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.

Friday, October 21, 2016


Shots, who needs shots? the Express only had 10 shots Friday night vs. Wenatchee, but it was enough to score five times to hand the Wild a 5-4 loss.

It was the second straight win for the Express following 3-2 win Wednesday over West Kelowna.

Like Wednesday the Express jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead. Alex Ambrosio opened the scoring 13 minutes into the game battling hard in front of the Wild net and rolling in a loose puck for his 4th of the season.

Just 24 seconds later the Express struck again. Cal Babych took advantage of a Wild turnover and sent the puck down low to Owen Stout who quickly fed Sam Kozlowski for a 2-0 lead.

Lawson Fenton played a big role to help get that lead to the room after the first period turning aside at 17 Wild shots.

Cal Babych was brought in by the Express to help give the team a much needed score boost. Early on the returns have paid dividends. He scored his second goal in his second game with the Express just over a minute into the second period snapping a shot up over the glove of Anthony Yamnitsky.

That goal was the wake up call the Wild needed to try to claw back into the game. Slava Demin got the Wild on the board with a point shot on the power play that rang in off the post. 33 seconds later the Express lead was cut to one on a Brendan Harris goal after he used his speed to back off the Express defense then snap a shot over the glove of Lawson Fenton.

The Express had a response, to be more specific Owen Stout had a response. He scored his first two goals in a span of 5 minutes to re-store their three goal lead. His first goal he took a crafty bounce pass of the boards from Jake Brien and scored on a breakaway.

Stout's second came after Luca Leone picked Yamnitsky's pocket after he went out from behind the net to play the puck and he set up Stout alone in the slot who snapped it home for a 5-2 Express lead.

That goal brought and end to the night for Yamnitsky after allowing five goals on nine shots. Morgan Kelly would replace Yamnitsky but he had very little to do the rest of the way.

Matt Baker cut the Express lead to 5-3 jamming in a loose puck on the power play before the second period was done.

Wenatchee in the third period was given every opportunity to continue the comeback. Chris Jones was the beneficiary of the officials not blowing the play dead after the puck was covered up in a prolonged scrum in front of the Express net. Jones snapped a shot up over the glove of Fenton once the puck was dug loose.

The Wild were handed four powerplays in the third period and ten in game while the Express were just given a single man advantage. All those powerplays played a role in the Wild outshooting the Express 18-0 in the 3rd period. A number of the penalties had a number of members of the Express none too happy with the officiating. Most notably a questionable interference call assessed to David Giunta.

But despite the adversity the Express fought through it and held on for the win. Lawson Fenton finished with 43 saves for his second victory of the season.

The Express will wrap up their five game home stand Sunday afternoon vs. Salmon Arm. 


Highlights from the Express 3-2 win over West Kelowna Wednesday.

Highlights courtesy of Jorge Parra and Underdog Productions.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Reid Cooper & Cal Babych - Photo courtesy of Damon James
The Express snapped a four game losing skid in dramatic fashion on a Blake Hayward last minute goal to give the Express a 3-2 win over the West Kelowna Warriors.

Prior to Wednesday the Express had been shutout in three of their last four games.

The Express were still missing six regulars out of the lineup. But they were helped with the return of Jake Brien from a four game suspension. And Cal Babych made his Express debut. The former WHLer had his BCHL rights acquired by the Express earlier this week from the Chilliwack Chiefs for future considerations.
Reid Cooper made 36 saves - Photo courtesy of Damon James

The teams were scoreless after the first period. Reid Cooper turned aside all 10 Express shots in the opening minute.

The newest member of the Express was acquired in part to help a team that was in need of someone who can help chip in with some offense. He made his mark in early in the 2nd period driving to the net and burying the rebound of a Sam Kozlowski shot.

That goal gave the Express some much needed confidence. It carried into their power play less than a minute later. Luca Leone doubled the Express lead when he ripped home a wrist shot after taking a good cross ice pass for a 2-0 Express lead.

Parm Dhaliwal cut the Express lead in half bouncing the puck in off Express netminder Reid Cooper for just over two minutes after the Luca Leone goal.

It was the second period where the Warriors really started to throw pucks at the Express net looking for the equalizer but they were turned back by Reid Cooper. The Express goaltender had another strong outing in the Express crease. He saw plenty of pucks. But the efficiency in his style gave West Kelowna very few rebound opportunities. And he was content throughout the night to hold onto plenty of pucks and have face-offs in the Express end. Cooper finished with 20 saves in the 2nd period.

And that transitions to where Barry Wolff leaned heavily in his veterans in this game. For most of the defensive zone draws in this game more often than not it was the line of Luca Leone, Alex Ambrosio and Blake Hayward to take those key face-offs. They did a lot of the dirty work in the Express zone to prevent the Express from running around in their own zone for prolonged periods of time.

In addition to the work of Leone, Ambrosio and Hayward, the Express also got a boost with the return of defenseman Jake Brien after serving a four game suspension. He played a key role to help support Cooper with a number of shot blocks throughout the night.

Sam Kozlowski - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Braiden Epp pulled the Warriors even 90 seconds into the third period. But that goal didn't phase the Express. They were glad to just be in the game heading into the third period.

When a team is struggling, all they want is a chance to win at the end. The Express work on this night put them in a perfect position to do so.

They got the break they needed to win the game in the final seconds. A West Kelowna change gone wrong put the Warriors in a spot to not touch the puck to avoid a too many men penalty which allowed Blake Hayward to pounce on the puck on a breakaway and he snapped it between the pads of Xaiver Burghardt with 17 seconds left in the third period to give the Express the lead for good.

