Friday, December 2, 2016


N. Turanski & Gavin Payne - Photo courtesy of Damon James
The Express struggles have been well documented since their last victory on October 21st vs. the Wenatchee Wild. The injuries and a short lineups have resulted in some lopsided losses during the last 6 weeks. But there hasn't been a more disappointing loss than tonight's 5-4 double OT loss to the Langley Rivermen. Click here for boxscore

Tonight's set back was as close as the Express have come to posting a victory since October 21st. And now the Express have had their winless streak extended to 15 games with a record of 0-13-1-1.

Luca Leone - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Not much was different for the Express tonight than in their previous 14 outings. They played with 9 regulars out of the lineup.

There was questions prior to the game if Sam Kozlowski was going to be able to play. And by the midway mark of the 2nd period the Express had lost Will Lawrence after a collision along the boards. The Express dressed 5 AP's in an effort to fill the lineup.

With all that in mind the Express battled Langley right down to the bitter end eventually allowing 4-1 lead slip through their hands.

Friday the Express did something they haven't done a lot of this season and that is scoring first as Luca Leone went to the backhand to slide the puck past Bradley Cooper.

Brendan Budy finished off a beautiful 3 on 2 rush to pull Langley even at 13:07.

But the Express quickly responded with Alex Ambrosio ripping a shot up over the glove of Cooper on a two on one just 1:31 later.

Sam Kozlowski then put the Express into some rarified air 1:04 after Ambrosio's goal he buried the rebound of a Brett Cox point shot giving the Express a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes.

Langley is playing with two AP goaltenders with Bo Didur and Brandon Fleming suffering injuries in the same game November 19th vs. Langley.

Bradley Cooper was replaced by Chad Cromar to start the 2nd period after three Express goals in 8 first period shots.

8 minutes into the second Hayden Knight was handed a double minor for spearing for a subtle little jab after the whistle behind the Express net.

The Express bailed out their teammate by killing off the penalties. Then Knight redeemed himself by taking a pass from Erik Udahl and beating Cromar with a shot up over the glove when he stepped out of the penalty box.

The Knight goal had some great numerology to it. It was scored by Knight who wears the number 12 at 12:12 on the 12th shot of the night for the Express.

Angus Crookshank started Langley's comeback beating Reid Cooper on a backhand as he came out of the corner just 1:09 after the Knight goal.

It was pretty clear in the opening moments of the third period the Rivermen were going to force the Express to earn the victory Friday night. They had a strong start to the period which set the tone for the final 20 minutes.

Ryan Barrow cut the Express lead to one on the power play scoring at the side of the Express net converting the rebound of a Cameron Ginetti point shot that was wired off the glass.

Special teams played a deciding factor in this game in the third period. The Express couldn't convert a one minute 5 on 3 in the third period. And a late period power play which would have put the Rivermen away.

Reid Cooper finished with 31 saves - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Langley meanwhile in the final minute of the third period scored their 2nd power play goal of the period with a 6 on 4 advantage when Zac Masson jammed home a loose puck with just 15.4 seconds remaining in the third period. Langley finished 2 for 6 on the power play while the Express went 0 for 5.

The Express were just 15.4 seconds away from finally snapping their 14 game winless streak.

Nothing was decided in a relatively uneventful 4 on 4 first overtime. It was a much different story in 3 on 3. The best chance for the Express to win it was a two on nothing break from centre ice for Udhal and Ambrosio but the Express never ended up registering a shot.

Langley would make no mistake as they went the other way and Cameron Ginetti dropped the puck back for Ryan Barrow who out waited Cooper and tucked it home for his 2nd of the night to give Langley the 5-4 win.

It's not just the fact that Friday's OT loss was the closest the Express had come to posting a victory in their last 15 games. It's the manner in which they lost that makes this one hurt more than the previous 14 games. There have been plenty of blowouts and games where the Express were heavily outshot.

That wasn't the case tonight. They had the three goal lead, were only outshot 36-30 and they battled as close to even as they have to any opponent during this run and still didn't get the result.

