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Friday, October 13, 2017

WONG OT HERO FOR EXPRESS OVER RIVERMEN

The Express added to the overtime torment of the Langley Rivermen to give the Express a 2-1 win Friday night. Click here for boxscore

Lucas Wong's first BCHL goal gave the Express the win and dropped Langley to 0-6 in overtime this season.



Like a week ago between the two teams in Coquitlam it was a tight and tidy defensive game for the Express. This one only needed a few extra minutes for the Express to get the job done.

Dating back to Wednesday vs. Chilliwack the Express have been able to have veterans Will Lawrence, Mitch Newsome and Sam Kozlowski return to the lineup. That has allowed Head Coach Barry Wolff to spread some of his speedy forwards throughout the lineup.

Friday that balance paid off as the Express were able to roll through their lines consistently throughout the game and spend more time in the opposition zone.

The trio of Haydn Delorme, Colby Pederson and Eric Linell teamed up to open the scoring for the Express. Delorme chipped it in and Pederson got in on the forecheck to win the race for the puck and he set up Linell who snapped home the pass four minutes into the game. That would be the lone goal of the first period that saw Langley outshoot the Express 14-10.



Clay Stevenson got the call for the Express between the pipes. He had a steady game in the Express crease. He had to make some of his better saves of the night in the second period. He was very aggressive in his crease using his big frame to give the Langley shooters very little room to pick their spots.

Daneel Lategan late in the second snuck a shot from a sharp angle past Clay Stevenson to tie the game at one.

The Express penalty killing unit had a perfect five for five night. Most of those kills came at key times in the game as Alex Ambrosio was called for two penalties in quick succession late in the second period. The second of his penalties carried over into the third period.

Then in the final 7 minutes of the period the penalty killers shut down two more Rivermen powerplays.

At even strength in the third period the Express did a good job of rolling their lines and have some consistent puck control in the Rivermen zone. That work in the offensive zone made life easier for Clay Stevenson and the Express in their own end of the rink. Stevenson finished with 35 saves for his second victory of the season.

The game winning goal for the Express was a good reflection of the Express patience throughout the game. Sam Kozlowski button hooked inside the blueline to give himself some time, then he threw the puck at the net that was stopped by Lucas Wong reading the play went to the net and buried the rebound for the overtime winner on his first BCHL goal.

Coquitlam will play their next four outings on the road starting tomorrow night with the second meeting this week against Chilliwack. That will be followed by a weekend road trip next week in Victoria, Nanaimo and Powell River. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

CHIEFS POWER PAST EXPRESS


Jordan Schulting & Tommy Lee - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
Chilliwack struck three times on the power play in a 4-1 win over the Express Wednesday night. Click here for boxscore

Two of those goals came in the third period as the Chiefs put the clamp on the Express in the final period that saw them strike three times.

For the Express it was a night where they had very little puck luck to convert some of their best scoring chances throughout the game.

Among the best chances for the Express in the first period, Colby Pederson couldn't jam in a loose puck on the goal line with Chiefs netminder Mathieu Caron lying on his back in the crease. Seconds later Caron then made a glove save off Express captain Alex Ambrosio.

Chilliwack's footspeed lead to the Express being forced to take penalties in the opening period. On the Chiefs second power play of the night Tommy Lee buried the rebound of a Corey Andonovski one timer from the slot to open the scoring. That would be the lone goal of a first period that saw Chilliwack outshoot the Express 17-8.

Reid Cooper faced 48 shots - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
In the second period the Express ramped up their game and were matching the pace and even taking it to Chilliwack. It led to scoring chances but the finish wasn't there for the Express.

Eric Linell had a shot from the right wing that went through the pads of Caron but just missed the far post. A similar looking chance for Linell resulted in a scramble in the Chiefs crease and the Express couldn't bury the opportunity.

The Express hardwork resulted in them outshooting the Chiefs 15-13 in the period.

In the opening moments of the 3rd period a soft D to D pass behind the net was picked off and it was fed back to Matt Slick who beat Reid Cooper for a 2-0 Chilliwack lead.

That goal got Chilliwack back on their game who were without Head Coach Jason Tatarnic who was serving a one game suspension along with Jake Gresh for an illegal equipment infraction in their last game vs. Trail.

Will Lawrence gave the Express hope of a comeback scoring his first of the year with a quick shot over the shoulder of Caron for his 1st of the year at 2:47.



The third period belonged to Chilliwack as they went right back to work controlling the boards and leaning on the Express in their own zone.

Will Caverley tipped home a Tommy Lee one timer for a 3-1 Chiefs lead with Haydn Delorme in the box serving a double minor for high sticking.

Lucas Wong - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
On the final power play of the night for the Express Christian Sanda couldn't poke home a loose puck that was sitting in the goal crease which would have made it a 3-2 game. That chance really symbolized the Express inability to finish their scoring chances Wednesday.

The Chiefs capped off a strong night on the power play on a goal by Regan Kimens with 17 seconds left in the third period. Chilliwack finished 3 for 4 on the power play.

The shots finished 48-28 in favour of the Chiefs who outshot the Express 18-5 in a strong third period.

