Pilots goalie Aaron Oakley goes for a poke-check against Aldergrove on Tuesday night.

Pilots goalie Aaron Oakley goes for a poke-check against Aldergrove on Tuesday night.

Kodiaks stun Pilots in Game 5, defending B.C. and Western Canadian champs eliminated

The end of the Abbotsford Pilots' season was a plot twist so stunning, it could have been plucked from an M. Night Shyamalan movie script.

The end of the Abbotsford Pilots’ season was a plot twist so stunning, it could have been plucked from an M. Night Shyamalan movie script.

Just one week ago, the local junior B hockey club was celebrating a dominant 8-1 win over the Aldergrove Kodiaks in Game 1 of their best-of-seven PJHL semifinal series, with a terrific regular season and a first-round sweep of the Mission City Outlaws in the rear-view mirror.

But the Kodiaks came storming back to win the next four games, including two in double overtime, and secured a trip to the league finals with a 4-1 triumph on Tuesday at MSA Arena.

And just like that, the Pilots – provincial and Western Canadian champions last season – are done.

“No one could have predicted it, I didn’t see it coming,” Pilots centre Adam Rossi said afterward. “But the bounces didn’t go our way, and next thing you know, we’re down 3-1 (in the series). And then they score on the first shift (in Game 5). But that’s hockey, right?”

Pilots coach Jim Cowden pointed out the series could have easily gone the other way – his squad held third-period leads in both Game 3 and 4 before falling in double-OT both nights.

He didn’t feel his team came prepared in Game 5, but he was equally displeased with some of the early penalty calls that went against the Pilots.

Late in the first period, Devon Allenby and Brett Kolins were given major penalties and game misconducts within two minutes of each other – Allenby for checking to the head, Kolins for charging.

Those penalties paved the way for the Kodiaks – already up 1-0 on a goal from Spencer McHaffie 45 seconds into the game – to rack up three quick power-play goals. Ryan Simpson, Scott McHaffie and Spencer McHaffie, with his second of the game, did the damage as Aldergrove took a 4-0 lead.

“It feels like we were set up, it honestly does,” groused Cowden, voicing his displeasure with the officiating. “It’s just frustrating.”

Brandon Daase got the Pilots on the board with a man-advantage goal at 13:03 of the third period, but they would get no closer.

“It’s really tough,” summarized Rossi, a 20-year-old whose junior eligibility is now done. “No one wants to go out like that, especially with all those penalties. But I had a good career with a really good group of guys, and I had fun every day coming to the rink. I guess that’s all that counts, right?”

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