a pass on the right wing to Steven Bellini who slid a pass to Bradley Ong who tapped it past Fleming for a 5-1 Express lead.

Tristan Fraser jammed a puck just across the goal line past Thomas Wardle to round out the scoring with just over 6 minutes remaining in the third period.

Langley did show some signs of frustration as the third period wound down. The Express were smart being able to maintain their focus the rest of the night to close out their first victory of the season.

The shots finished 43-29 in favour of Langley. But they were only 23-18 in favour of Langley in the final 40 minutes.

The Express will play their 2nd game of the season next Friday in Surrey.