Abbotsford Pilots split Winter Classic

Abbotsford defeats Surrey, falls to Ridge Meadows to kick off 2017

The Abbotsford Pilots split their two games at the PJHL's annual Winter Classic in Richmond earlier this week.

The Abbotsford Pilots split their two games at the PJHL's annual Winter Classic in Richmond earlier this week.

The Abbotsford Pilots kicked off the new year with a split at the PJHL‘s Winter Classic event in Richmond on Sunday and Monday.

The mini-tournament saw all 10 teams from the league participate, and the Pilots opened with a 3-0 loss to the Ridge Meadows Flames on Sunday afternoon.

Ridge Meadows scored a goal in each period en route to the win, while the Pilots couldn’t solve Flames goalie Jack Stradiotti, who stopped all 20 shots he faced. Pilots goalie Jacob Crawford also made 20 saves in a losing cause.

Abbotsford was unsuccessful in three power play opportunities, while they were penalized eight times and allowed one goal while shorthanded.

The Pilots returned to Minoru Arena on Monday, and downed the Surrey Knights 6-2.

Abbotsford’s Kolby Steen got the Pilots on the board at 10:32 of the first period, but the Knights tied the game at one later that period.

The Pilots then exploded for three goals in the second, as Steen, Kellan Lavallee and Oliver Alcock all tallied. The Knights scored once in the second to make it a 4-2 game after two.

Abbotsford added two more goals in the third, as Steen notched his hat trick marker, with Kyle Lennea also scoring.

The Pilots’ power play was red-hot, going three for five against the Knights. Abbotsford’s Noah Giescbrecht stopped 18 of 20 shots for his eighth win of the season.

Steen, who was named the game’s first star, is heating up for the Pilots and is now the fourth- leading scorer in the PJHL with 21 goals and 25 assists in 29 games. He collected four points against the Knights, with Carter Shannon adding three assists, and Lavallee and Alcock having multi-point games.

The Pilots return to MSA Arena on Friday when they host the Flames. Faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m.