We can officially begin to countdown to hockey season now that the BCHL has released the schedule for the 2018-19 season. Click here for Express full 18-19 schedule
56 of the 58 games are officially set. The final two games to be determined are the annual showcase games that will be played at the showcase in Chilliwack from September 20-22.
As has been the case in previous years, the Express will start the season with a number of games played on the road. They will start on opening weekend with a pair of games on Friday September 7th in Surrey, then the next night they will be in Langley. The home opener is Sunday September 23rd vs. Salmon Arm.
The following weekend will see the Express head up to Prince George for a pair of games on the 14th and 15th. The next time the Express visit Prince George will be a pair of games on Friday January 25th and Saturday the 26th. The defending Mainland division champion and BCHL finalists will make four visits to Coquitlam over the course of the coming season. They will play a pair of games in Coquitlam on the weekend of October 19th with games on the Friday and Sunday the 21st.
One of the unique elements of the Express home schedule is the vast majority of games that will be played on Friday nights at 7pm and Sunday afternoons at 3pm. They will do that 6 times over the course of the season. Not one of those occasions will the Express have a road game on a Saturday sandwiched in between. Only once will the Express play three games in 3 nights, an Island trip November 30th to December 2nd with visits to Victoria, Nanaimo and Alberni Valley.
The Express have two Wednesday 12pm home games on Halloween vs. Langley and Surrey on January 16th.
They will start the season with 11 of their first 12 games against Mainland division opponents. This will be a good time for the Express to use a strong start to accumulate points that can put them in good standing in the division and help their footing within the division for the season. 6 of those 11 divisional games will be played on the road.
After the first four games on the road in the opening two weekends of the season, the Express will have a 5 game home stand which is part of a run that will see them play 13 of their next 16 games on home ice from September 23rd to November 7th. Two of those road games in this stretch are short trips to Surrey and Chilliwack on Friday October 5th and Saturday the 6th. Their other road game in this stretch will be the Express visit to Penticton on Wednesday October 24th. The Vees will make their visit to Coquitlam a month later on Friday the 23rd.
Early January will see the Express have another 5 game homestead from January 9th to the 18th.
From that point forward the Express will only have 3 home games in their final 14 games. Two of those games will be play consecutively on Friday February 8th and the defending Fred Page Cup and Doyle Cup champion Wenatchee Wild will visit on Sunday the 10th which is the Express final home game of the season. They will play their final four games of the season on the road with an Island division trip to Powell River and Cowichan Valley. Then visits to Vernon and Surrey in the final week of the regular season.
Sunday, September 23rd vs. Salmon Arm *Home opener
Friday, October 12th vs. Chilliwack *First visit from defending RBC Cup champions
Friday, November 16th vs. Victoria *Only visit of possible 1st round pick Alex Newhook
Friday, November 23rd vs. Penticton Vees
Friday, February 10th vs. Wenatchee *Only visit from defending BCHL and Doyle Cup champions
The Express will play 8 games against Mainland division opponents for 32 games. Then 24 games, one home and one away against the 5 Island division teams and 7 Interior division teams for a total of 56, plus the two to be determined BCHL showcase games for a grand total of 58.