The Abbotsford Pilots celebrate a goal during the team's 4-3 win over the Delta Ice Hawks on Friday.

The Abbotsford Pilots celebrate a goal during the team's 4-3 win over the Delta Ice Hawks on Friday.

Abbotsford Pilots win home opener

Junior hockey team downs Delta 4-3 on home ice

After a disappointing 6-2 loss to open the Pacific Junior Hockey League season on Wednesday, the Abbotsford Pilots bounced back on home ice by disposing of the Delta Ice Hawks 4-3 on Friday.

Abbotsford never trailed in the game, and scored just minutes into the game. Rookie Corbin Genge made it 2-0 game with 5:30 left in the first, scoring his first ever PJHL goal. Delta added a late goal to cut the lead in half after one period.

Mateo Toledo deflected a shot from the point on the power play to put the Pilots up 3-1 in the second period. Both teams traded chances, but it turned out to be the only score in the middle frame.

The Ice Hawks stormed back in the third, scoring a power play and short handed goal to even the game up with 9:30 remaining. However, the Pilots would squeeze one by the Ice Hawks goalie with six minutes left. Jackson Waniek was credited with the game winner.

The three stars of the game were goalie Jacob Crawford, forward Kolby Steen and Toledo.

Pilots head coach Jim Cowden noted that his team was only playing with four defenceman, as injuries and other commitments led two rearguards to miss Friday’s game.

“We were tired at times tonight,” he said. “It’s hard to play with just four d at this level, but I think they played well.”

Cowden said the team is still learning its systems, but he liked what he saw from Friday.

The Pilots return to action on Thursday against the Surrey Knights on the road. They then return home to host the PJHL champion Mission City Outlaws on Friday night.

Read Wednesday’s print edition of the Abbotsford News for more on this game.

 

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