Express aims to deliver in 2016

December 27, 2015

General manager Chad Clarke sees better days ahead for the expansion Espanola Express of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

As play in the NOJHL is slated to resume on the first weekend of 2016 following an extended Christmas holiday break, the Express is in last place but just two points back of the Blind River Beavers, who are in possession of the fifth-and-final playoff spot in the six-team West Division.

And with a record of 6-25-1, Espanola has four games in hand on Blind River, which will take a record of 6-27-3 into the New Year.

As GM of the first-year Express, the aforementioned Clarke said that he, head coach Tom McCarthy and associate coach Jason Rapcewicz “are pleased with the progress of our club over the first half of the season.

“We really have come a long way,” Clarke told “We have a very-young team and our inexperience was very evident in the beginning of the season as we saw several high-scoring games against the top teams. Now, our players are starting to believe in themselves as well as our system.”

Despite its low standing and average home crowds of less than 200 which puts it at the bottom of the 12-team league, Clarke is of the notion that all be well as the Express moves ahead in Espanola.

“We are pleased with the town’s support and it continues to grow on a daily basis as we have some of the greatest fans around and as our team grows and gets better so will our attendance. We may not be at the top of the league right now in attendance or the standings but in a couple of seasons we will definitely be there,” Clarke said, with confidence.

What you think about “Express aims to deliver in 2016”

  1. Great to see the team improve each time they play. Coaching staff and front office are all about the kids first, which is the way it should be. Good luck to the team for the season and into the coming years.

  2. The Express are looking a bit better . . with a Coach like Tommy that is bound to happen .. low Attendance has been surprize to me .. so many change’s in name’s and League’s mite be a reason .. also the economy is not the best.

    1. It will fail, because everyone would rather see the Battalion. If a town needs junior a hockey, it should be Mattawa, even though they need a better arena.

  3. Can really see the improvement in the team over the past few home games. Hard working young team with a great coaching staff. Hope the attendance improves in the second half of the season.

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