The Mission City Outlaws have lost only five games this season, but two of those losses have come at the sticks of the Abbotsford Pilots.
The Pilots put another loss in the column for the Outlaws on Friday, beating the top team in the Pacific Junior Hockey League 5-4 at the MSA Arena.
A second-period offensive explosion that saw the Pilots score four unanswered goals was the catalyst in a 5-4 Pilots win.
Mission opened the scoring and Abbotsford’s Sean Olson tied the game up in the first, but the Outlaws regained the lead with a late first-period power play goal to hold a 2-1 lead after one period.
The Pilots turned on the afterburners in the second, when Olson scored 59 seconds in to once again tie the game. Justin Wilde scored about two minutes later to give the Pilots the lead for the first time, and Alexander Methorst also scored a minute later.
Cole Methorst then potted the eventual game-winning goal after a nice set-up that chased the Outlaws’ starting goalie Gunnar Nielsen out of the crease, and the Pilots skated out of the second period with a three-goal lead.
The Outlaws battled back in the third, scoring two goals and ringing a shot off the crossbar in the final minute, but the Pilots hung on for the 5-4 win.
“We started OK, then struggled for a bit and then we were really good in the second,” said Pilots head coach Jim Cowden. “We really started to skate in the second period. I don’t think they got a shot in the first 10 minutes of the second. And our goals were all really good.”
Cowden said the penalty kill was again a big difference, as the Pilots had to kill off a two-man advantage for several minutes in the second period.
“The guys know what to do out there,” Cowden said. “We have the best PK in the league. Everyone gets in position and they take away the shot at the point.”
Hayden Guilderon had a four-point night, with the Methorst brothers, Sean Olson, and Justin Wilde all having multiple-point nights.
The win comes off a 3-2 loss to the Aldergrove Kodiaks on Wednesday. The Pilots had a 2-1 lead heading into the third, but Aldergrove scored a pair in the final frame to earn the win. Kellan Lavallee and Cole Methorst scored the goals for the Pilots.
“We didn’t forecheck and I thought we played awful,” Cowden. “I thought our defence played OK but our forwards didn’t play very good at all.”
Abbotsford remains in second place in the Harold Brittain Conference after the weekend, with a record of 15 wins, nine losses and one overtime loss.
The Pilots next host the Kodiaks at MSA Arena on Friday at 7:30 p.m., and then travel to Mission on Saturday.