EXPRESS MIXLR BROADCAST

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

FIRST NHL GOAL FOR YIP

You can mark it down on the calendar, former Express Brandon Yip scored his first NHL goal on December 22 2009 in his 3rd NHL game on Jonas Hiller of the Anahiem Ducks at 2:09 of the first period.

Check out the video of the goal below.



See his post game scrum below.

Monday, December 21, 2009

MATT COOK UPDATE

Here's an article on former Express captain Brady Cook's brother Matt from the Edmonton Journal.

Click here to read the article

Saturday, December 19, 2009

EXPRESS HIGHLIGHTS

Here's the highlights from Burnaby's two games this week vs. Williams Lake and Quesnel.

Below is the highlights from the Williams Lake 4-2 win over the Express.



Below is the highlights from Burnaby's 5-2 win over Quesnel Friday night.



Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen of Purple Penguin Productions.

YIP EXCITED FOR DEBUT


No surprise, Brandon Yip is very excited for his NHL debut tonight vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Adrian Dater of the Denver Post wrote a great article on the Express alum.

Click here to read the article

EXPRESS SPLIT FINAL 2 GAMES BEFORE BREAK

The Express split a pair home games this week, falling 4-2 Wednesday night to the Williams Lake Timbervoles. Then bounced back Friday night to head to the Christmas break on a winning note with a 5-2 win over the Quesnel Millionaires.

Wednesday, the Jekyl and Hide Express continued to leave people scratching their heads with their inconsistent performances.

After coming off a pair of solid outings the weekend before battling the Victoria Grizzlies and Surrey Eagles to overtime picking up 3 out of 4 points,

the Express put themselves in a position to finish their pre-christmas schedule on some form of a roll.

Williams Lake came to Burnaby with just one win on the road all season long, they arrived to the rink less than an hour before puck drop and it appeared the cards were lining up for the Express to take full advantage of the circumstances.

But it didn't happen, the Express did outshoot Williams Lake 40-31 and goaltender Evan Dauenhauer wasn't forced to be overly spectacular.

It was hard to comprehend how the Express didn't come out ready to play and jump on the Timberwolves early. As a result, Williams Lake opened the scoring on a powerplay goal by Jason Diehl in the final minute of the first period.

The Express did pull even early in the second on a pretty passing play of their own on the powerplay with Brad Reid re-directing a James Bettauer pass home at 2:04.

The game remained tied going into the third period. And by this point, the game was very much up for grabs and the vibe was the game could go either way. Nothing was giving you any indication that eventually the way the Express were playing they were going to pull away in spite of the 27-16 shot advantage through 40 minutes.

It's games like Wednesday's that can be really scary when a club like Williams Lake was allowed to hang around and be one shot away from taking the lead themselves.

That's exactly what they did with Justin Bardarson breaking the deadlock at 2:03 of the third to give Williams Lake their second lead of the game at 2-1.

Bardarson struck again with a powerplay marker 3 minutes later to give Williams Lake a 3-1 lead.

By that point you knew the game was over even with 15 minutes remaining in the game. The way Burnaby was playing there was no indication they were going to be able to make up the 2 goal deficit.

Justin Hogan scored Williams Lake's 3rd goal in a 5 minute span to ensure the T-Wolves victory on this night.

Garrick Perry rounded out the scoring with a shorthanded goal to make the final 4-2 Willams Lake.

This was a game the Express had to win if they were serious about keeping within striking distance of the Cowichan Valley Capitals for the final playoff spot in the Coastal Conference. The game was Burnaby's game in hand on the Caps. A win would have allowed them to pull within one point of the final playoff spot.

Last week Cowichan sent a message by defeating those same Timberwolves and Burnaby had to respond but failed to do so. It's losses like Wednesday night that make the hill steeper and steeper to climb for the Express in their push to for the playoffs.

Wednesday's result made Friday's game for Burnaby vs. Quesnel that much more vital.

They couldn't afford a similar let down for a second straight game.

Burnaby got off to a rare fast start with Brad Reid opening the scoring just 41 seconds into the game on a delayed penalty.

The lead lasted just 21 seconds however as Joshua Desmarais responded for Quesnel at 1:02.

From that point on, Express goaltender Nick Enegren showed he was ready to play. The Mills sent plenty of rubber his way in the first period. But the rookie netminder showed he was ready for the challenge. He was very aggressive in his crease challenging the shooters. Allowing the puck to hit him and limiting the rebounds.

The strong play of the Express goaltender kept the game tied and allowed them to take the lead late in the first period. Colby Kulhanek's wrist shot from just inside the blueline handcuffed Luke Siemens and slid in to re-store the Express lead at 18:26.

The goal for Kulhanek was just his second since coming to the Express, and his first since his Burnaby debut November 13th in Nanaimo. A span of 14 games.

With that goal the Express appeared to be in good shape to head to the room with the lead for what would have been just the 6th time all season.

But just seconds after Kulhanek's goal, Luke Challer was sent off after an undisciplined charging penalty giving Quesnel a late powerplay.

The Mills made Challer and the Express pay for the penalty as Desmarais scored his second of the game from Trevor Hertz and former Express Jacob Verheyden and the teams went to the room tied at 2.

The shots were 18-10 in the first period. And thanks to Nick Enegren's strong play, he kept his team in the game. And was the difference that prevented Burnaby from going to the dressing room trailing.

Burnaby re-stored their lead on a early powerplay as James Bettauer fired a shot past Siemens at 2:43.

The story again however in the second period was the play of Nick Enegren who stopped all 19 shots allowing Burnaby to take their lead to the third period.

Rich Manley rewarded the Express netminder with an insurance goal at 2:10 of the third period banging home a loose puck to give the Express a 4-2 lead.

Then rookie Alex Petan put the game away for the Express with his first BCHL goal from James Bettauer and Sean Dinsmore at 13:03 to put the Express up 5-2. Dinsmore's assist was his first BCHL point.

The 5-2 win for the Express takes away some of the sting of the loss to Williams Lake two nights before.

Shots:

Burnaby 35
Quesnel 46

Powerplays:

Burnaby 1/6
Quesnel 1/4

3 stars:

3. Jimmy Geerin - Had 1 assist on James Bettauer's game winning goal in the 2nd period.

2. Colby Kulhanek - 1 goal and 2 assists for the homeside.

1. Nick Enegren - The biggest reason for the Express victory stopping 44 of 46 shots he faced. Including all 28 sent his way in the final 2 periods.

Honourable mention:

James Bettauer - 1 goal and 3 assists from the Express blueliner.

Burnaby kept pace with the Capitals for the final playoff spot in the Coastal Conference as Cowichan Valley blanked Williams Lake 5-0 extending their winning streak to 5 games. The Express are still 3 points back of the Caps for the final playoff spot.

Cowichan Valley will wrap up their pre-christmas schedule Sunday vs. the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

Burnaby will now take 11 days off and return to action after the holidays on December 29th at home vs. the Langley Chiefs.

Friday, December 18, 2009

YIP GETS CALL FROM AVALANCHE


(Taken from Avalanche website.)

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has recalled forwards Chris Durno and Brandon Yip from the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League.

Yip, 24, missed the first two months of the season due to a hand injury suffered during a preseason game on Sept. 18 at St. Louis. He made his professional debut with Lake Erie on Dec. 1 and has gone on to record two goals in six games with the Monsters. Colorado’s seventh selection (eighth round, 239th overall) in the 2004 Entry Draft, Yip spent the past four seasons at Boston University (Hockey East), where he helped the Terriers win the 2009 NCAA championship as a senior.

He played 2 seasons with the Express from 03-05 scoring 51 goals and 131 points in 99 career games.

Durno, 29, is being recalled for the fourth time this season. He has collected two points (0g/2a) with a +2 plus/minus rating in nine games with the Avalanche this year. The Scarborough, Ontario native has tallied 18 points (10g/8a) in 17 games with the Monsters, ranking him second on the club in scoring. He is tied for first on the Monsters in goals.

The Avalanche also announced that forwards Justin Mercier and Ryan Stoa have been reassigned to Lake Erie.

Yip is expected to make his NHL debut Saturday night when Colorado takes on Columbus.

Monday, December 14, 2009

EAGLES @ EXPRESS HIGHLIGHTS

Here's the highlights of Saturday's 4-3 OT win for the Eagles over the Express.



Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen of Purple Penguin Productions.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

KNEE INJURY SIDELINES WIERCIOCH'S WORLD JUNIOR BID


A pre-existing knee injury has ended former Express Patrick Wiercioch's bid to make Canada's National Junior team for the upcoming World Junior Championships in Saskatchewan later this month.

Hockey Canada's medical staff has sent Wiercioch back to his college club the Denver Pioneers due to the injury following his medical exam.

Tyler Cuma of the Ottawa 67's has been called up to take Wiercioch's place at camp.

Wiercioch was one of the players cut from camp before the tournament got underway last year.

