Coquitlam Express
Coquitlam Express logo.png
City Coquitlam, British Columbia
League British Columbia Hockey League
Division Mainland
Founded 2001
Home arena Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex
Colors Black, Gold, White
General manager Flag of Canada Barry Wolff
Head coach Flag of Canada Barry Wolff

Franchise history
2001–05 Coquitlam Express
2005–10 Burnaby Express
2010–present Coquitlam Express

The Coquitlam Express are a Junior "A" ice hockey team based in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada. They are members of the Mainland Division of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). They play their home games at the Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex.

Although the team had played in the neighbouring city of Burnaby for the previous five years, on 14 January 2010 it was announced that the BCHL Board of Governors unanimously approved the relocation of the franchise back to Coquitlam for the 2010/11 season.[1][2][3]

The team's ownership group includes Darcy Rota (President), Robert Clough, Pat Delasalle, Tim Delasalle, Brian Hannigan, Dave Lowry, Ian Mansfield, Kirk McLean, Bill Ranford, and Robert Lambie (Treasurer).

History[edit | edit source]

The Coquitlam Express began play as a new franchise in the BCHL for the 2001–02 hockey season, and played in the city for four seasons at the Coquitlam Sports Centre. Due to unsatisfactory conditions at the Sports Centre (specifically a reduction of parking due to the construction of a new aquatic complex next door), the team relocated to Burnaby for the 2005–06 season.

Burnaby originally had a junior "A" team by the name of the Burnaby Bulldogs, which played in that city for 4 seasons (1998–2001). That team relocated to the city of Port Alberni, on Vancouver Island for the start of the 2002 season, and was renamed the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

The 2005–06 season saw the Express win the league championship (Fred Page Cup) and the Mowat Cup by defeating the Langley Hornets in four games, the Chilliwack Chiefs in 5 games, the Victoria Salsa in 5 games, and the Penticton Vees in six games. The team then defeated the Fort McMurray Oil Barons in six games for the Doyle Cup and entered the National Championship as Pacific Region winners.

The Express won the Royal Bank Cup 2006 (National Championship) by defeating the Yorkton Terries by a score of 8–2. In the Semi-Final against the Fort William Northstars, they scored the tying goal with 12 seconds left in the third period then went on to win 3–2 in overtime. During the round-robin they had a record of 3–1, which seeded them 2nd in the Tournament, behind the hometown hosts Streetsville Derbys.

In 2006–07 the Express were highly touted as a top team in the Canadian Junior Hockey League, with the likes of Kyle Turris and Tyler McNeely. They set out to repeat as Royal Bank Cup champions again, but fell short. In the first round of playoffs the team beat the Langley Chiefs in 7 games and in the second round lost to the eventual BCHL league champions Nanaimo Clippers in 7 games.

2007–08 saw a coaching change from Rick Lanz (Colorado Avalanche Western Scout) to Dave McLellan. The team was not been very well-supported since the move from Coquitlam, and struggled in attendance for the 3rd straight year. Although the team enjoyed a little success in the regular season it was the Victoria Grizzlies that ended the careers of Carlo Finucci, Kevin Tipper, Todd Bowman, Brad Hunt, and Mike Rempel.

As of 17 October 2009, the Burnaby Express were averaging just 548 fans per game, which was the second lowest attendance of the 17 teams in the BCHL at the time. This is half the attendance the team averaged in their final season in Coquitlam (1,091 fans per game).[4][5]

With the team in last place in the Coastal Conference, on 16 January 2010 the Express announced the firing of coach Dave McLellan. General Manager Darcy Rota took over the interim coaching duties, with Bill Zaharia and Tyler Kuntz named as Assistant Coaches for the remainder of the 2009–10 season.[6] On 13 April 2010, the Express named Jon Calvano as their new head coach.[7]

The 2010-11 season marked the Express' return to Coquitlam. They played their first game back at the newly renovated and renamed Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex on 24 September 2010, where they defeated the Surrey Eagles 4-2. Coquitlam would make the playoffs for the first time in 3 years, losing in the first round to the Eagles in four games. The following year they would again be eliminated in the first round, this time to the Powell River Kings in six games. Following the 2011-12 season, the Express would name Jon Calvano as General Manager on top of his existing coaching duties.

