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Coquitlam Express lose second straight game to Powell River

The Coquitlam Express won't play at home again until Jan. 24
Powell River's Anthony Lucarelli had a goal and two assists as the Kings defeated the Coquitlam Express 5-1 Saturday in Powell River.

A two-game visit to the Sunshine Coast was anything but bright for the Coquitlam Express.

The Express lost 5-1 to the Powell River Kings Saturday. It was Coquitlam’s second straight setback in as many nights to the team that’s near the bottom of the standings BC Hockey League’s Coastal division.

The Kings beat the Express 3-2 in overtime on Friday.

In Saturday’s reprise at the Hap Parker Arena, Coquitlam spotted the home team a 2-0 lead but it was the goal that made it 3-0 midway through the second period that may have perfectly summed up the Express’ final road trip of 2023. 

After retrieving the puck from beside his own net, Coquitlam goalie Adam Manji passed it to retreating defenceman Michael Rubin who was calling for it by tapping his stick. But as Manji skated nonchalantly back into his crease, the puck slipped off the heel of Rubin’s stick, glanced off the goalie’s skate and into the net. 

The goal was credited to Powell River’s Anthony Lucarelli, who also had two assists in the game.



Luke Vardy scored on a power play to get the  Express back to within two. But unlike Friday’s game, when Coquitlam was able to battle back from its third period deficit by capitalizing on sustained pressure in Powell River’s end, the Express were unable to close the gap in Saturday’s final frame.

Instead, the Kings’ Adam Mendelson scored shorthanded and Christian Maro added another into an empty net to send the Express away with only one point of a possible four from a team 13 points below them in the standings.

Manji allowed three goals on 28 shots before he left the game 4:43 into the third period following a scramble in his crease. Backup Ethan Simcoe stopped two of the three shots he faced.

The Express fired 32 shots at Powell River goalie Owen Crudale.

Coquitlam continues its extended run of road games next weekend, with visits to Alberni Valley on Friday, Jan. 5, Nanaimo on Saturday and Surrey on Sunday.

The team doesn’t play its first home game of the new year until Jan. 24 when the Chilliwack Chiefs will be the opponent in a special midweek afternoon game.