Ottawa selected Wiercioch in the 2nd round of the 2008 NHL draft 42nd overall.

Wiercioch played with the Express in the 06-07 season as a 16 year old scoring 9 goals and 25 points in 42 games.

He then went to the Omaha Lancers of the USHL where he won a national championship in 2008.

Wiercioch is in his second season at Denver where he has 2 goals and 10 assists in 16 games.

EAGLES NEED OT TO DEFEAT EXPRESS


The Express picked up 3 out of 4 possible points this weekend after falling 4-3 in overtime to the Surrey Eagles Saturday night. That result comes 24 hours after a dramatic 5-4 win for the Express over Victoria Friday.

Burnaby has now picked up points in 3 of their last 4 games. The only game in that span where the Express didn't pick up points was last Sunday vs. the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

The red hot Rich Manley opened the scoring on one of the most beautiful goals you will see this season in the BCHL.

With the Express shorthanded, Brad Reid broke away with Manley, Reid came down the left wing lost his footing as he entered Surrey's zone, he was still able to dish the puck across the puck to Manley who knocked the puck out of the air and past Vinny Lessard.

The goal for Manley was his 5th in his last two games. That goal comes after Manley's first career 4 goal game in junior 24 hours earlier vs. Victoria.

Reid's helper extended his point streak to 4 games. (4G, 4A) And in Reid's last 7 games he has 6G, 4A, 10PTS.

Burnaby opened the 2nd period with a 2 man advantage for a full 2 minutes with Surrey being assessd a roughing penalty to Wes Vannieuwenhuizen and a bench minor at the 20:00 mark of the first period following some rough stuff at the horn.

Jimmy Geerin added to Burnaby's lead on the powerplay as he blasted home his 4th of the season to give the Express a 2-0 lead just 39 seconds into the second period.

The goal for Geerin extended his point streak to 4 games. (3G, 2A). Furthermore, Geerin has 3 goals and 6 assists for 9 points in his 11 games.

Surrey cut into Burnaby's lead midway through the 2nd period as Jason Grecica chipped the puck over Nick Enegren at 11:15.

Then in the final minute of the 2nd period the Eagles pulled even. Chris Santiago jammed the puck under Nick Enegren who was lying on the ice but behind his goal line and the powerplay goal saw the two teams head to the third period tied at 2.

It didn't take long for the Eagles to take their first lead of the game in the third period. Mike Krgovich came down the left wing and put a perfect pass on the tape of Grant Toulmin who had a tap in on a 2 on 1 break to give Surrey a 3-2 lead just 36 seconds into the third period.

The goal didn't rattle the recenlty resiliant Express. James Bettauer pulled the Express even less than 4 minutes later as his blast changed directions on Vinny Lessard and dribbled in to tie the game at 3.

The Express have now erased a third period deficit in 3 of their last 4 games.

For the 2nd straight meeting between these two teams at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre, Vinny Lessard was the difference between the Express and victory. He stopped 34 of 35 Express shots in a 2-1 Surrey win on October 17th. On this night, Lessard stopped 39 of 42 Express shots through 60 minutes as the teams went to overtime.

The extra session didn't last long as the Eagles controlled the puck in the opening minute of overtime in the Express zone, they bided their time and Adam Basford found Cole Gelly pinching in and the Eagles defenceman made no mistake picking the top corner on Nick Enegren for Gelley's 1st goal of the season on the only shot of overtime at 1:03 to give Surrey the 4-3 win.

The encouraging sign for the Express is the amount of rubber they've directed towards the oppostion goal the last 2 games. 42 Saturday vs. Surrey and 49 Friday vs. Victoria for 91 total shots on goal in the last 2 games.

It's also encouraging to see the Express show the ablity to come from behind in the third period for the 3rd time in the last 4 games.

In the race for the playoffs, the Express did fall one point back of Cowichan Valley as they knocked off the Prince George Spruce Kings 3-2 Saturday night. The Caps will wrap up their northern road trip Sunday afternoon in Williams Lake.

The expansion Timberwolves will be Burnaby's next opponent as they will pay a visit to the Bill Copeland Sports Centre Wednesday night. Then the pre-christmas schedule will wrap up for the Express Friday night when the Express host Jacob Verheyden and the Quesnel Millionaires.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

GRIZZLIES @ EXPRESS HIGHLIGHTS

Here's the highlights of Friday's 5-4 dramatic OT win for the Express over the Grizzlies.



Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen of Purple Penguin Productions.

MANLEY'S CAREER NIGHT LEADS EXPRESS IN COMEBACK WIN

Rich Manley had a night he'll never forget Friday at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre. The Buffalo native scored all 4 Express goals in regulation including the game tying goal with 3:27 remaining in the third period.

Then Brad Reid the former Victoria Grizzly played overtime hero scoring the game winning goal on a breakaway.

Victoria got off to a quick start by opening the scoring on their first shot of the game by Alex Allan just 16 seconds into the game.

By the time the second period was a minute old Victoria had built up a 3-0 advantage. Then Rich Manley went to work chipping away at the Victoria lead. He cut the lead down to two with his first of the game at 3:21.

Victoria restored their three goal lead moments later when Alex Allan set up Dustin Mowrey who blasted home the feed to give Victoria a 4-1 lead.

The Grizzlies top line of Alex Allan, Dustin Mowrey and Madison Dias was putting on quite a show of their own in the first half of the game combining for 4 goals and 6 assists for 10 points leading the Victoria attack.

Manley again cut Victoria's lead down to 2 before the 2nd period was done with his second of the game.

The Express went to the third trailing by 2 and the numbers indicated that a comeback was unlikely as the Express went into the third period Friday night with a record of 0-17 when trailing after 2 periods.

Manley completed his first BCHL hat-trick at 6:28 with a powerplay goal to cut the Victoria lead to one.

The momentum that Burnaby was building at that point could have been easily squashed seconds after Manley's third goal with Luke Challier being called for Unsportsmanlike conduct. The Express penalty killers bailed out their aggitator by killing off the penalty allowing themselves to stay withing striking distance of Victoria.

Manley continued his career night scoring his 4th of the game on a delayed penalty to Victoria to complete the Express comeback.

Hear Manley's 4th of the game here.

Manley joined some prestigous company in the Express 4 goal game club. Kyle Turris 4x, & Tyler McNeely are the only other players I have under my records who have scored 4 goals in a game. (My records go back only as far as the 04-05 season.)

The Grizzlies had one last chance to win the game before regulation was done when rookie defenceman Stefan Gonzales was called for tripping at 18:32. The Grizzlies had their chances before the third was done including Dustin Mowrey snapping a shot off the crossbar.

The Express held off at least until the end of regulation to pick up one point. They then killed off the remaining seconds of the Gonzales penalty in overtime at 4 on 3.

With a second life, the Express took advantage of the big kill and finished off the Grizzlies as Brodie Jamieson put a perfect stretch pass on the tape of Brad Reid who made no mistake on the breakaway deking to the forehand and sliding it past Ryan Holfield to give the Express their first OT win of the season.

Hear Reid's OT winner here.

The win allowed the Express to keep pace with the Cowichan Valley Capitals for the 7th and final playoff spot in the Coastal Conference as Cowichan Valley knocked off Quesnel 5-4 in Quesnel Friday.

Burnaby's attack generated a season high 49 shots on the Victoria goal Friday night.

The Express will return to action Saturday night when they play host to the Surrey Eagles.

Friday, December 11, 2009

HEROLD NAMED TO ALL STAR TEAM


Burnaby captain Dylan Herold will represent the Express at this years All Star game in Nanaimo.

Herold's in his 4th and final season in the BCHL. This season he has 11 goals and 6 assists for 17 points in 32 games.

Here's the full press release from the BCHL...

The British Columbia Hockey League today announced the team of All-Stars that will take on the Vernon Vipers at the 2010 BCHL All-Star Game in Nanaimo on January 13th in Nanaimo. The BCHL All-Star squad includes a starting line-up and two coaches from each conference, Coastal and Interior.

Coastal Conference Starting Line-Up:

Forwards: Colton Beck (Langley Chiefs), Mike Krgovich (Surrey Eagles), Mitch MacMillan (Alberni Valley Bulldogs). Defencemen: Mat Bodie (Powell River Kings), Jordan Heywood (Victoria Grizzlies). Goaltender: Frank Slubowski (Alberni Valley Bulldogs).

Interior Conference Starting Line-Up:

Forwards: Trevor Bailey (Westside Warriors), Denver Manderson (Penticton Vees), Mark Zengerle (Salmon Arm SilverBacks). Defencemen: Brendan Ellis (Westside Warriors), Wes McLeod (Prince George Spruce Kings). Goaltender: Sean Bonar (Penticton Vees).

The complete BCHL All-Star Team line-up includes 12 forwards, 7 defencemen and 3 goaltenders and includes at least on representative from each BCHL team.