This run hasn't been easy on anyone for the Express. Players and coaches especially. Everyone wants them to get the winning feeling again and it's hard not to feel for the team to have them suffer another set back in this manner. All they can do is regroup and get ready to host Victoria on Sunday afternoon. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Lawson Fenton made 27 saves - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Surrey's struck three times in the first period and the Express were unable to recover falling 4-3 Wednesday night. 

The Express are now 0-10-1 in their last 11 games. But to be fair the Express still played without 9 regulars and dressing 4 AP's. 
Poor puck management on the first Express power play would eventually lead to the Eagles opening the scoring. A neutral zone turnover resulted in a a Desi Burgart chance which was stopped by Lawson Fenton. But that was followed only seconds later by another neutral zone turnover and this time Jackson Ross made the Express pay by scoring his second of the season on his own rebound. 

David Giunta - Photo courtesy of Damon James
That goal sparked a Surrey run off offense. The Jackson Ross goal was followed just 1:38 later on a goal by Cole Williams who beat Lawson Fenton with a wrist shot from the point right through the legs of Fenton who reacted late to the screen shot. 

Then with Surrey on the power play the Eagles worked the puck around the outside and Darius Davidson scored on a one timer from the left circle for a 3-0 Eagles lead. Surrey scored a shorthanded, even strength and power play goal in a span of 3:15. 

Surrey goaltender Daniel Davidson turned aside all 9 Express shots in the first period. But he was shaken up at the end of the period and wouldn't come out to play for the second. 

Michael Botiz got the call for Surrey the rest of the way. He was welcomed to the game with a 5 on 3 advantage for the Express with Dario Piva and Jordan Robert in the box for the Eagles.

Erik Udhal in the opening moments of the second period got the Express on the board firing a shot past the glove of Botiz just 1:02 in the frame. 

The Express caught a break to help them pull within one. Blake Hayward's dump in from centre ice couldn't be handled cleanly by Botiz and the puck slid through his pads where Cal Babych pounced on the loose puck to cut the Eagles lead to 3-2. 

That goal led to some chances for the Express immediately afterwards. But then Surrey quickly went the other way and Mike Sauer finished off a two on one to restore Surrey's two goal lead. 

Erik Udhal was consistently the most dangerous forward for the Express. He scored his second of the night four minutes into the third period using Will Lawrence as a decoy on a two on one and keeping the puck and beating Botiz to cut the Eagles lead to 4-3.

As the third period wound down Udhal had some of the better Express scoring chances looking for the equalizer. He was stopped off the rush cutting in from the right wing. He also rang a shot off the post and that's as close the Express would come to tying the game. 

In the final 90 seconds the Eagles put the clamp on the Express giving them trouble to break out of their own zone preventing them from pulling goaltender Lawson Fenton for the extra attacker. Once the Express were able to get Fenton to the bench the Eagles forced the Express to the boards in the Surrey zone as the clock ticked down. 

The Express hit the road visiting Prince George Friday. Then they're right back in Coquitlam Saturday night vs. Vernon. 

Friday, November 18, 2016


Reid Cooper save on R. Risling - Photo courtesy of Garrett James

The Penticton Vees extended the winless streak for the Express to 9 games (0-8-1) with a 7-2 win Friday in Coquitlam. Click here for boxscore

Erik Udahl & Ty Amonte - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
Coquitlam dressed only 10 forwards with 2 AP's being scratched late in the due to to ailments.

The visitors put the Express in a early hole in the first period they couldn't recover from by opening a 3-0 lead on goals from Ty Amonte, Nic Jones and Ryley Risling. The final goal of the first period by Risling coming with just nine tenths of a second remaining in the first period that saw the Vees outshoot the Express 17-8.

Jones struck for his second of the night just 1:33 into the second period for a 4-0 Vees lead. That was followed midway through the period by Risling's second of the night when he bounced the puck in off Reid Cooper at the side of the Express net.

