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Buttazzoni soars to give Coquitlam Express a shootout win

Prior to the game, the team retired the number 22 worn by former star Mark Soares
The number 22 worn by former Express star Mark Soares is retired prior to Saturday's game agains the Powell River Kings.

Mirko Buttazzoni scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Coquitlam Express a 5-4 win over the Powell River Kings on a night in which the team honoured one of its sharp shooters of the past.

Prior to the puck drop Saturday at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex, the Express retired the #22 jersey of Mark Soares, who scored 219 points in five seasons with the team, including 25 points in 22 games in the 2005-06 campaign that concluded with an RBC Cup national Junior A championship.

No sooner had the red carpet been rolled up following the pre-game festivities when Coquitlam’s Gavin Giesebrecht opened the scoring 2:12 into the first period.

The advantage was short-lived though, as Powell River took a 2-1 lead with a pair of goals less than a minute apart before the first frame was half over.

Buttazzoni tied it, burying his fifth goal of the season over Kings goalie Kyle Metson at 16:32.

But 40 seconds later, the visitors were back in front on a goal by Anthony Lucarelli, his second of the period.

Second period goals by Mateo Dixon and another by Buttazzoni gave Coqutilam a 4-3 lead heading into the third period.

After a goal by Powell River’s Ryder Ringor tied the game at 4 six minutes into the third period, neither team was able to score in overtime, setting up Buttazzoni’s shootout heroics.

Express goalie Adam Manji stopped all three shooters he faced in the shootout on top of the 44 saves he made the previous 65 minutes. Coquitlam fired 50 shots at Metson.

The win halted a six-game losing streak for the Express. The team will try to win its second in a row Sunday, when it hosts the Cranbrook Bucks at 3 p.m.

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