Saturday, February 24, 2018


Jake Toor delivers a big hit.
Photo courtesy of Garrett James
The regular season came to an end Friday night for the Express concluding a home and home with the Langley Rivermen. It was a dramatic finish to the regular season with a entertaining 2-2 tie.
Click here for boxscore

Langley is fighting with the Chilliwack Chiefs and Surrey Eagles for home ice in the first round of the playoffs. Meanwhile the Express are playing out the string while they await to learn who their first round opponent will be which is the team that finishes first in the Interior division.

To start the game the visitors played with a desperation of a team trying to secure home ice. They were fast, moving the puck quickly with authority and they peppered Brock Hamm opening an early 6-0 advantage in shots.

Hamm stood tall until the Express were able to start turning the game in their favour.

Penalties to Jordan Dawson and Colin Bernard gave the Express a two man advantage. It didn't take long for them to strike. Jonny Sheardown rushed the puck into Langley's zone and dished on the right wing to Ryan Stack who walked in and ripped a wrist shot past Braedon Fleming to open the scoring on Stack's second goal in an Express uniform. Brock Hamm picked up the second assist on the play.

Colby Pederson & Eric Linell - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
That goal got the Express going and by the end of the first period the shots were nearly even. In the final minute Stack and Josh Wildauer worked the puck deep in the Rivermen zone. Eventually Stack set up Wildauer who fired a shot over the shoulder of Fleming for a 2-0 Express lead after 20 minutes.

Langley picked their game up again in the second period. They broke through just past the 5 minute mark when John Wojciechowski from the high slot executed a crafty deflection form the high slot of a Alec Capstick slap shot over Brock Hamm's shoulder to cut the Express lead to 2-1.

Angus Crookshank evened things up on a Rivermen power play that saw them move the puck around in the Express zone, Eventually Sean Gulka found Crookshank alone in the slot and he beat Hamm on a backhand to even things up at 2 after 40 minutes.

The teams played it pretty tight in the third period and nothing was decided after 60 minutes. Friday's game was the 3rd straight visit by Langley this season that went to overtime.

The extra session started with a bang. As Eric Linell was rushing the puck up the ice, behind the play Doug Scott got tangled up with Rivermen captain Brendan Budy and they both dropped the gloves. For Scott it was his third fight against Langley this season after having previous tilts with Sean Gulka and Nik Ponak.

Scott was given an extra two minutes for instigating.

On the power play Brock Hamm made some of his best saves of the night. That included coming to his left for his best save of the night on a Angus Crookshank one timer.

Jack MacNab - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
The Express scratched 5 regulars allowing for three AP's to dress. Cody Hough got another game for the Express on the blueline. He had one of the better chances in 4 on 4 OT jumping into a rush and tipping a pass just wide of the goal on a 2 on 1.

As usual things opened up when the teams went down to 3 on 3. Devon Mussio had the best chance for either side to win it. Eric Linell cut to the net and was stopped, then the puck was just sitting in front of the Langley net for seemingly an eternity and Mussio pounced on it and put a shot off the intersection of the post and cross bar.

The shots finished 32-27 in favor of Langley. The tight season series between the teams saw the Express finish with a 3-3-2 record vs. Langley.

Penticton plays Wenatchee Saturday night. A Vees win will secure top spot in the Interior division and a first round matchup with the Express. The single point for Langley opens up a two point lead on Surrey and Chilliwack for second place and home ice advantage.

The playoffs for the Express will begin on the road next Friday. 

Monday, February 19, 2018


Highlights of Langley's 3-1 win over the Express Sunday afternoon.

Highlights produced by Eddie Gregory. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018


The Express peppered Langley goaltender Braedon Fleming with 37 shots, but despite numerous grade A chances they were only able to beat him once in a 3-1 loss in Langley. Click here for boxscore

Before the Express began their barrage, Brendan Budy opened the scoring racing down the left wing and picking the top corner on Clay Stevenson just 1:11 into the game.

Down a goal the Express started to generate their chances. Haydn Delorme and Jack MacNab had rebound chances on an Express power play but couldn't beat Fleming. For MacNab this was the start of an unfortunate day as he had most of the best chances for the Express Sunday.

Moments later a shot from the left wing was stopped by Fleming and rebound came right to MacNab who was stoned by Fleming who fired out his glove hand. The Langley goaltender was leaving plenty of rebounds in front of the net, but the Express weren't able to find those loose pucks and jam them home. The first period shots finished 16-9 in favor of the Express.

As is usually the case between the Express and Rivermen, the game had a bit of a testy element to it. Haydn Delorme had his battles with Brady Berger among others and the Express forward saw his helmet spend more time on the ice than on his head as he was engaged in the physical aspect of the game.

The chances for the Express carried into the second period. Again Jack MacNab was robbed on a rebound chance by Braedon Fleming.

Then the game turned in a span of 52 seconds. Following some Langley puck control in the Express zone, the puck found Spencer Berry at the blueline whose seeing eye shot zipped over Stevenson's shoulder for a 2-0 Langley lead.

That goal rattled the Express a little and moments later it was Brady Berger powering the puck to the Express net and burying his own rebound for a 3-0 Rivermen advantage.

Those goals took some of the wind out of the sails of the Express. They weren't able to generate as many top notch chances as frequently before the two goals in 52 seconds.

One of the final chances for the Express in the second period saw Eric Linell ring a shot off the goal post.

In the third period Colby Pederson put a shot off the cross bar that had Fleming sprawling in an effort to make the save.