E. Udahl finished with 1 goal and 1 assist - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
The teams traded goals in the third period. Erik Udahl continues to chip in offensively for the Express since his return. He got them on the board to make it a 5-1 game cutting in off the left wing side and sliding a backhand past Nolan Hildebrand. Udahl then showed some of his skill with a nifty one handed pass between his legs to set up Cal Babych who scored his 5th of the season. Udahl has 1 goal and 4 assists for 5 points in 4 games since his return to the Express.

Ty Barnstable and Gabe Bast added third period Vees goals. 6 different Vees had multi point nights led by Ryley Risling and Ty Barnstable each had three point nights. Penticton outshot the Express 45-18.

The Express host the Chilliwack Chiefs on Saturday night.

Saturday, November 12, 2016


The Express entered the first meeting of the season with the Chilliwack Chiefs with just 14 skaters, 9 forwards and 5 defensemen. By the end of the night the Express finished with 12 skaters, 8 forwards and 4 defensemen. The final result saw the Chilliwack Chiefs cruise to a 9-1 win in the first meeting of the season between the two teams. Click here for boxscore

The first period saw the Express generate some of their better chances of the night, Sam Kozlowski set up Cal Babych for a one timer that was stopped off the rush by Chiefs goaltender Mark Sinclair. Plus Christian Bosa cut in from the right wing using his speed then cut to the net only to lose control of the puck as he tried to sweep it home.

Kale Kane opened the scoring for Chilliwack by cutting across the middle in the Express zone and his shot deflected off an Express defender and in trickled past Reid Cooper. Then a poor decision to throw the puck up the middle of the ice was picked off by Aaron O'Neill who quickly set up Jake Smith in front of the Express net who roofed a backhand for a 2-0 Chilliwack lead after the first period.

Chiefs captain Jordan Kawaguchi carried on his career torment of the Express early in the second period taking a Kohen Olischefski pass and out waiting Cooper before sliding home a backhand for a 3-0 Chilliwack lead.

For Head Coach Barry Wolff and the rest of the Express they just can't seem to catch a break when it comes to injuries. Defenseman Dominic Masellis only played the first period. Then captain Luca Leone left the game five minutes into the second period when he collided knee on knee with Tommy Lee. The veteran forward tried to will himself as best he could to stay in the game for his team that desperately needs bodies but his knee just wouldn't allow him. He tried his best to walk off and skate off the effects of the collision to no avail.

It was at this point the impact of the depleted Express took over the game. Josh Borynec, Will Calverly and Jordan Kawaguchi a second time scored and it was 6-0 through two periods.

The third period saw the Chiefs get goals from Tommy Lee, Connor McCarthy and Davis Bunz.

Cal Babych scored the lone Express marker from a sharp angle sliding the puck under the pad of a surprised Mark Sinclair.

The shots finished 53-18 in favour of Chilliwack. Chiefs captain Jordan Kawaguchi finished with two goals and an assist. 7 other players had multi point nights. And only 4 Chiefs players didn't register a point.

The Express are now winless in their last 8 games (0-7-1). The Express return home to host the Penticton Vees and Chilliwack Cheifs next weekend. 

Friday, November 11, 2016


The Prince George Spruce Kings rode two goal performances from Travis Schneider and Jarod Hovde en route to a 6-3 win over the Express Friday. The latter also helped out with a pair of assists for a four point night. Click here for boxscore

The visitors put the shorthanded Express in a first period hole they could never really dig themselves out of. The Express played without 7 regulars Friday.

Schneider scored his first of the night when the Express lost control of the puck in their own zone and the puck bounced towards the net where Schneider was able to poke home the loss puck 6 minutes into the game.

Friday's game certainly didn't lack opportunities to stay in the game for the Express. Most notably on the power play.

After their third power play of the first period Prince George forward Parker Colley came out of the penalty box and took a pass and fought off an Express defender as he fired a shot that trickled past Lawson Fenton for a 2-0 Spruce Kings lead.

Just over four minutes later it was a 3-0 Spruce Kings lead on Jared Hovde's first of the night.