Forwards: Trevor Bailey (Westside Warriors), Justin Bardarson (Williams Lake Timberwolves), Colton Beck (Langley Chiefs), Beau Bennett (Penticton Vees), Cody Bremner (Nanaimo Clippers), Dylan Herold (Burnaby Express), Trever Hertz (Quesnel Millionaires), Mike Krgovich (Surrey Eagles), Mitch MacMillan (Alberni Valley Bulldogs), Denver Manderson (Penticton Vees), Andrew Pettitt (Powell River Kings), Mark Zengerle (Salmon Arm SilverBacks).

Defencemen: Mat Bodie (Powell River Kings), Brendan Ellis (Westside Warriors), Jordan Heywood (Victoria Grizzlies), Wes McLeod (Prince George Spruce Kings), Graeme Strukoff (Trail Smoke Eaters), Shayne Taker (Cowichan Valley Capitals), Steve Tresierra (Merritt Centennials).

Goaltenders: Loic Boivin (Nanaimo Clippers), Sean Bonar (Penticton Vees), Frank Slubowski (Alberni Valley Bulldogs).

The league also announced its All-Star Game coaches, who are selected based on team winning percentage as of December 1st. Nolan Graham and Shane Kuss were selected from the Coastal Conference, while Mark Ferner and Fred Harbinson represent the Interior Conference.

Under this season's new All-Star Game format, Harbinson will serve as head coach for the BCHL All-Stars, assisted by Graham and Kuss. Ferner will lead the Vernon Vipers alongside the rest of the Vipers' coaching staff.

The 2010 BCHL All-Star Game takes place on Wednesday, January 13th at the Frank Crane Arena in Nanaimo. For more information on the game, including ticketing and additional All-Star Week events, visit nanaimoclippers.com.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

EXPRESS RACE TO THE PLAYOFFS

Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Cowichan Valley Capitals was costly enough in a crucial 4 point game vs. the team the Express are directly battling with for the final playoff spot in the Coastal Conference.

The teams are tied with 21 points in the standings through 33 games, but Cowichan has the tie-breaker with a record of 10-22-0-1 compared to Burnaby's record of 9-21-0-3. Cowichan winning the last 2 head to head meetings doesn't help the Express cause as well.

With that in mind, I did a little number crunching to project where the two teams will finish in the standings. And the picture isn't pretty for the Express.

As we all know, the Express got off to a 5-0-0-1 start in the month of September for a total of 11 points in the first 6 games. Knowing what we know now, the record in the month of September was the exception rather than the rule. In that same time frame, the Caps record was 1-4-0-1 for 3 points in their first 6 games this season.

In the 27 games played since then, the Express have gone 4-21-0-2 for 10 points. In the same time, the Caps have gone 9-18-0-0 for 18 points.

So going back to the 6 game mark, I calculated both the Express and Capitals 54 game pace for the rest of the season.

Burnaby's 54 game pace since game 6 of the season is, 8-42-0-4 for 20 points. Cowichan's 54 game pace in the same time frame is 18-36-0-0 for 36 points.

Considering the pace that the two teams are on since game 6 of the season, that would see Cowichan Valley finish with a record of 19-40-0-1 for 39 points if you add their 54 game pace to the record they posted in their first 6 games.

Burnaby's final number will be 13-42-0-5 for 31 points if you add Burnaby's record after game 6 and the pace they're currently setting since their 5-0-0-1 start in September.

The math is simple, the pace the Express are on will see them miss the playoffs by 8 points considering where the two clubs are projected to finish the season if they maintain current pace in addition their record at the 6 game mark of the season.

If we use Cowichan Valley's magic number of a 39 point pace, the Express will have to post a 9-17-1 mark in their final 27 games to eclipse the Capitals in the standings and hit the 40 point mark. (Considering that Cowichan Valley maintains their tie-breaker advantage over Burnaby.)

And if Burnaby is to finish ahead of the Capitals for the final playoff spot, they will need to win the final head to head meeting between the two teams on Sunday February 14th at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

Looking at the schedule leading up to that matchup, Burnaby will be coming off a 2 day break after playing host to the Powell River Kings on Thursday February 11th.

For Cowichan Valley, they will be playing their 3rd game in less than 3 nights plus travel after playing at home Friday and Saturday leading up to the final matchup with Burnaby.

Considering what we know now, the Express have to pick up their pace.

LUCIC APPEARS ON VH1

Former Express Milan Lucic may be on the shelf with a high ankle sprain, but that doesn't mean he's still not getting around. He made an appearance this week at VH1's top 20 countdown. He talked about the upcoming Winter Classic January 1st between his Bruins and Flyers at Fenway Park.

Check out the video below courtesy of NHL.com

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

YIP VIDEO POSTED

It's a few days old, but I found a post game interview with Brandon Yip this past week with the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL shortly following his professional debut.

Check out the video below in the Dekanich sent to ECHL posting to see the video.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

DEKANICH ECHL GOALIE OF THE WEEK

(Taken from Nashville Predators website)


Second-year pro picks up pair of wins during week

CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Cincinnati Cyclones, ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators, have learned that goaltender Mark Dekanich has been named the Reebok Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Week. He becomes the first Cyclones player this season to earn a Player of the Week honor from the league.

Dekanich, 23, is in his second professional season and prior to this past weekend had every game of his career with Milwaukee (AHL). On Friday night (December 4), he turned aside 24 shots in regulation time and stonewalled Florida through four rounds of the shootout to claim a 2-1 victory in his ECHL debut. Saturday night (December 5), Mark re-routed all 27 Everblades shots in the Cyclones 3-0 win. He was recalled by Milwaukee on Sunday (December 6).

In Milwaukee this season, he is 5-5-2 with a 2.78 goals against average and a .891 save percentage. Mark had a season-high 29 save performance in a 2-1 win against Rockford on October 30. Last season, he was 15-10-2 with a 2.09 goals against average and a .923 save percentage. In 2008-09, he had six games with 30 or more saves—highlighted by a 46 save effort in a 3-2 win at Rockford on March 11. He also had a 27 save shutout at Chicago on February 20

The six-foot-two, 192 pounder from North Vancouver, BC was a fifth round draft pick (number 146 overall) of the Nashville Predators in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He played four seasons collegiately at Colgate, where Dekanich turned in a 52-45-16 ledger with eleven shutouts. He had a 2.25 goals against average and a .923 save percentage. Mark holds the Colgate record for career save percentage (.923) and is second in goals against (2.25) and has the third-most wins (52). He holds ten of Colgate’s school records for goaltending.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

CAPS @ EXPRESS HIGHLIGHTS

Here's the highlights of Sunday's 4-1 Cowichan Valley win over the Express at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre Sunday afternoon.



Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen and Purple Penguin Productions.

CAPS PULL EVEN WITH EXPRESS

The Cowichan Valley Capitals pulled even with the Express for the 7th and final Coastal Conference playoff spot with a 4-1 win over the Express Sunday afternoon.

The Express had a chance to open up a 4 point lead on the Caps in the standings, but they let it slip through their hands with a lackluster effort Sunday.

Burnaby's penalty killers rose to the challenge early in the first period with the Express taking 3 straight penalties and killing them all off. Included in that, was a 5 on 3 for the Capitals for 1:20.

The game remained scoreless until the 2nd period when Nick Anderson set up Jackson Garrett on the powerplay for a tap in at the lip of the Express crease.

Buranby had a reply with a powerplay marker of their own, Jimmy Geerin fired a pass up to Kolby Kulhanek who set up Brad Reid who re-directed it home to tie the game at 1.

The goal for Reid was his 3rd in his last 2 games. And he now has 5 goals and 1 assist in his last 5. Jimmy Geerin meanwhile now has 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points in his last 9 outings.

Cowichan Valley re-stored their lead in the final minute of the 2nd period. Nick Anderson converted a Mike Hammond feed at 19:33.

When these two teams met 3 weeks ago in Cowichan, Laurent Brossoit put on a show in the third period stopping all 20 Express shots to seal a 35 save shutout a 3-0 Caps win.

A similar performance wasn't required Sunday. The 16 year old made the saves when called upon. Not too many of the 25 shots he faced were overly difficult. Brossoit has stopped 59 of 60 Express shots sent his way the last two games.

Cowichan Valley put the game away with goals by Nick Amies and Jackson Garrett's second of the game.

The Caps top line of Jackson Garrett, Mike Hammond and Nick Anderson all finished with 3 points. Garrett (2G, 1A), Anderson (1G, 2A) and Hammond (3A).

The Express and Caps are now even in the Coastal Conference standings with 21 points apiece. But Cowichan has the tie-breaker with 10 wins to 9 for Burnaby.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

DEKANICH SENT TO ECHL


Former Express and Nashville Predators draft pick Mark Dekanich has been sent from the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals to the ECHL's Cincinatti Cyclones.