The 2012-13 season saw a great start for the Express until they were hit with multiple injuries within a short period of time, which resulted in them struggling for most of the latter half of the season and failing to reach the postseason for the third time in five years. Calvano would be fired at the end of the season.[8]

Barry Wolff was announced as the team's new head coach on 22 April 2013,[9] and in his first year was able to lead the Express to their second Fred Page Cup championship, and their first appearance in the Western Canada Cup, where they finished fourth following a 5-3 loss in the semifinal to the Spruce Grove Saints. Wolff would eventually be named the 2014 coach of the year by the Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame.[10]

Season-by-season record[edit | edit source]

original Coquitlam Express logo

Season GP W L T OL GF GA Pts PIM Finish Playoffs
2001-02 60 20 32 - 8 230 305 48 4th, Mainland Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 1-4 (Chiefs)
2002-03 60 24 29 1 6 228 270 55 4th, Mainland Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 3-4 (Chiefs)
2003-04 60 32 26 1 1 254 212 66 2312 3rd, Mainland Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 3-4 (Chiefs)
2004-05 60 25 31 1 3 211 258 54 1421 3rd, Mainland Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 3-4 (Chiefs)
2005-06 60 34 20 1 5 231 202 74 589 2nd, Mainland Fred Page Cup, Mowat Cup, Doyle Cup, Royal Bank Cup Champions
2006-07 60 34 25 0 1 260 198 69 1232 4th, Coastal Lost in Conference Semifinals, 3-4 (Clippers)
2007-08 60 33 24 0 3 218 219 69 922 4th, Coastal Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2-3 (Grizzlies)
2008-09 60 18 35 1 6 170 245 43 829 4th, Mainland Did not qualify
2009-10 60 18 36 0 6 175 256 42 878 8th, Coastal Did not qualify
2010-11 60 22 28 1 9 218 253 54 594 7th, Coastal Lost in Conference Quarterfinals 0-4 (Eagles)
2011-12 60 36 19 3 2 245 204 77 626 4th, Coastal Lost in Conference Semifinals 2-4 (Kings)
2012-13 56 24 31 1 0 161 210 49 529 5th, Mainland Did not qualify
2013-14 58 27 26 2 3 226 226 59 692 3rd, Mainland Fred Page Cup, Mowat Cup Champions, 4th in Western Canada Cup
2014-15 58 25 28 1 4 218 238 55 642 4th, Mainland Lost in Division Semifinals 1-4 (Chiefs)
2015-16 58 22 29 1 6 185 247 51 794 4th Mainland
14th BCHL
Lost in Div. Semifinals 0-4 (Chiefs)
2016-17 58 11 44 2 1 121 305 25 - 6th, Mainland
17th, BCHL
Did not qualify
2017-18 58 15 38 4 1 138 210 35 - 5th, Mainland
16th of 17, BCHL
Lost in Div. Semifinals 0-4 (Vees)
2018-19 58 28 24 3 3 209 198 62 - 3rd, Mainland
9th of 17, BCHL
Lost in Div. Semifinals 1-4 (Spruce Kings)
2019-20 58 47 9 1 1 227 127 96 - 1st, Mainland
1st of 17, BCHL
Won Div. Semifinals 4-0 (Rivermen
Balance of Playoffs Cancelled
2020-21 20 6 11 3 0 64 93 15 - 3rd, Coquitlam Pod Playoffs cancelled

NHL alumni[edit | edit source]

Awards and trophies[edit | edit source]

Royal Bank Cup

  • 2006

Doyle Cup

  • 2006

Mowat Cup

  • 2006
  • 2014

Fred Page Cup

  • 2006
  • 2014

Cliff McNabb Memorial Trophy
Coastal Conference Champions

  • 2006

Mainland Division Champions

  • 2014

Bob Fenton Trophy
Most Sportsmanlike (Coastal)

Bruce Allison Memorial Trophy
Rookie Of The Year (Coastal)

Brett Hull Trophy
Top Scorer

Vern Dye Memorial Trophy
Most Valuable Player (Coastal)

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. BCHL: Express return to Coquitlam receives go-ahead by BCHL Governors 14 January 2010
  2. Tri-City News: BCHL Express returning to Coquitlam from Burnaby 14 January 2010
  3. BCHL OK's Express' ticket to Coquitlam 15 January 2010
  4. BCHL: Current Attendance Retrieved on 17 October 2009
  5. BCAHA: 2004-05 Annual Report Retrieved on 1 March 2009
  6. Tri-City News: Express axe coach McLellan before they hit Coquitlam 19 January 2010
  7. Coquitlam Express: Jon Calvano Named Coquitlam Express Head Coach 13 April 2010
  8. Coquitlam Expressions HEAD COACH AND GM CHANGE 21 March 2013
  9. Coquitlam Express EXPRESS NAME NEW HEAD COACH 22 April 2013
  10. Express Head Coach, Barry Wolff Named 2014 Coach of the Year. Retrieved on 2015-06-08.

External links[edit | edit source]

Preceded by
Weyburn Red Wings
Royal Bank Cup Champions
Succeeded by
Aurora Tigers

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