First Ryan Tattle helped the Coquitlam Express top the Victoria Grizzlies by scoring four goals in the third period.
Then his team helped put their captain’s season-long Score for Cancer initiative over the top.
The Express announced today (Thursday) its special promotion last Saturday to boost Tattle’s effort beyond its $50,000 goal raised $20,011.96
Tattle has been collecting pledges for the Canadian Cancer Society for each point he scores.
He said he was motivated by his mom’s own brush with cancer, as well as the challenge a former teammate, Greg Lapointe, is facing with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
With Tattle at 42 points after 40 games, the Express held several special events during Saturday’s game at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex to boost his fundraiser beyond the $45,000 he'd already amassed.
More than 1,700 fans responded, participating in raffles, a chuck-a-puck event between periods and a big 50/50 draw.
As well, Express players wore specially designed jerseys that were subsequently auctioned off.
Wednesday at Poirier, the Express won its third straight game, 4–3 over the Langley Rivermen.
It was also the team’s second straight win over top teams in the BC Hockey League’s Coastal division after it also defeated the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, 3–2, on Sunday. The Rivermen and Bulldogs have 66 and 65 points respectively and sit one-two atop the divisional standings.
Tyler Kopek and Jaeger Murdock scored for the Express in the first period, but Langley roared back in the second period with three goals to put the Rivermen up 3–2.
Ray Hamilin got the sides even again midway through the final frame, the Mirko Buttazzoni scored the game winner on a power play with just over a minute left in regulation time.
Ian Devlin had three assists to lead all Express scorers, while Buttazzoni added a helper to his goal and Tattle also pitched in two points. He now has five goals and six assists in his last four games.
Adam Manji stopped 27 shots to earn his third win of the season for Coquitlam, while his teammates fired 39 shots at Jameson Kaine in Langley’s net.
The win gives the Express 36 points in 45 games. The team’s 36 points in 45 games is three more than the Powell River Kings and Cowichan Valley Capitals.
More importantly, Coquitlam’s .400 win percentage is .49 better than its rivals chasing the final playoff spots, as that is the metric the league will be using to determine post-season qualifiers because of cancelled games earlier in the season that can’t be rescheduled.
The Express have a return match with the Rivermen on Friday at the George Preston Arena in Langley. The team’s next home game is March 9 against the Surrey Eagles.