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.