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.