Pilots forward Baylee Wright attacks near the front of the net against the Whalers during PJHL action on Dec. 21. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

Pilots forward Baylee Wright attacks near the front of the net against the Whalers during PJHL action on Dec. 21. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

Pilots close out 2018 with win

Abbotsford defeats White Rock 8-3, Winter Classic next for club

The Abbotsford Pilots closed off the 2018 calendar with a resounding 8-3 win over the White Rock Whalers last Friday.

The club fell behind 2-0 after 20 minutes, but roared back with six consecutive goals in the second period to help cruise to the win.

Abbotsford added two more in the final frame to improve to a Pacific Junior Hockey League best 13-2-1 on home ice at the MSA Arena.

Pilots forward Jacob De Waal scored a natural hat trick in the second period, Baylee Wright added a hat trick of his own, and the team also got goals from Dawson Wollf, Gregory Porter and Sahvan Gill.

Wright had another monster game, collecting seven points in total and now has 94 in 31 games so far this season. The last player who got that many points was Bill Smith of the Grandview Steelers, who scored 94 points in 45 games back in the 2008-09 season.

De Waal added five points, and he sits second in league scoring with 62 points in 29 games played. Ethan Willoughby and Will Hazel-Penaluna also recorded multi-point games for the Pilots.

Abbotsford outshot White Rick 39-24 in the win, and the power play was effective, connecting twice on five opportunities.

Pilots goalie Keaton Dyck made 15 saves for his 18th win of the season.

Abbotsford ends 2018 with a record of 20-9-1-1, and they are in first place in the Harold Brittain conference and fourth overall in the PJHL.

The team next participates in the PJHL’s Winter Classic event, which occurs at Richmond’s Minoru Arena starting on Jan. 4.

Abbotsford takes on the Richmond Sockeyes at 7 p.m. on Jan. 4, and then battles the Ridge Meadows Flames at 4 p.m. on Jan. 5.

The next home game for the team occurs on Jan. 11, when the first-ranked North Vancouver Wolf Pack come to town. Faceoff for that game is set for 7:30 p.m.

For more on the team, visit abbotsfordpilots.com.