Alex Ambrosio got the Express in the final minute of the first period. He was able to pounce on the rebound of a Noah Turanski shot for his 6th of the season.

Special teams played a key role in deciding the outcome of this game. The Express finished 1 for 8 on the power play. All of those powerplays came in the first two periods.

Prince George meanwhile only needed three powerplays and converted on two of them to pull away for good.  Jarod Hovde scored his second of the night beating Reid Cooper with a wrist shot up over the glove from the left wing. That was followed just four minutes later by Travis Schneider's second of the night burying the rebound of a Hovde shot that was kicked into the slot by Reid Cooper. The Express rookie goaltender started the second period for the Express after Lawson Fenton allowed three goals on twelve shots in the first period.

Erik Udahl returned to the Express this week after leaving the team part way through last season to attend Boston University. He never played a game at BU and has made an immediate impact in his return to the Express. He had an assist Wednesday in Penticton.

Friday he skated miles and was consistently creating chances for the Express. On a late second period power play the Express won the draw and Udahl's shot was tipped home by Christian Bosa for the rookie's first BCHL goal cutting the Spruce Kings lead to 5-2.

Early in the third Udahl had hand in setting up another first BCHL goal. He left the puck for Jordan Schulting whose shot was tipped home by AP Ryleigh Anderson.

Prince George capped off the win with another first BCHL goal off the by Sam De Melo with less than two minutes remaining in the game.

The Spruce Kings finished with a 48-35 advantage in shots. They're now 2-0-1 vs. the Express this season. The loss extended the Express winless streak to 7 games at 0-6-1.

Up next for the Express is a Saturday night visit to the Prospera Centre and the Chilliwack Chiefs.  

Monday, October 24, 2016


Photo courtesy of Damon James
Coquitlam Express forward Owen Stout was named the BCHL's player of the week for the week of October 17th to the 23rd.

He helped lead the Express to two wins in three games this past week. The West Vancouver native began his week with a pair of helpers in a 3-2 Express win last Wednesday over the West Kelowna Warriors.

That was followed up by a two goal and one assist performance in a 5-4 win over the Wenatchee Wild Friday. Stout's second goal stood up as the game winning goal.

This season he leads the Express in scoring with 23 points (6G, 17A) in 17 games which is 6th in BCHL scoring. His 17 assists are second in the BCHL trailing only Wenatchee's Brendan Harris. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016


Brandon Kegler save on Luca Leone - Photo courtesy of Damon James.
Brandon Kegler made 22 saves as the the Salmon Arm Silverbacks shutout the Express 3-0 Sunday.

It was the fourth time in the last seven games the Express had failed to score a goal.

Hayden Knight - Photo courtesy of Damon James.
The Express got off to a good start in the first half of the first period, they had an early 8-3 advantage in shots but just couldn't beat Kegler.

Then just 20 seconds into a Cal Walker hooking penalty Carson Bolduc scored on the power play ripping a shot up stairs on Reid Cooper.

Five minutes later Salmon Arm struck again. Grayson Constable's shot was stopped by Reid Cooper, the Express did a good job clearing the rebound immediately, but they didn't see Justin Wilson on the other side who picked off the clearing attempt and snapped it home for a 2-0 Salmon Arm lead.

The Express found themselves getting into penalty trouble in the second period with three minors in just over a five minute span. Mitch Skapski made the Express pay for one of their indiscretions jamming in a loose puck for a 3-0 Silverbacks lead.

R. Cooper & Jake Toor - Photo courtesy of Damon James.
With a 5-2 advantage in powerplays for Salmon Arm entering the third period, things began to even up in the third with the Express getting three separate powerplays including a short two man advantage but the Express couldn't convert. Thanks in part to some good work on the Salmon Arm Silverbacks PK by Josh Blanchard. He played a strong game pressuring the Express powerplays up ice giving them trouble breaking out of their zone.

The Express only managed to fire 6 shots in the third period.

The next two weekends the Express are on the road for a pair of double headers in Prince George and Wenatchee.