Pilots defender Matthew Dyck battles for the puck with a Delta Ice Hawk during PJHL action on Friday. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

Abbotsford Pilots snap losing slide

Junior hockey club posts win over Grandview

The Abbotsford Pilots have finally bumped the slump.

Mired in a slump that has seen the club drop out of first place in the Harold Brittain conference, the Pilots picked up their second win in the past nine games on Sunday over the Grandview Steelers.

Abbotsford found themselves down 3-1 after the first period, with Cameron Obcena getting the Pilots on the board.

The team battled back from that early deficit, as Alexander Methorst scored in the second and Tyler Falk tallied in the third to send the game to overtime.

The extra frame saw Baylee Wright, returning to action after a suspension, score 18 seconds into overtime to seal the win for the Pilots.

The game was one of Abbotsford’s most disciplined of the season, as they were only assessed two minor penalties.

Pilots goalie Robert Nawrot made 27 saves for the win and earned his first-ever win in Abbotsford colours.

Tyler Wickman, Brady Morton, Obcena and Wright all had multi-point games in the victory.

Wright remains on top of the Pacific Junior Hockey League scoring race with 58 points in 27 games.

The win comes off another home loss for the Pilots on Friday, when the league-leading Delta Ice Hawks triumphed 3-1 at MSA Arena.

Delta jumped out to a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes, but Wright got the Pilots on the board at 7:33 of the third period with a power play goal. The Ice Hawks added a late goal for insurance.

Nawrot made 28 saves in a losing cause, while the Pilots fired 24 shots in the Ice Hawks direction.

Abbotsford’s struggles on home ice continue, and they haven’t won a game in front of Pilots fans since Nov. 10.

The club returns to action tonight (Friday) when they host the Port Moody Panthers.

It’s the annual Teddy Bear Toss event for the Pilots, with fans encouraged to bring a stuffed animal to the game to throw on the ice when the Pilots score their first goal.

All toy donations go to the local Salvation Army. The game will also feature an appearance from Santa Claus. Faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Friday will be the last regular-season action for the Pilots in 2017, as they next participate in the PJHL’s league showcase event in Richmond to open 2018.

Abbotsford takes on the Ridge Meadows Flames on Jan. 5 at 1 p.m., and then battles the Aldergrove Kodiaks on Jan. 7 at 4 p.m.

The first home game in 2018 for the team is on Jan. 12, when they host the Grandview Steelers.

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