Dekanich had a fine first season of pro hockey last year in Milwaukee posting a 15-10-2 record with a 2.09 GAA and a .923 save percentage. But it's been a much different story this season, his numbers are some of the worst he's posted since his BCHL days with the Coquitlam Express. His record is just 5-5-2 with a 2.99 GAA and a save percentage uncharacterisctally below .900 at .891.

Since the demotion, Dekanich has posted a 2-0 record. He stopped 24 shots in a 2-1 win over the Flordia Everblades Friday night. Then in the rematch Saturday, Dekanich did one better stopping all 27 shots to post the shutout in a 3-0 win.

In other Express alumni news from the AHL, Brandon Yip scored his first professional goal in his first professional game with the Lake Erie Monsters this past week. Yip missed the first 22 games of the season with a hand injury suffered in training camp.



Yip is teammates with one of his former mates with the Express, Brock Bradford is 3rd in Lake Erie scoring with 12 points in 23 games. Bradford played with the Express from 02-04. Then went to the USHL to finish his junior career.

From there, Bradford was off to Boston College for 4 seasons. He won a National championship in his 3rd season at BC, and was the team captain last season. Bradford who was drafted by Boston in 2005 never signed with the Bruins after his college career.

Kyle Turris had a pair of assists but it wasn't enough as his San Antonio Rampage fell to the Houston Aeros 3-2 Friday night. He has 5 goals and 11 assists for 16 points in 22 games.

Keith Seabrook scored 1 goal for the Abbotsford Heat as they took care of the Rochester Americans 6-2 Saturday night in the Fraser Valley. This season Seabrook has 6 goals and 6 assists in 28 games.

Paul Crowder has 6 goals and 5 assists in 25 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack. Saturday the Wolf Pack went down 4-1 to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

CHIEFS @ EXPRESS HIGHLIGHTS

Here's the highlights from Burnaby's 5-4 win over the Langley Chiefs Friday night.

Now, normally I don't do this, but I hope there's some disciplinary action handed down on Brandon Thompson for his headshot on Malcom Mckinney. The puck is off his stick for at last 3/4's of a second before he is layed out. Don't believe me, see the hit at 2:45 mark of the video.



Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen of Purple Penguin Productions.

EXPRESS KNOCK OFF CHIEFS AGAIN

The Express only have 2 wins since the start of November, Both of those "W's" however have come vs. their long time rivals the Langley Chiefs. And both of those wins have come by identical 5-4 scores.

Last night two teams heading in similar directions met up at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre. Both teams riding 5 game losing streaks heading in.

Some of Langley's reasons for their struggles was getting off to bad starts. And the opposition lighting up the Chiefs penalty killing. Heading into Friday's game, the oppostion was 14 for 51 on the powerplay in Langley's last 8 games 27.45%.

The problems would manifest itself for the Chiefs again on this night at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

Burnaby found themselves shorthanded in the games opening minute with Jimmy Geerin being sent off for interference just 21 seconds into the game. But it was the Express finding the back of the net.

Rich Manley aggressively forechecking forced a turnover in the Langley zone and stole the puck and fed Brad Reid in the slot who deked and slid the puck past Mark Friesen to open the scoring 90 seconds into the game. The goal was Reid's third shorthanded marker of the season and the 6th shorty of the season for the Express.

Hear Reid's shorthanded goal here.

The Express showed plenty of energy in the games opening 10 minutes buzzing in the Langley zone and opening up an early 9-2 advantage in shots on goal.

Luke Challier nearly extended the Express lead to two as he got behind the Chief defence but was stopped by Friesen on the partial breakaway.

A bad bounce allowed the Chiefs to pull even late in the first period. Josh Meyers cut in the Express zone on the right wing while the Chiefs were on a powerplay and he put the puck towards the net and it went off the skate of Simon Denis handcuffing Harrison May and slid in the net to tie the game.

Langley started the 2nd period on a powerplay with James Bettauer being called for roughing at the 20:00 mark of the first period.

It didn't take long for the Chiefs to take advantage of the powerplay as Colton Beck slid the puck across to Meyers who scored on the 2 on 1 just 7 seconds into the second period to give the Chiefs their first lead of the game.

The Express had a reply on a powerplay of their own just over 4 minutes later as Jimmy Geerin's point shot found its way past Friesen to tie the game with his 2nd of the season.

Hear Geerin's first goal of the game here.

The seasaw battle continued in the second period as a shot from the left wing was kicked out by Harrison May but Mac Roy buried the juicy rebound to restore Langley's lead at 3-2.

The officials played a hand in Langley's 4th goal as a Burnaby clearing attempt hit the linesman who failed to get out of the way. That allowed Colton Beck to turn the play the other way and set up Tim Daly to give Langley a 4-2 lead at 10:19.

A 2 goal disadvantage didn't discourage the Express on this night. Just 2:21 after Daly's tally, Brad Reid cut to the net and jammed home his second of the game on the powerplay to cut the Chiefs lead to one.

Hear Reid's second goal of the game here.

Langley had a great chance to re-store their two goal advantage as Colton Beck was set up at the lip of the crease and somehow couldn't re-direct the pass into the gaping cage instead putting the puck out of play.

The blown opportunity would be just the break that the Express would need.

Moments after Beck's miss, Burnaby tied the game on another powerplay as Jimmy Geerin scored his second of the game firing a shot off the post and in to pull the Express even at 4.

Hear Geerin's 4-4 goal here.

Late in the second, what the officials giveth away, they can also taketh away. The clearing attempt that allowed the Chiefs to score their 4th goal was follwed by a break the other way for the Express, Langley appeared to have a tap into an empty net for what could have been Langley's 5th goal but didn't happen as referee Kam Poirier got in the way of a shot and that was heading in keeping the game even at 4.

After a 6 goal second period, the offence cooled off in the third. Burnaby had their chances to break the deadlock. Garrick Perry was stopped on a 2 on 1 with Brad Reid. Luke Challier rang a shot off the crossbar and it stayed out.

Finally in the final minute the Express broke the deadlock. James Bettauer wired a shot that powered its way through Friesen to give the Express a 5-4 lead with just 19 seconds left.

Burnaby killed the remaning seconds on the clock and held on for the victory. The loss extended Langley's losing streak to 6 games.

The Express got top performances from their best players. Brad Reid (2G, 1A) and Rich Manley (3A) each had 3 points. Jimmy Geerin chipped in with a pair of powerplay goals from the blueline. And James Bettauer also had 1 goal and 1 assist from the Express backend.

Special teams was prominent in the Express attack with 3 powerplay goals and a shorthanded marker to open the scoring.

The win combined with Cowichan Valley's 7-3 loss in Powell River, propelled the Express into the 7th and final playoff spot in the Coastal Conference. Burnaby is now 2 points up on the Caps and the two teams will go head to head in a crucial matchup Sunday afternoon at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

EXPRESS APPLY FOR RE-LOCATION


The Burnaby Express are one step closer to returning to their original home in Coquitlam.

They filed their application for re-location to the BCHL Tuesday. The application is for the franchise to return to their original home in Coquitlam for the 10-11 season where the Express called home from 2001-2005.

The application is now in the hands of the BCHL where it will be reviewed then forwarded to the BCHL's board of Governors for a vote during the annual meeting during the All Star Game festivities in Nanaimo in January.

Attendance has steadily declined from an average of 992 in the Express first season in Burnaby in 05-06 their Royal Bank Cup season, to 583 through 13 home games this season. The Express average attendance was 1091 in their final season in Coquitlam in 04-05.

The Coquitlam Sports Centre where the Express called home in Coquitlam is currently under massive renovations that will see the facility dramatically improved from when the Express left in 2005.

Click below to hear my interview with Express President and GM Darcy Rota and Head Coach Dave Mclellan on the application for re-location filed Tuesday. video

For more on this story read Dan Olson's article from the Coquitlam Now Newspaper by clicking on the link below.

Click here to read the article

To check out the Coquitlam Sports Centre renovation project website click on the link below.

Click here to visit Coquitlam Sports Centre renovation project website

Monday, November 30, 2009

INJURIES STRIKE EXPRESS ALUM


It's been a rough season for some Express alumni in the NHL.

Last week Milan Lucic went down with a high ankle sprain suffered vs. the Minnesota Wild. That injury came shortly after Lucic returned to the Bruins lineup after suffering a fractured finger and missing 14 games.

Lucic is expected to miss at least 4 weeks.

Meanwhile the news for David Jones is worse, he expected to miss the next 4 to 6 months after suffering a torn ACL Saturday vs. Minnesota.

The former Express captain was having a breakout season, his 3rd with the Avalanche. He had 10 goals (2nd on the Avs behind Milan Hejduk) and 16 points in 23 games.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

EXPRESS WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS

Here's the highlights from Burnaby's two home games this weekend vs. Powell River and Nanaimo.

Click below to see the highlights vs. Powell River Friday.



Click below to see the highlights vs. Nanaimo Saturday.



Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen and Purple Penguin Productions.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

KINGS TOP LINE BURIES EXPRESS

Andrew Pettitt, Matt Garbowsky and Ben Schmidt each had 3 points to lead the Powell River attack as the Kings knocked off the Express 5-3 at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre Friday night.

The Kings used quick strike offence at various points of time to break the game open.

Andrew Pettitt and Matt Garbowsky scored 1:53 apart in the first period to give the Kings a 2-0 lead after 1 period.

Pettitt then added his second of the game early in the second to extend Powell River's leadto 3.

That's when the Express tried to mount a comeback. Garrick Perry scored a powerplay goal banging home a rebound to get the Express on the board. That was followed by Brad Reid sliding the puck under Micheal Garteig to cut the lead down to one.

But then the Kings used a quick strike attack again to re-store their 3 goal lead. Matt Bodie blasted home a slap shot through the legs of Nick Enegren to give Powell River a 4-2 lead.

That goal spelled the end of the night for Enegren who was replaced by veteran Harrison May. The Kings didn't give May a polite welcome to the game. Just 17 seconds after Bodie's goal, Garbowsky set up Pettitt on a 2 on 1 to give Powell River a 5-2 lead. The 2 on 1 break was the first shot that Harrison May faced since coming off the bench to replace Enegren.

Dylan Herold cut the Kings lead to 2 scoring 90 seconds into the third period. Herold then thought he had pulled the Express back within one when he scored from centre ice on Garteig. The goal was waved off with Luke Challier still in the Kings zone and the play was offside.

The Express got another close call when David Dotan's point shot changed directions on Garteig and got past him, the red light came on and the Express thought they had scored, but it hit the post and stayed out.

That would be as close as the Express would come as the Kings held on the rest of the way.

Shots:

Burnaby 34
Powell River 29

Powerplays:

Burnaby 1/5
Powell River 0/2

3 stars:

3. Dylan Herold - 1 goal and 1 assist for the Express captain.

2. Andrew Pettitt - 2 goals and 1 assist for Powell River.

1. Ben Schmidt - Also had 3 points for the Kings, 1 goal and 2 assists.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

EXPRESS SWAP D-MEN WITH SILVERBACKS



The Burnaby Express and Salmon Arm Silverbacks have swapped defencemen.

The Express sent Matt Ridley to Salmon Arm in exchange for Mike Puddifant.

Ridley was in and out of the lineup this season scoring 2 goals and 5 assists for 7 points in 16 games.

Ridley had his ups and downs while with the Express this season. There's no questioning his skill with the puck. He can deke out of a phone booth with 5 players inside it. But he was Ridley was prone to turnovers in his own zone which resulted in opposition goals.

The Express coaches tried one last experiment with Ridley at forward last Friday in Langley. That lasted one period and that was it.

Puddifant, a Salmon Arm native is an 18 year old who is in his 2nd season in the BCHL. He's listed at 6'0 192lbs.

This season he has 1 goal and 2 assists in 28 games. In 84 career BCHL games, Puddifant has 2 goals and 7 assists for 11 points.

I'm not sure if Puddifant will make it to the Lower Mainland in time for tonight's game in Surrey.

Thank you to Matt for your contributions to the Express. And welcome Mike to the organization.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

SEABROOK ARTICLE


The Coquitlam Now newspaper recently did a feature on former Express Keith Seabrook who is in his first professional season with the Abbotsford Heat of the AHL.

Click here to read the article

Monday, November 23, 2009

VIPERS @ EXPRESS HIGHLIGHTS

Here's the highlights of Vernon's 8-1 win over the Express Sunday afternoon.



Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen and Purple Penguin Productions.

TRACKING EXPRESS ALUMNI

I've made it easier for you to track Express players of years gone by. I've added a number of links to former Express players info from HockeyDB.

Just scroll below and you will see a list of 10 former Express players. Just click onto the link and it will take you to their HockeyDB page.

If there's a player you would like to see added, feel free to leave a comment and I will add a link.

VIPERS PUT ON A SHOW AT COPELAND

It was quite the display of speed and skill from the Vernon Vipers who took care of the Burnaby Express 8-1 Sunday afternoon.

This meeting was a much different story from the last time these two teams met back on October 4th in Vernon where the Vipers prevailed 4-2. That day the Express slowed the pace down and played a tight defensive game allowing the game to go down to the wire.

Sunday, Vernon jumped on Burnaby early getting the puck in their zone, and the defending RBC Cup champions used their speed to work the puck in the offensive zone and not allowing Burnaby to come out of their end in the games opening moments.

Vernon's quick puck movement, speed in pursuit of the puck and overall team speed was something to behold. Vernon used that relentless attack in the games opening minutes to set the tone for the rest of the game.

The Vipers opened the scoring less than 5 minutes into the game when Bryce Kakoske was set up after some brilliant puck movement and Kakoske wired a shot over the shoulder of Harrison May to open the scoring.

And from that point on the Vipers were rolling. Pressuring Burnaby in their own zone in the opening period.

One of the rare chances Burnaby did have was Simon Denis firing a perfect pass on the tape of Dylan Herold sending him away on a breakaway. But the Express captain was stopped by Vipers goaltender Graeme Gordon.

In the first period when the Express did get out of their zone, Vernon would force turnovers in the neutral zone and turn the play back the other way on 2 on 1's and the Vipers made Burnaby pay for their mistakes with goals from Mike Collins and Drew George to give the Vipers a 3-0 lead after the opening period.

Vernon outshot Burnaby 17-2 in the first period.

It was more of the same for Vernon in the second, Mike Collins added his second of the game after taking a perfect cross ice pass from Jonathan Milhouse to give Vernon a 4-0 lead.

Vernon is even deadly pursuing the puck while shorthanded and make turnovers end up in the back of the oppositions net. With Dylan Walchuk in the box for Vernon, they forced another turnover resulting in another 2 on 1 break and Braden Pimm scored shorthanded to extend Vernon's lead to 5. That goal was followed 27 seconds later by Mike Collins finishing off his hat-trick when he stole the puck off an Express defenceman in front of the Burnaby net and Collins fired a quick shot beating Harrison May.

Vernon has now scored 14 shorthanded goals this season.

That goal mercifully brought an end to Harrison May's day who was relieved by Nick Enegren after allowing 6 goals on 26 shots. The Burnaby goaltender didn't have much of a chance on any of the 6 pucks that got passed him.

Kellen Jones set up his twin brother Connor in the third period for Vernon's 7th goal. Then Cole Ikkala jammed home a loose puck in the final 2 minutes to give Vernon an 8-0 lead.

The Express rounded out the scoring in the final minute when Malcom Mckinney scored his first BCHL goal firing a puck from the goal line that found a hole to slip past Graeme Gordon to break his shutout bid.

Final score:

Vipers 8 Express 1.

The win extended Vernon's winning streak to 20 games. They're the first BCHL team to win 20 straight regular season games since the Alberni Valley Bulldogs accomplished the feat back in the 05-06 season.

Sunday was the 12th time in Vernon's 20 game run that they've scored at least 6 goals in a game.

Vernon's record now stands at 27-1 this season. Going back to last years playoffs, the Vipers are now 38-1 in their last 39 games.

Sunday was just a flat out impressive performance of speed, puck pursuit and skill put on display by the Vipers. They're full value for their record.

I know the playoffs are still more than half a season away, but the question has to be raised, who is going to be the team that is going to win 4 out of 7 games vs. the Vipers come playoff time if this team is healthy? It's looking like it's going to be a monumental task.

That team is so deep who do you stop? 15 players hit the scoresheet Sunday for Vernon.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

VEES @ EXPRESS HIGHLIGHTS

Here's the highlights of Saturday's 3-1 Penticton win over the Express.



Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen of Purple Penguin Productions.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

EXPRESS AND VEES GO DOWN TO THE WIRE

It was shades of the 2006 Fred Page Cup final Saturday night between the Express and Vees at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre. Tight checking, disciplined defensive hockey between both the Express and the Vees. Penticton prevailed by a score of 3-1, but it wasn't due to a lack of a strong effort by the home side.

Burnaby needed to play that tight defensive game for a full 60 minutes to give them a chance to win. The Express executed the game plan pretty much to a "T".

The Vees had a pair of powerplays in the games opening ten minutes. The Express did an excellent job protecting the middle of the ice and limiting the quality chances for the Vees on the powerplay.

The strong penalty kill effort set the tone for the Express and gave them the confidence that if they stuck to their game plan, they would have a shot to shut down the high flying Vees.

The Express got a 7 minute powerplay early in the first period after a big hit by David Dotan that was followed by Luke Curadi protecting his teammate and getting involved in an exchange with Luke Challier.

The Express struck early on the powerplay as former Vee James Bettauer beat Joel Rumpel for his first Express goal in his 2nd Express game to open the scoring.

The extended powerplay continued as the 5 minute major for fighting was the first penalty in effect. The Express were then given a 2 man advantage with Matt Paltridge being called for high sticking. But, the Express could only manage the one goal by Bettauer on the 7 minute powerplay.