Reid Cooper turned aside 36 of 38 Warrior shots for his fourth win of the season.

The Express will continue their five game home stand when the Wenatchee Wild will make a return visit Friday night.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


B. Harris & D. Giunta - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Barry Wolff and the rest of the Express can't get some healthy bodies back in the lineup soon enough.

Saturday night with 8 players out of the lineup with suspension and injury they were shutout for a third time in their last four games falling 3-0 to the Wenatchee Wild.

Photo courtesy Damon James
Saturday the Express were only able to dress nine forwards. And despite the lack of reinforcements they did everything they could to at least keep the game close, but shortened lineup had trouble generating many offensive chances.

Dakota Raabe opened the scoring the Wild converting a feed from Matt Baker re-directing it past Reid Cooper for an early 1-0 lead.

Anthony Yamintsky only needed to make 14 saves to post the shutout for the Wild. His best work coming in the second period turning aside 9 Express shots.

One area where the Express hopefully would be able to make a difference with such a shorthanded lineup was the power play, but they finished the night 0 for 6.

Shortly after an Express power play came to an end in the third period the puck bounced into the middle of the ice in the Express zone and Colin Burston finished off a two on nothing break for a 2-0 Wild lead.
David Giunta - Photo courtesy of Damon James

The Express didn't threaten much in the third period. Their best chance never officially registered as a shot on goal as Blake Hayward rang a shot off the goal post.

AJ Vanderbeck capped off the scoring with a power play goal with just under three minutes remaining. Wenatchee finished 1 for 7 on the power play.

Reid Cooper took the lost, but had another strong game in the Express crease with 31 saves.

The Express 5 game home stand will resume Wednesday when the Express host West Kelowna. 

Friday, October 14, 2016


Owen Stout had 1G, 1A - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Kyle Betts and Cam Donaldson each scored twice as the Powell River Kings dropped the Express 6-2. The loss was their third straight set back. Click here for boxscore

The shorthanded Express who were still missing 5 regulars due to either injury or suspension got some reinforcements back with the return of 20 year old goaltender Lawson Fenton.

The Express entered the game having been shutout in their previous two outings. Sam Kozlowski brought that streak to an end early scoring just 1:17 into the game converting a Owen Stout pass. The goal snapped a goal less drought for the Express of 121 minutes and 17 seconds.

Cam Donaldson potted his first of the night snapping a quick shot from the right wing past Fenton to tie things at one.

Powell River did half of their damage tonight on the power play Friday. They opened up a 2-1 lead on Tristan Mullin's first of the season who converted a slick feed from behind the net from Jonny Evans. The Kings finished with three power play goals.

Mitch Adamyk only had to face 18 shots to post the victory for the Kings. Some of his best work came off first period Express powerplays with saves off a coast to coast rush by Blake Hayward and a rebound chance for Alex Ambrosio.

Lawson Fenton faced 40 shots - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Powell River caught a break early in the second period to extend their lead. David Guinta and Troy Robillard did a good job to chop the puck off the stick off Jonny Evans. But the puck ended up going in the air and landed in the goal crease where Evans followed the track of the puck and scored for a 3-1 Kings lead.

Cam Donaldson scored his second of the night in the opening minute of the third. That was followed by the first of two in the third period for Kyle Betts who buried a juicy rebound that was kicked out into the slot following a shot from the wing by Hunter Findlater.

Owen Stout midway through the third period scored his fourth of the season on the power play to cut into the Kings advantage on a scramble to make it a 5-2 game.

Kyle Betts rounded out the scoring in the final minute of the third period for his second of the game in the final minute of the third period.

Powell River finished with 40 shots while limiting the Express to a season low of 18. The Express have been outshot in all but one game this season.

Saturday night they will wrap up their three game in three night weekend when they host the Wenatchee Wild.

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Reid Cooper - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Daniel Davidson made 22 saves for his first career BCHL shutout and Nick Fea scored a pair of goals as the Eagles blanked the Express 4-0. Click here for boxscore

It was the second straight game the Express have been held off the scoresheet.

Luca Leone came as close as anyone for the Express to find the back of the net Thursday night by ringing a shot off the post on a first period power play.

Reid Cooper had a busy night facing 37 Surrey shots. Some of his best saves came in the first period. Most notably coming to his left and kicking out his left pad to rob Tyler Cooper off the rush.

Fea broke through for his first of the night taking a lead pass and splitting the Express defense then deking past Cooper to open the scoring a minute into the second period.

Surrey thought they added to their lead when Paul McAvoy buried the rebound off a Darius Davidson shot off the end boards and snapping it to the net as Reid Cooper recovered to get back in position.

Callum Cusinatio - Photo courtesy of Damon James
The red light was turned on and the Eagles celebrated as they had scored but neither referee called goal. Upon discussion it was deemed the puck entered the net after the net was knocked off it's supports.

But just over a minute later Surrey did add to their lead on Fea's second of the night snapping a one timer from the left circle following a won face-off in the Express zone. Logan Mostat and Desi Burgart each assisted on both of Fea's second period goals.

Jeffery Stewart put the Eagles up three in the third cutting in from the right wing and sliding shot under the pad of Cooper. That was followed up by Andrew Kemp having the rebound of a Jacob Dupont shot bounce off him and in to round out the scoring.

Neither team was able to convert on the powreplay with the Express going 0 for 5 while Surrey went 0 for 2.

The Express return home to continue their three game in three night weekend Friday vs. Powell River.