Coquitlam Express left winger Mirko Buttazzoni is hoping he’ll have the company of some of his teammates when he plays in the BC Hockey League’s 3-on-3 outdoor All-Star tournament in Penticton on Jan. 21.
Buttazzoni, who leads the Express in scoring with nine goals and 14 assists in 20 games, has been named as one of the initial 18 participants in the showcase event that will feature four teams of six skaters and one goalie playing each other in a round robin tournament on a newly built outdoor rink in the Okanagan city's downtown. The event was originally scheduled to happen last January, but was cancelled when stricter public health restrictions were enacted to deal with the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.
Monday, two of Buttazzoni’s teammates, centreman Mateo Dixon and forward Gavin Giesbrecht, learned they could also be headed to Penticton if they each receive enough votes from fans, who will determine the final six skaters and all four goalies to participate in the unique tournament that is part of the league’s 60th anniversary celebrations.
Dixon has 22 points in 20 games, including three game winning goals, and Giesbrecht has 20 points in 19 games.
In total, 13 players and four goalies from each of the BCHL’s two conferences will be vying for fans’ attention until the online poll closes on Friday at 4 p.m. To cast your ballot, go to the voting page on the BCHL's website.