Burnaby took their lead to the second period. The Vees pulled even midway through the 2nd on a powerplay. Matt Paltridge made a great fake shot then dished the puck off to Beau Bennett who roofed his shot over the shoulder of Harrison May.

The Vees second goal of the period came on a powerplay as well. With Garrick Perry in the box for a questionable roughing penalty, Beau Bennett had time and space in the high slot and wired a shot top shelf on Harrison May.

The third period saw the Vees clamp down in defensive mode and shut down the Express. It wasn't a surprise to see the Vees give Burnaby trouble coming out of their own end. And when the Express did break through the Vees tight defence, Joel Rumpel was there to turn aside the 6 Express shots sent his way.

Penticton rounded out the scoring late in the third period as Simon Denis lost his footing behind his own net and Bennett picked up the puck and scored on a wrap around into the empty net to put the game away.

Shots:

Burnaby - 22
Penticton - 22

Powerplays:

Burnaby 1/6
Penticton 2/8

3 stars:

3. Beau Bennett - Led the offensive attack for the victorious Vees.

2. Harrison May - Posted his second straight strong performance in the Express crease in a losing cause.

1. Joel Rumpel - Stopped 21 of 22 Express shots to post his 2nd win of the season vs. the Express.

Now, on paper it's easy to see the Express losing the game. But their strong disciplined game for a full 60 minutes can go a long way to give the Express the confidence that they can play with the league's best. Is it pretty? no. Does it say the Express have the talent that can match the Penticton's, Vernon's etc? no. But what it does say they're capable of executing a game plan that gives them a chance to win vs. the BCHL's elite. And the Express will need a similar performance Sunday afternoon when they welcome the 26-1 Vernon Vipers to the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

The last time Burnaby and Vernon met in early October in Vernon, the Vipers did knock off the Express 4-2. But, Burnaby played a similar disciplined defensive game that day like they did Saturday night vs. Penticton.

The performance the Express put in Saturday will go a long way giving the Express confidence that if they play Sunday like they did Saturday, they might just put themselves in a good position to win as the game winds down.

Sure, Penticton won Saturday night over the Express, but this result is a huge morale boost for this Express team. There's nothing to be disappointed about. The Express gave Penticton all they had Saturday night.

DARCY ROTA INTERVIEW

I spoke with Express President and GM Darcy Rota during the first intermission of Friday's game in Langley. We discussed numerous topics including the struggles on the ice for the Express. And where this club is headed going forward.

Hear from Darcy here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

EXPRESS WIN... EXPRESS WIN

A re-engergized and re-rejuvenated Express team got back in the win column with a 5-4 win on the road over the Langley Chiefs Friday night.

The win for the Express was their first win in 15 road games and snapped their 7 game losing streak overall.

After coming off the road last weekend, there was lots of looking in the mirror in the Express organization and what came out of it was a Express team that was relaxed and ready to try and turn the season around.

The Express got off to a good start when Garrick Perry cut around Brad Goss who was covering for his defenceman and Perry drove the puck to the net and Luke Challier poked the puck home to give the Express a 1-0 lead.

The Chiefs had a quick reply midway through the first period when Travis Irving and Colton Beck scored 1:29 apart to give the Chiefs a 2-1 lead.

Dylan Herold pulled the Express even in the final minute on the powerplay. Herold's shot missed the net but the puck bounced off the end boards then off Walsh and into the net to tie the game at 19:48.

Dennis Robertson was instrumental in helping Langley re-take the lead in the 2nd period as Robertson's point shot went off Mitch Pacey's leg and into the net.

The Express didn't get rattled as Garrick Perry pulled the Express even midway through the 2nd period as he came out from behind the Langley net and Perry's shot went off Andrew Walsh's leg and slid in the net to tie the game at 3.

And for the 2nd straight period the Express scored a powerplay goal in the final minute of the period. Rich Manley's first shot was stopped, but the puck was lying in the crease and Manley poked it home to give the Express a 4-3 lead heading to the dressing room.

The goal for Manley was his first goal in 8 games. The Express 2 powerplay goals had nearly matched the Express output on the powerplay in the previous 12 games where the Express were just 3 for 59 on the powerplay heading into Friday's game.

Garrick Perry gave the Express some insurance midway through the 3rd period as Perry cut to the net and with one hand on his stick, Perry slid the puck past Andrew Walsh to give the Express a 5-3 lead. The point for Perry was his 4th of the game.

Stefan Gonzales was called for cross checking at 15:00 and Langley scored on the powerplay as Mac Roy scored on the wrap around to cut the Express lead down to one with 4:06 remaining in the third period.

From that point on, it was nail biting time for the Express as they tried to protect their one goal lead.

Langley pressed hard in the dying minutes looking for the equalizer. The Chiefs were given another powerplay in the final minute as somehow the Express were called for a bench minor when the teams leaving the bench following a Chiefs timeout. The penalty didn't end up coming back to hurt the Express as Harrison May came up with one last clutch save in the dying seconds to preserve the Express victory.

Lots of players stepped up in the Express win. Led offensively by Garrick Perry's 4 point night. Harrison May had a strong performance in the Express crease stopping 39 of 43 Chiefs shots. James Bettauer made his season debut and didn't look out of place logging many big minutes on the Burnaby blueline. Luke Challier was at his aggitating best getting under the skin of the Chiefs in the first half of the game until he was ejected.

Matt Ridley made his return to the lineup playing forward. He was hit hard in the first period and didn't play in the final 2 periods.

Now the Express return home to face the Penticton Vees Saturday night. Then host the defending RBC cup champion Vernon Vipers Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

VAN DUYNHOVEN UPDATE

Chris Van Duynhoven and I have been exchanging text messages back and forth Tuesday night. He had his surgery tonight. Obviously he will not be in action for at least a month.

He just wanted me to pass on a message to his family, girlfriend Michelle, freinds, teammates, the fans, and Express coaches and staff saying thank you for all the thoughts and well wishes during this time. Chris would paticularly like to thank Express trainer Wayne Hubbard for all his help during this time.

Get well soon Vandy.

Monday, November 16, 2009

EXPRESS ISLAND TRIP WRAPUP

After opening the Island road trip with a 6-4 loss in Nanaimo, the Express continued their trip Saturday night in Cowichan Valley where the Capitals blanked the Express 3-0.

16 year old Laurent Brossoit stopped all 35 shots he faced including 20 in the third period to post the shutout for the Capitals. It was the 4th time this season that the Express have been blanked in a game.

Mike Hammond opened the scoring on Cowichan Valley's first shot of the game wiring a shot top shelf glove side on Harrison May.

Hammond had a hand on the Caps second goal in the 2nd period as he danced through the Express defence then put a pass on the tape of Nick Anderson who had a tap in at the side of the Express net to give the Capitals a 2-0 lead.

The 2nd period was where the Express let the game slip through their hands. They had 5 powerplays in the middle frame but couldn't score on any of them. Included in those powerplays, was a 5 on 3 advantage for 1:23.

The only team to score with the Express on the powerplay was Cowichan Valley as Joey Massingham scored a shorthanded goal on a 2 on 1 break as he wired a shot over the shoulder of Harrison May to give the Caps a 3-0 lead.

The Express pressed in the third period looking to at least break the goose egg but couldn't get a puck past Laurent Brossoit who came up with 20 saves in the third period to post the shutout.

Sunday, the Express travelled through the beautiful scenery of central Vancouver Island en route to Alberni Valley to wrap up the Island road swing.

It was the 2nd meeting of the season between the Express and the Bulldogs.

The game was scoreless after the first period. Malcom McKinney was one Express player who had a number of decent scoring chances, but couldn't bury one past Dogs goaltender Frank Slubowski.

Late in the first period saw a scary moment, Chris Van Duynhoven fired a slap shot from the blueline, and Alberni Valley forward Warren Muir went down to block the shot, and ended up taking the shot fortunately in the helmet. Another inch another way and Muir is taking that puck in the face. Muir was rattled and went to the room but returned for the start of the 2nd period.

The game remained scoreless until the 14 minute mark of the 2nd period when Alberni Valley's Johnny Rogic lifted a loose puck over former Bulldog Harrison May to open the scoring.

The lead didn't last long as just 30 seconds later Jimmy Geerin went to the net and re-directed a pass from Brad Reid past Slubowski for Gerrin's first goal of the season to tie the game.

Alberni Valley re-stored their lead before the period was done. David Dziurzynski layed a pass on to the tape of a streaking Kevin Ross who was in the clear and Ross beat Harrison May with a deke to the backhand to give Alberni Valley a 2-1 lead heading to the dressing room.

The Dogs added some insurance in the third period on a beautiful passing play off the rush when Jesse Halikas made a nice tip pass on the tape of Johnny Rogic who wired his 2nd of the game upstairs on Harrison May to give the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead.

