The Coquitlam Express won’t be hitting the road this week as scheduled.
That’s because in some parts of the province, there is no road.
Ongoing concerns about flooding in the Fraser Valley, as well as highway closures east of Abbotsford because of damage from a series of intense rainstorms over the past two weeks, will keep the Express closer to home.
In fact, all BC Hockey League teams will have their bus schedules eased after the league announced Tuesday that all non-conference games will be cancelled for the balance of the season due to travel conditions and the onset of winter weather.
For the Express, that means this weekend’s scheduled road trip to Vernon and Cranbrook is off, along with visits from the Wenatchee Wild and Penticton Vees scheduled in January and a home game against West Kelowna in February.
Instead, the team will take a quick jaunt along Highway 1 to the George Preston Arena on Sunday for a game against the Langley Rivermen.
As well, a game against the Chilliwack Chiefs scheduled for tonight has been postponed.
In a statement on its website, the league said it is continuing to revise its schedule to make up for the lost games.
On Dec. 10, the Express begin a two-game swing to Vancouver Island with a game against the Nanaimo Clippers followed the next day with a game against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.
The team is then scheduled to play the Chiefs in Chilliwack on Dec. 17 before returning home to face the Power River Kings on Dec. 18.
Coquitlam, which is coming off a pair of losses last weekend — 7–4 to the Surrey Eagles and 7–2 to the Chiefs — know all about the challenges of getting around after a series of intense rainstorms in November wreaked havoc on all the major highway connections between the Lower Mainland and the rest of British Columbia.
The team had to spend two extra nights in Kamloops on its way home from a game in Prince George on Nov. 13 because flooding and mudslides closed the Coquihalla and Trans-Canada highways.
All of the players and staff eventually got home on a pair of flights, while the team bus and some equipment were left behind.