Justin Dorey’s goal with 51 seconds remaining capped a third-period rally for the Abbotsford Pilots on Saturday, lifting them to a 4-3 win and a first-round series sweep of the Port Moody Black Panthers.
The Pilots led 2-0 after the first period on goals by Kevin Lourens and Dorey, but the host Panthers rattled off a trio of goals in the second to take the lead.
But Abbotsford equalized on Travis Grewal’s shorthanded goal at 13:08 of the final frame, and Dorey scored the winner in dramatic fashion. After taking a pass from Riley Lamb, he beat a Panthers defenceman to the outside, manoeuvred around a pokecheck attempt by goalie Zachary Station and slid the puck home.
Game 4 was the only close game of the series – the Pilots won the first three games by a combined score of 21-4.
“We jumped all over them on the forecheck, and we spent a lot of time in their end,” Pilots coach Jim Cowden said. “Our defence was playing well, our goaltending was good, and as far as a team effort, we’re getting better and better.”
The series sweep is the best-case scenario for the Pilots, who have suffered through a wave of injuries this season. They’re getting healthier, though, with only two players – Scott Rae-Douglas (upper body) and Luke Venema (broken finger) – currently sidelined.
The team has a couple extra days off to rest their bumps and bruises as they await the winner of the Aldergrove Kodiaks and Ridge Meadows Flames. Aldergrove leads that series 2-1.