Eric Linell thought he had scored on a bang bang play at the side of the Rivermen net. And to cap things off Jack MacNab was robbed for a 4th time on a rebound in front of the net.

Colby Pederson did break the shutout of Fleming to cap off the scoring with 3:15 to play with the goaltender on the bench for the extra attacker.

The Express effort level was strong most of the night and they were the better team, but the Rivermen got the better goaltending. The shots finished 37-30 for the Express.

The regular season schedule for the Express concludes Friday night when they will host Langley in the second half of the home and home.

Langley's win combined with both Surrey and Chilliwack losing Sunday put the Rivermen two points up on both those clubs as they all battle for home ice advantage in a first round series.

As the Express keep an eye on the interior race and their first round opponent, it's still at this point the Penticton Vees who were victorious Sunday to remain two points up on the Vernon Vipers heading into the final week of the regular season.


Highlights of the Express 3-1 win over Prince George Saturday night.

Highlights produced by Eddie Gregory. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018


The Express played one of their more complete outings in recent weeks and came away with a 3-1 win over the Mainland division champion Prince George Spruce Kings. Click here for boxscore

The win snapped a 7 game losing streak for the Express.

Saturday night the Express dug in to play a game that saw them make smart plays in the defensive zone that translated into success in the other end.

In the Express crease Brock Hamm was in fine form. One of his best saves of the first period came on an Express power play to deny Dustin Manz on a shorthanded breakaway.

Late in the first period the Express opened the scoring starting in the defensive zone with Christian Sanda digging out a puck then feeding Eric Linell who fired a stretch pass that only Josh Wildauer could get a stick on then he fought off a Spruce Kings defender and roofed his 10th of the season.

The penalty killing was another aspect of the Express game that was on the mark. They killed off three Prince George powerplays in the first 21 minutes of the game to carry the one goal lead into the opening minutes of the 2nd period. Prince George finished 0 for 5 on the power play.

Colby Pederson did a lot of heavy lifting for the Express to battle for pucks through the night. He made a good play along the wall in the defensive zone to bounce off the glass to himself then rush it into the Spruce Kings zone then fire a perfect pass on the tap of Haydn Delorme racing to the net for a 2-0 Express lead.

The lead stood into the third period. The Express had to contend with a Spruce Kings team that works to control the puck in the offensive zone hoping to lead to breakdowns and chances. From a defensive stand point the Express did a good job of managing the Spruce Kings attack.

With just under 6 to play the Spruce Kings finally broke through when Dylan Anhorn from the blueline found Kyle Johnson alone in front of the Express net and he roofed the puck over a sprawled Hamm to break his shutout.

As the click ticked down the Express did get some shifts in the Spruce Kings end to help tick down the clock.

Then with just over a minute to play and the extra attacker on the ice for Prince George, the Express won a defensive zone draw and rimmed around the boards to centre ice eventually getting into the Prince George end where Christian Sanda sealed the game with a empty net goal. Sanda finished with a goal and an assist.

The Express salvaged the final game of the season series against the Spruce Kings. In fact the Express picked up their first win in two years vs. Prince George. It was Valentines day 2016 the last time the Express defeated the Spruce Kings who were 12-0-1 against the Express dating back to the start of last season.

Sunday the Express will play their final road game of the season with a visit to Langley. It the first game of a home and home with the Express wrapping up the regular season Friday night when they host the Rivermen. 


Highlights from the Vees 5-1 win over the Express Friday night.

Highlights produced by Eddie Gregory. 

Friday, February 16, 2018


Penticton completed a sweep of the Express in a home and home set. They followed up their 7-1 win Wednesday in Penticton with a 5-1 win Friday night in Coquitlam. Click here for boxscore

Like Wednesday's meeting some best scoring chances for the Express came in the first period, just the finish wasn't there. Jack MacNab powered the puck to the net creating a scramble opportunity that Vees goaltender Adam Scheel had to fight hard to keep out.

Cody Hough got the call for a second straight game as an AP on the blueline, like Wednesday he had some impressive moments. He was confidently moving the puck out of the D zone. He also had a good one timer chance.

Penticton opened the scoring on a power play on Nick Leiverman's slapshot that over powered Brock Hamm.

Late in the first period Lukas Sillinger pounced on a loose puck that was sitting in the Express zone and snapped a backhand through Brock Hamm's pads for a 2-0 Vees lead after the first period.

The Vees didn't wait until the third period to ramp up their game to another level.

Cassidy Bowes made it a 3-0 game burying the rebound of Leiverman's slapshot that wired off the glass.

Owen Sillinger followed Wednesday's two goal effort with another Friday. He buried a set up following some good passing in the Express zone for his 30th of the season on the power play. Penticton was 2 for 2 on the power play. The Express were 0 for 3.

Then Sillinger converted the prettiest goal of the night. Sillinger and Chris Klack broke out shorthanded and Black dished a beautiful backhand pass to Sillinger who scored his second of the night for a 5-0 lead after 40 minutes. The Vees outshot the Express 12-1 in the second period.

The game settled into auto pilot in the third period. Jack MacNab broke Scheel's shutout bid with his second goal in as many games with just 1:12 to play to round out the scoring at 5-1.

On a bright note for the Express they secured the final BCHL playoff spot courtesy of Nanaimo's 7-1 win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals. The Express will cross over to the Interior division and face the top seed which at this point will be Penticton.

Saturday night the Express will host the Mainland division champion Prince George Spruce Kings.