Pilots forward Alexander Methorst battles for the puck with a Langley defender during PJHL action on Friday. (Ben Lypka)

Abbotsford Pilots start season hot

Pilots score 17 goals in two games to kick off PJHL year

The Abbotsford Pilots started the Pacific Junior Hockey League season off red-hot, lighting up the lamp for 17 goals in the first two games of the year.

Abbotsford opened the 2017-18 season on Thursday by defeating the Surrey Knights 8-4 in Surrey.

The Pilots built up a 3-0 lead by the second period, had a 5-1 lead after two and then cruised to the win in the third.

Special teams dominated the scoresheet on Thursday, with the Pilots scoring two power play and two shorthanded goals, but also allowing three power play markers.

Tyler Falk and Baylee Wright scored a pair of goals apiece for Abbotsford, with Jeremy Zomar, Nate Castonguay, Alexander Methorst and Noah Wiebe also contributing with goals. Defender Tyler Wickman collected a team-high four assists, while goalie Gunnar Nielsen made 19 saves for the win.

The Pilots then hosted the Langley Trappers in that team’s first-ever road game, and made it a rough debut road trip for the expansion team by destroying them 9-1.

Abbotsford led 1-0 after one, and then scored four unanswered goals in the second and third periods to earn the win.

Wright kept his strong start to the season going with a hat trick and Zomar added a pair of goals. Jared Pitkethly, Mateo Toledo, Kevin Allan and Wiebe also scored. Methorst picked up a team-high four assists, and Nielsen won his second straight start with 23 saves.

Abbotsford sits atop the Harold Brittain conference early into the PJHL season, with a record of two wins and no losses.

The Pilots return to action tonight (Wednesday) when they take on the defending champion Aldergrove Kodiaks on the road. The club then returns home to on Friday to host the Delta Ice Hawks at MSA Arena. Face-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

For more on the team, visit abbotsfordpilots.com.