Up next for the Express is a Friday home game with Langley. Then they visit Chilliwack on Saturday night. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

COOPER STANDS TALL AGAIN AS RIVERMEN WIN IN FINAL MINUTE

Reid Cooper had his second straight stellar outing for the Express. But the finish was different this time around as the Langley Rivermen defeated the Express 3-2 thanks to a Angus Crookshank last minute goal.

Cooper made 37 saves was the sole reason this game went down to the wire and the Express nearly came out of the weekend with at least three points vs. Langley.

The first half of the game was the Reid Cooper show. He was peppered with 18 shots in the first period. The Rivermen were the faster team and it lead to numerous quality chances. But Cooper was proving he was as sharp Saturday as he was the night before.

What stands out watching Cooper is his ability to control his rebounds and keep them close enough to quickly pounce on them all while fighting through Langley traffic.

It was more of the same for Cooper in the second period. At the other end the Express started to generate some chances. Aidan Wagner who two great chances on the backhand and couldn't finish either of them.

Late in the second period Langley finally broke through on Cooper while shorthanded. Sam Kozlowski was knocked to the ice allowing the Rivermen to get the puck in the Express end. Moments later Trevor Ayre beat Cooper on a wraparound to open the scoring at 15:14.

Then came some controversy. With the Express on the power play Jordan Schulting fired a shot that hit the crossbar and bounced down and may or may not have gone in the net. The goal light was turned on, the Express bench thought it was a goal. But it remained a 1-0 Langley lead after two periods.

The Express entered the period only down a goal despite a 34-10 shot advantage for Langley.

Captain Alex Ambrosio pulled the Express even just 35 seconds into the period on his 4th of the season.

The third period saw the game settle into a tight struggle once the Express had tied it.

Ethan Leye broke the deadlock exactly 11 minutes later as he snuck a wrist shot from the left wing through Reid Cooper.

If we have learned anything about this Express team this week is that they have some resiliancy in the room.

Less than 90 seconds later Riley Johnson chipped a Sam Kozlowski pass over the glove of Braedon Fleming to tie the game at two.

In the dying seconds Brendan Budy fed the puck back to Carter Stephenson whose shot was stopped by Cooper, but a rebound squirted to Angus Crookshank who scored with 16.7 seconds left in the third period for what would turn out to be the game winning goal.

Despite the setback for the Express everyone in the building post game was speaking very highly about Reid Cooper's strong play. In the home and home with Langley this weekend he turned aside 79 of the 83 Langley shots sent his way.

Up next the Express host Chilliwack on Wednesday. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

COOPER STELLAR IN EXPRESS WIN OVER RIVERMEN

All smiles in a 2-1 win over Langley - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
Reid Cooper had his best outing of the year with 41 saves in a 2-1 Express win over the Langley Rivermen to open a weekend home and home set. Click here for boxscore

Reid Cooper - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
The Express got a structured effort for a full 60 minutes to post their second win of the season. The Express have also posted points in three straight games (2-0-0-1).

Little mistakes in the defensive zone have resulted in pucks ending up in the Express net which has cost them games this season. That can't be said on Friday night. Their structure combined with Cooper's strong play led to the victory for the Express.

In the first period the Express had a number of good chances to open the scoring. Alex Ambrsio chipped a puck just wide of the Langley net, Troy Robillard hit the post on the power play, and both Riley Johnson and Colby Pederson couldn't finish odd man rushes.

At the other end Reid Cooper set the tone for a strong night. First he stopped Angus Crookshank on a breakaway. Then moments later he made his best save of the night reaching back to deny Crookshank in the dying seconds of a Langley power play.



Jake Brien opened the scoring for the Express jumping into the rush and snapping a Eric Linell pass by Braedon Fleming at 19:33.

Cooper was dialed in all night long in the Express crease. He was seeing the puck well giving up very few second chances. Most notably when he made 15 second period saves.

Colby Pederson scores the GWG - Photo courtesy of Garrett James
Midway through the period the Express got a trade off in their favour when rookie defenseman Doug Scott did more than held his own against 20 year old and Rivermen leading goalscorer Nik Ponak in a fight. That tilt helped the Express who dressed 7 defensemen and had 6 for the rest of the night while Langley lost their top goal scorer following the automatic ejections.

Enterting the third period the Express needed to work hard on doing the little things well shift in and shift out to protect their one goal lead. From an entertainment standpoint it wasn't overly exciting. But it was very effective as the Express sat back in their structure.

Langley finally caught a break to get a puck past Cooper. John Wojciechowski's shot from a sharp angle handcuffed Cooper and bounced in to tie the game.



The Express didn't allow that goal to discourage them. They went right back to work and Colby Pederson going hard to the net buried the rebound of a Riley Johnson shot to re-store the Express lead just 37 seconds later at 14;39.

From there the Express clamped down and held on the rest of the way.

The re-match goes Saturday night in Langley. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

DRAMATIC FINISH SEES EXPRESS FALL IN OT TO WEST KELOWNA

The Express had a dramatic comeback in the final minute of the third period, but still fell by a score of 5-4 in overtime to the West Kelowna Warriors. Click here for boxscore

It was a valiant effort from the Express that showed character that fell just short at the end of the night.