Then with 4 minutes left in the third period, Alex Petan was called for a double minor for high sticking. While on that powerplay for Alberni Valley, came the game's second scary moment. Luke Fenske's point shot went off a stick and struck Chris Van Dyunhoven square in the face falling the Express defenceman instantly. This time unlike when Van Duynhoven's shot connected with Warren Muir in the helmet, this one caught the Express defenceman and he was in instant agony.

Van Dyunhoven suffered a broken jaw in two places and was taken to the hospital immediately. The Express defenceman travelled home with the team last night was scheduled for surgery Monday morning.

It is amazing how the game of hockey can be a game of inches. The difference of a few inches saved Warren Muir from taking a Chris Van Duynhoven square in the face hitting his helmet. While Fenske's shot a few inches the other way catches the Express defenceman in the face. Ironically, Warren Muir who blocked the Van Dyunhoven shot in the first period was on the ice at the time of Vandy's injury.

Alberni did round out the scoring on a powerplay goal by Mark MacMillan to make the final 4-1 in favour of Alberni Valley.

The biggest concern at this point is Chris Van Duynhoven, get well soon Vandy. Everyone is thinking about you.

And thank you to the Alberni Valley fans expressing their thoughts and best wishes for Van Duynhoven to Alberni Valley Bulldogs broadcaster Evan Hammond who relayed the support to me last night.

The great people in Alberni Valley continue to prove why they are the best fans in the BCHL. 100% pure class. My hats off to you AV.

Friday, November 13, 2009

CLIPPERS GET PAST EXPRESS

The Nanaimo Clippers knocked off the Express 6-4 Friday night at the Frank Crane Arena.

Simon Denis opened the scoring just 34 seconds into the game. That was followed by a goal by Garrick Perry to give the Express an early 2 goal lead.

Carson Schell replied for Nanaimo before the period was done. Cody Bremner then pulled Nanaimo even in the 2nd period on a powerplay.

Denis restored the lead for the Express blasting home his 2nd of the game from the point after a won faceoff.

Luc Oliver Blain pulled Nanaimo even shortly after Denis' goal as Blain jammed the puck under Nick Enegren.

Andrew Gladiuk gave Nanaimo their first lead in the third when his shot beat Enegren up high. Gladiuk then added his second of the game minutes later. He was 1 on 1 with Jimmy Geerin, Gladiuk's shot went off Gerrin and dribbled into the net to the left of Enegren as he was going to his right.

Colby Kulhanek playing in his first Express game scored a powerplay goal after a coast to coast rush by Brad Reid to set up Kulhanek to pull the Express back within one.

That would be as close as the Express would come as Nicholas McIntyre wrapped up the game with an empty net goal to make the final 6-4 in favour of the Clippers.

The win extended Nanaimo's unbeaten streak to 6 games.

The effort was there for Burnaby. They competed hard and played a good road game. They just didn't get the bounces.

The Express now travel to Cowichan Valley Saturday night.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

WARRIORS @ EXPRESS HIGHLIGHTS

Here's the highlights of Saturday's 3-2 Westside win over the Express in overtime.



Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen and Purple Penguin Productions.

Friday, November 6, 2009

NO BROADCAST TONIGHT

There will be no Burnaby broadcast of tonight's game between the Express and the Warriors.

I am away working the webcast for the Women's Under 18 Championships in Surrey for Hockey Canada.

Gord Doerkson was supposed to fill in for me on play by play duties. But he won't be able to do the broadcast tonight as his computer has crashed on him.

He will be able to to broadcast the return match between the Express and Warriors tommorow night from the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

I will return to the Express both when the Express hit the Island next weekend starting Friday in Nanaimo.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

McLELLAN TALKS PUSKAR TRADE

I spoke with Express Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Dave Mclellan after practice today about yesterday's trade that sent Jon Puskar to Quesnel and James Bettauer back to Burnaby.

Hear from Mclellan here.

Listening to Dave, it appears this might just be the tip of the ice berg when it comes to changes of the fortunes of this team doesn't turn around.

It was a rough couple of practices for the boys the last two days with back to back bag skates.

Burnaby has a home and home with Westside this weekend.

Monday, November 2, 2009

OCTOBER MUCH DIFFERENT STORY FOR EXPRESS

At the end of September with the Express coming out of the seasons opening month with a record of 5-0-0-1, I stated we would know the true colors of the Express after a much tougher month of October.

Well, after a 14 game schedule in October, the numbers on the other side of the month are not pretty. The Express went 2-11-0-1 in October. The only 2 wins coming on home ice. The Express lost all 9 games on the road in October picking up just a single point away from home in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Trail Smoke Eaters on October 3rd.

The Express finished October with a visit to Penticton Friday night where the Express were blanked for the 3rd time this season 8-0 by the high octane Vees.

Penticton scored 24 seconds into the game on a goal by Bo Dolan and the Vees were on their way.

Denver Manderson, who spent most of the season sitting atop of the BCHL scoring race was playing in his first career game vs. Burnaby. He put on a show with 3 points 1 goal and 2 assists. Manderson was skating on a line with Garrett Milan and Alex Szczechura. That trio combined 2 goals and 5 assists for 7 points.

Taylor Peters, playing in his first game of the season with Penticton scored a shorthanded goal on a breakaway and added 2 assists.

Joel Rumpel started in place of Sean Bonar between the Vees pipes posted the shutout stopping all 33 Express shots. He really stepped up in the 2nd period when the Express sent 18 shots his way.

At the other end of the ice, Harrison May was in goal for the full 60 minutes allowing 8 goals on the 46 shots he faced.

Bo Dolan who opened the scoring, also finished it by scoring the 8th goal of the game.

Penticton played without goaltender Sean Bonar and Joey Laleggia who were missing their first game while representing Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge. The Vees were also without Beau Bennett who is the only non USHL player on the American roster at the WJAC.

Saturday the Express returned home to face the resurrected Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

The Dogs got off to a quick start on a goal by Mitch MacMillan set up on a 2 on 0 break by his younger brother Mark at 2:33. The goal for MacMillan was his BCHL leading 17th of the season.

Alberni Valley then added their second goal of the game on a powerplay by David Dziurzynski before the Express had even registered a shot on goal by the 7:12 mark of the first period.

Warren Muir extended Alberni Valley's lead to three on a powerplay goal in the 2nd period.

The Express cut into the Dogs lead on a shorthanded breakaway goal by Dylan Herold. Then a goal on a 5 on 3 by Matt Ridley. But that would be as close as the Express would come.

Trent Dorais put the game away by hitting the empty net in the third period.

Overall, the Express were a better team at home than on the road in October.

Burnaby was outscored a total of 49-16 in October on the road. While at home, they were 2-3 with wins over the Victoria Grizzlies and Trail Smoke Eaters. The Express outscored their opponents 16-14 on home ice in those 5 home games.

PUSKAR TRADED TO QUESNEL


Well, after a month of October that saw the Express go 2-11-0-1 including going 0-8-0-1 on the road, it's no surprise that the Express have made some changes.

Jon Puskar has been traded to the Quesnel Millionaires in exchange for the playing rights of James Bettauer and future considerations.

Puskar came to the Express this season from the Lincoln Stars of the USHL where he was teammates with Rich Manley.

The Canton Michigan native got off to a good start this season like the team did scoring 6 goals in his first 5 games. However, like many of his teamamates in October, Puskar cooled off considerably scoring just 3 goals in his last 15 games and is goal less in his last 7.

At the time of his trade, Puskar was leading the Express in scoring with 24 points.

Bettauer is 18 years old weighing in at 180lbs. He played last season with the Chilliwack Bruins of the WHL scoring 1 goal and 7 points in 68 games. In 07-08 Bettauer played 42 games and had 3 points with the Penticton Vees.

In another transaction, the Express traded Kai Ohs to the Humboldt Broncos in exchange for future considerations.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

BULLDOGS @ EXPRESS HIGHLIGHTS

Here's the highlights of Alberni Valley's 4-2 win over the Express at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre Saturday night.



Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen and Purple Penguin Productions.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

WORLD SERIES WAGER


Express assistant coach Jason Fothergill and I are having a little wager on the World Series between Philadelphia and New York which begins tonight.

I have taken the defending champion Phillies. While Jason is pulling for the Yankees who are seeking their 27th crown.

The winner gets $10.

Jason is picking the Yankees in 6. While I'm picking the Phillies in 6.

GO PHILLIES!

It's more just about cheering against A-Rod and the Bronx Bombers for me.

Monday, October 26, 2009

EXPRESS PRETTY IN PINK

The Bunraby Express did their part Sunday afternoon to support the Canadian Breast Cancer foundation. During the game vs. the Victoria Grizzlies, the Express players taped their sticks with pink tape.

Regardless of what color the Express tape on their sticks, their effort was much improved as they knocked off the Grizzlies 4-1 on Sunday. The win was just the 2nd win for Burnaby in 12 games in the month of October.

