On Friday the Ridge Meadows Flames came into the MSA Arena and defeated the Pilots 5-1.

On Friday the Ridge Meadows Flames came into the MSA Arena and defeated the Pilots 5-1.

Lack of scoring sends Pilots into a tailspin

Abbotsford drops three straight games, slipping to fourth in the standings

 

The Abbotsford Pilots have chosen a poor time for their offensive drought.

The Pacific Junior Hockey League squad lost three times in four days last week, slipping in the standings to fourth in the conference. The Pilots (20-21-0-2) have just one game left before the postseason begins to regain their offensive punch.

“We just can’t score,” said Cowden. “And when we do, it’s the same three guys scoring all the time. We need to spread it out more.”

But what’s missing?

“You know, I don’t know the answer,” said Cowden. “We’ve been trying different line combinations, moving guys around, trying to figure out what bodies should be where.”

Wednesday they dropped a 4-1 decision on the road to the Aldergrove Kodiaks, who have sewn-up first place in the Harold Brittain Conference. Jacob Crawford stopped 28 of 32 shots, while Lucian Serban picked up his second of the season in the losing effort.

Friday the Ridge Meadows Flames came into the MSA Arena and defeated the Pilots 5-1.

The Flames have clinched last place in the conference, but never trailed in the game, and got a hat trick from Bradley Crompton.

Alex Kong made 20 saves in the loss.

Kellan Lavallee scored the lone Pilots goal. At 16:30 of the first he took a hard shot from the side boards, and though the netminder got a piece of it, the puck crossed the line to tie the game at 1.

“No, we had 80 per cent control of that game,” said Cowden. “But when you can’t put the puck in the net, it doesn’t matter. It’s just from the centre line and up that we’re struggling with.”

Saturday was perhaps the biggest disappointment.

The Mission City Outlaws have passed the Pilots in the standings now after a 5-2 win.

Brady Lawlor opened the scoring on the power play in the first period. Then Colton Cowden converted with the extra man in the final minute of the second frame to tie the game 2-2.

“We dominated the game [Saturday] too,” said Cowden. “We played really well. They just got the goal in the third. We couldn’t get goals when we needed them.”

Kolby Steen’s goal midway through the third was the difference. He would add a second goal in the final minute to clinch the victory.

Crawford stopped 20 of 24 shots.

When pressed to name his starting goaltender going forward, the Pilots head coach seems like he’s made up his mind, but performance in practice and their final regular season game will also weigh in.

“I’m hoping it’s going to be, well, I’m not sure,” he said. “We’re going to have to let them battle it out.”

However, Crawford will likely get the start Friday.

“He’s got a little more experience,” said Cowden. “He’s played well.”

The second-place Langley Knights visit the MSA Arena Friday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.