It was the second meeting in two weeks between the Express and Warriors. The first meeting was a 7-2 decision for West Kelowna at the BCHL showcase. It was a different type game this time around.

The Express had their chances to open the scoring. Most notably Eric Linell had two good chances as he found himself alone behind the Warriors defense but couldn't get any of his two shots past the sprawled out pad of Warriors goaltender Nik Amundrud.

Cavin Tilsey opened the scoring for the Warriors. He converted a pass by Bennett Norlin past Reid Cooper for the only goal of the first period.

Midway through the second period the Warriors appeared to add to their lead. RJ Murphy pounced on a loose puck in the Express crease and poked it home. But after some discussion by the officials they ruled the net was knocked off.

Murphy only had two wait 40 seconds for his measure of revenge as he buried the rebound of a Willie Reim wrist shot to give the Warriors a 2-0 lead.

Captain Alex Ambrosio started the comeback for the Express two minutes later pouncing on Troy Robillard's point shot for a 2-1 Warriors lead through two periods.

Head Coach Barry Wolff has emphasized tightening up turnovers in key spots of the ice in the defensive zone that has lead to opposition goals this season.

Another turnover just inside the Express line allowed the Warriors to get the puck to Chase Dubois behind the Express defense and he outwaited Reid Cooper sliding home a backhand for a 3-1 Warriors lead.

Credit to the Express on this night for never giving up. Josh Wildauer buried the rebound of a Alex Ambrosio shot to make it a 3-2 game with 6:35 to go.

The Express had a glorious chance to tie the game. Amundrud ended up out near the ringette line as he raced to cover a loose puck. The Express poked it past him and two forwards somehow couldn't put the puck in the net vacated by the Warriors goaltender.

West Kelowna captain Jared Marino appeared to seal the victory with 1:18 remaining in the third period with a shot that just squeaked through Reid Cooper to make it 4-2.

That goal could have deflated any team that had just one win in their first eight games. But the Express have kept most of their games close and haven't been far off in most of them.

Jordan Schulting blasted a one timer for his second of the season with 56 seconds left in the third period to make it 4-3. That was followed 27 seconds later by a goal from Eric Linell digging the puck out of a scramble and scoring to send the game to overtime.

In 4 on 4 overtime it never really opened up for either side and create many scoring chances. As the Warriors had done most of the night they were patient working the puck in the Express zone hoping for a breakdown.

Cavin Tilsey found some room and used to gain entry in the Express zone. His shot hit the glass but the rebound bounced to the side of the Express net for Bennett Norlin who scored the game winner at 4:15.

The Express didn't do themselves any favours by going 0 for 7 on the power play against a Warriors team that has now killed off 31 straight shorthanded situations. From a discipline standpoint the Express did a pretty good job only giving West Kelowna a brief first period power play.

West Kelowna outshot the Express 46-36.

Up next for the Express is a home and home with Langley starting Friday in Coquitlam. 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

SPRUCE KINGS SPOIL EXPRESS HOME OPENER

Reid Cooper made 47 saves - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Prince George snapped a mini two game losing streak with a 5-3 win over the Express in their home opener. Click here for boxscore

Reid Cooper stood tall in the Express crease with 47 saves on 51 shots sent his way.

Colby Pederson - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Right off the bat the Express netminder was put to the test. He faced 21 Prince George shots in the first period. The only puck to beat him was off the stick of Dustin Manz who finished off a give and go with Patrick Cozzi with Manz snapping a shot past the glove of Cooper. That was the lone blemish in an otherwise strong period as Cooper did all he could to hold Prince George at bay.

In the second period breakdowns led to the Spruce Kings adding to their lead. Ben Poisson finished off a 2 on 1 to for a 2-0 lead. That was followed 1:26 later by a goal from Corey Cunningham burying the rebound of a Ryan Stack shot for a 3-0 lead by the 3 minute mark of the second period.

Down 3-0 the Express power play clawed them back into the game. First Jordan Schulting jumped in from the point and found a loose puck and scored his first of the season make it a 3-1 game at 15:14. Then 2:32 later Mitch Newsome's one timer missed the net but the rebound bounced to Christian Sanda who buried his 3rd of the season at 17:46.





J. Schulting had 1 goal & 1 assist - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Early in the third the Spruce Kings re-stored their two goal lead when Ben Brar behind the Express net on a crafty reverse pass set up Manz for his second of the game just two seconds after a Christian Sanda penalty came to an end.

Mitch Newsome scored with just 4 minutes remaining for his first of the season to pull the Express within one. Newsome finished with 1 goal and 1 assist.

But like last night in Salmon Arm a late third period penalty cut into the time the Express could have used to push for the equalizer.

In the final minute goaltender Reid Cooper was pulled for the extra attacker. But before the Express could get control of the puck it was fired up to Ben Brar who hit the empty net to seal the win for Prince George.

The final shots finished 52-21 for the Spruce Kings. The Express went 2 for 5 on the power play while killing of all 5 Spruce Kings powerplays.

The Express will seek their first win of the season Sunday afternoon vs. the Cowichan Valley Capitals.