Pilots goalie Gunnar Neilsen makes a save during game four of Abbotsford’s series with the Ridge Meadows Flames. Neilsen and the Pilots were eliminated in game five on Saturday in Maple Ridge. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

Abbotsford Pilots eliminated by Ridge Meadows Flames

Pilots fall in five games in Harold Brittain conference final

The Abbotsford Pilots have been eliminated from the Pacific Junior Hockey League playoffs.

The club’s title dreams ended with a 5-2 loss in Maple Ridge to the Ridge Meadows Flames on Saturday.

The game five loss gave the Flames the 4-1 series win.

Saturday fell out of the grasp of the Pilots late, as the Flames scored a power play goal with eight seconds left in the second period to go up 3-2 and then added a pair of third period goals to earn the win.

The Pilots got goals from Mateo Toledo and Cameron Obcena in the loss. Staying out of the penalty box proved to be an issue for Abbotsford in the deciding game, as the team was assessed nine minor penalties compared to just three for the Flames.

Pilots goalie Gunnar Neilsen made 30 saves in a losing cause.

Friday’s game four in Abbotsford swung the momentum in the series, as the Pilots lost a heartbreaker 6-5 in overtime.

The back and forth game saw the two teams trade leads throughout, with the Flames going up 5-4 after a power play goal at 13:21 of the third. The Pilots managed to send the game to overtime with just 13 seconds left when Jacob De Waal tied the game up.

But the Flames ended the game at 2:40 of the extra frame to take a 3-1 series lead. Ryan Wellburn scored his second of the game to send the Flames home happy.

Abbotsford got goals from Alexander Methorst, De Waal (two), Matthew Dyck and Baylee Wright. Neilsen made 20 saves in the loss.

The Pilots lone win in the series was a 5-4 win in game three in Maple Ridge on Wednesday.

It’s the second straight year the Flames have bounced the Pilots from the postseason, after they eliminated Abbotsford 4-1 in round one last year.

The Flames now advance to the PJHL final to take on the Delta Ice Hawks.

The next event on the Pilots calendar is the club’s prospect showcase event, which runs from June 1 to 3 at MSA Arena.

For more information, visit abbotsfordpilots.com.

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