A third-period collapse spelled doom for the Pilots in Richmond on Thursday, as the Sockeyes scored four goals in the game’s third period to take the 5-2 win.
Richmond scored the lone goal of the first period, with Abbotsford’s Thomas Pickering tallying the only goal in the second.
The Sockeyes then exploded for two goals in the first six and a half minutes of the third, with Abbotsford’s Alexander Methorst getting the Pilots to within one. But Richmond added two more to close out the game and earn the win.
Pilots goalie Gunnar Neilsen made 28 saves in the loss, while Abbotsford’s penalty killing allowed three goals on nine chances. The Pilots scored once with the man advantage on nine opportunities.
Abbotsford then welcomed the North Vancouver Wolf Pack to the MSA Arena on Friday, and Tyler Wickman proved to be the overtime hero for the Pilots.
The teams traded two goals apiece in the first period, with Methorst and Tyler Falk scoring first for the Pilots. That two-goal lead evaporated by 14:48 of the first, when North Vancouver evened up the game.
Abbotsford’s Justin Peaker put the Pilots up 3-2, but the Wolf Pack tied the game in the second. Both goalies closed the door in the third period, and Wickman gave Abbotsford the win with a power play goal in overtime.
Pilots goalie Liam Marshall made 30 saves for the win.
Abbotsford remains in first place in the Harold Brittain conference after the pair of games, sporting a record of seven wins, two losses and one overtime loss.
The Pilots handed the Delta Ice Hawks their first loss of the season on Tuesday, beating them 4-1 in Ladner. Abbotsford then takes on the Ridge Meadows Flames in Maple Ridge on Friday, and then the Langley Trappers on Oct. 18.
The Pilots’ next home game is on Oct. 20, when they host the Sockeyes.