The Express showed early that they were ready to play and showed lots of jump in the opening minutes of the game getting off to a good start. The Express were more physical, skating harder and overall just taking their intentisty to another level.

Penalties however halted Burnaby's strong start as they were shorthaded three times in the opening period. The Express penalty killing stepped up killing off all 3 Victoria powerplays in the opening period.

The most notable performance during the penalty kills for Burnaby was the play of goaltender Harrison May.

He was on top of his game in the opening period keeping Victoria off the board.

The Express number 1 goaltender had played well in each of his previous two outings on home ice. But, he was the 2nd best goaltender on the ice. That was one area that had to change for the Express to get back in the win column. May needed a performance where he was the best goaltender on the ice after being out played by Langley's Andrew Walsh and Surrey's Vinny Lessard in the Express last two home games.

It was a tough task to ask of the Express netminder. But it had to be the case with the Express being blanked in their previous 5 periods of hockey heading into Sunday.

Burnaby needed a performance from their goaltender that would at most see just one goal allowed in order to have a chance to win.

May's performance in the opening period showed he was ready to meet the challenge.

After kiling all 3 first period Victoria powerplays, (mainly thanks to May) the Express resumed their pressure on Victoria in the Grizzlies zone.

The game was scoreless after 20 periods. The goalless drought had extended to 6 periods or the equilvalant of 2 games going back to Thursday's 8-1 loss in Langley for Burnaby.

Finally the Express found the back of the net again in the 2nd period when Alex Petan fed a pass back to Simon Denis who blasted home his first goal of the season through the legs of Colin Fernandes.

Hear Denis' 1-0 goal here.

The Burnaby goal was their first goal in 1:26:25 of game action dating back to Garrick Perry's goal at 18:32 of the first period Thursday in Langley.

Petan's assist on the goal was his first BCHL point. And the goal for Denis was his first of the season and just the 3rd goal this season from an Express defenceman. David Dotan and Matt Ridley have the others.

Now with the Express in the lead, they picked up their game in an attempt to add to their advantage. The Express had numerous quality chances but couldn't get another puck past Fernandes who was doing his part to keep Victoria in the game. The Express chances included a shot from Rich Manley that rang off the crossbar.

The Express also had a total of 5 powerplays in the second period but couldn't score on any of them and the Grizzlies remained just one goal down. The Express powerplay struggles continued on this day.

The Express were 0 for 22 on the powerplay in their previous 4 games heading into Sunday's matchup with Victoria.

The question at that point raised was, would the Burnaby's inability to convert on any of those powerplays come back and hurt the Express?

Thanks to those powerplays for Burnaby, they outshot Victoria 12-2 in the 2nd period. And much like Harrison May's play in the first period, Colin Fernades' play in the 2nd period kept Victoria in the game.

The Grizzlies pulled even at 6:13 of the third period on a powerplay. Jordan Heywood pinched in from the blueline and took a centering pass and snapped it past Harrison May.

The tie however only lasted 13 seconds as Garrick Perry took a stretch pass, cut to the Grizzlies net and jammed the puck under Fernandes to re-store Burnaby's lead.

Hear Perry's game winning goal here.

The Express got some insurance less than 6 minutes later on a pretty passing play. Matt Ridley hit Jon Puskar with a pass at the Victoria blueline. Puskar then quickly tipped it into the middle of the ice to spring Brad Reid on a breakaway. And Reid made no mistake deking to the backhand and roofing it over a sparawled out Fernandes to give the Express a 3-1 lead.

Hear Reid's 3-1 goal here.

Reid then rounded out the scoring by hitting the empty net scoring from his own zone for Reid's second of the game giving Burnaby a 4-1 lead.

Overall, it was a drastically improved performance for the Express. Dave Mclellan's troops had played well in each of their previous 2 home games but didn't get the result they wanted. The Express took their compete level up another notch and the were paid off with the win and the 2 points in the standings.

All 18 Express skaters were better. They were more physical, resulting in more battles for the puck won. They skated harder resulting in more races to the puck won. And more often that not, the Express were first on the puck in all 3 zones.

That compete level allowed Burnaby to get the puck out of their zone on a regular basis. At the other end of the rink, the won puck battles allowed Burnaby to get to the puck to the net more often creating more scoring chances.

Harrison May on this day was outstanding. The Express needed their goaltender to be the best goaltender on the ice and he provided that type of performance stopping 27 of the 28 shots he faced.

The most important thing to remember for this Express team following Sunday's win is to remember the compete level they brought to the rink Sunday and they have to do it every night they hit the ice. If they do that, the wins will come again on regular basis like they did in September.

Shots:

Burnaby 28
Victoria 28

Powerplays:

Burnaby 0/6
Victoria 1/6

3 stars:

3. Simon Denis - Scored his first goal of the season to open the scoring and added an assist.

2. Garrick Perry - Scored the game winning goal. Added an assist as well. Overall, he was one of Burnaby's best skaters and showed great leadership being a physical force and playing with an edge.

1. Harrison May - Was the best goaltender on the ice. His stellar played allowed his team to stay in the game and give them an opportunity to win.

Up next:

Friday in Penticton. The Express will need a effort level similar to Sunday's game vs. Victoria to have a shot at the high flying Vees. Burnaby has risen to the challenge each time they have played vs. the BCHL's elite.

Penticton will be without number 1 goaltender Sean Bonar and defenceman Joey Laleggia who will represent Canada West in the upcoming World Junior A Challenge in Summerside PEI. The Vees will also be without forward Beau Bennett who will play for the defending gold medalists from the USA. Bennett currently sits 3rd in BCHL scoring.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

GRIZZLIES @ EXPRESS HIGHLIGHTS

Here's the highlights of Burnaby's 4-1 win over the Victoria Grizzlies Sunday afternoon.



Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen and Purple Penguin Productions.

CHIEFS @ EXPRESS HIGHLIGHTS

Here's the highlights from Friday's 2-0 win by the Chiefs over the Express.



Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen and Purple Penguin Productions.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

CHIEFS BLANK EXPRESS

It was a perfect 2 for 2 if you're the Langley Chiefs this week vs. the Burnaby Express. Langley took the opening game between the two team 8-1 in Langley Thursday night. Friday, the Chiefs blanked the Express 2-0 at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

Andrew Walsh posted the shutout for the Chiefs stopping all 35 Express shots in the Chiefs crease. The Langley goaltender in fact stopped all 60 shots he faced in the final 5 periods of the home and home series with Burnaby.

Joe Walter opened the scoring for the second consecutive night by taking a feed from Trevor Gerling on a 2 on 1 break and tipping the pass by Harrison May to open the scoring at 7:23.

The Express had their chances throughout the game. On this night the greatest example of a team unable to catch a break when struggling for offence came when Matt Ius had a chance to put the puck past Walsh and Ius had his stick break. That was followed seconds later with Rich Manley unable to slide it past Walsh and it slid wide of the Chief net.

The effort for Burnaby on this night was a lot better than it was the night before in the 8-1 setback in the Langley Events Centre. Burnaby was better defensively and competed harder.

Walsh's best save of the 2nd period came on a Burnaby powerplay when the Express set up Rich Manley for a one timer, but Walsh came across with his left pad and rob the Burnaby forward.

Langley extended their lead to two when Jordan Sims picked up speed through the neutral zone, cut around Jimmy Geerin and drove to the net and beat Harrison May with a shot to the stick side.

Now with a two goal lead, it was up to Andrew Walsh to shut down Burnaby the rest of the way.

The third period saw Burnaby have 3 opportunities on the powerplay to cut into the deficit, but couldn't find the back of the net. Including a 6 on 4 advantage late in the game.

Burnaby's effort was much better overall than 24 hours earlier. But the results remain the same with the Express ending up on the losing end. This game had similarities to Burnaby's last home game vs. Surrey where the Express ran into a hot goaltender that was tough to beat.

The loss for Burnaby was their 10th in 11 games in the month of October.

The offence collectively has really dried up for the Express in their last 3 games. Burnaby has scored only 2 goals in their last 3 games on 111 shots on goal.

The powerplay has completely dried up in the Express last 4 outings going 0 for 22.

The loss for Burnaby saw them fall to 7th place in the Coastal Conference standings tied with Nanaimo with 14 points. Nanaimo gets the tie breaker by picking up the same amount of points in fewer games. 8th place Cowichan Valley sits just one point back of the Express.

Shots:

Burnaby 35
Langley 31

Powerplays:

Burnaby 0/7
Langley 0/7

3 stars:

3. Harrison May - Had a bounce back performance in the Express crease after being pulled 24 hours earlier. May stopped 29 of 31 shots he faced.

2. Joe Walter - Scored the games opening goal for the second consective night. Walter's goal proved the be the game winning goal.

1. Andrew Walsh - Stopped all 35 Express shots for the shutout. Stopped 75 of 76 Express shots in the home and home series and the last 60 he faced in the final 5 periods.

Up next:

Home Sunday afternoon vs. Victoria.