Defenceman Kellan Lavallee’s value to the Abbotsford Pilots was etched all over the gamesheet for the Junior B hockey club’s comeback victory over the North Vancouver Wolf Pack last Friday.
After Lavallee was handed a two-minute minor penalty and 10-minute misconduct for a check to the head less than four minutes into the game, the Wolf Pack proceeded to score three goals in the absence of the Pilots’ rearguard.
Abbotsford spent the rest of the game playing catch-up, with more than a little help from Lavallee, before winning the game in overtime on Mitchell Plevy’s second goal of the game. Facing the opposition’s top line along with defensive partner Devon Becker, Lavallee notched a goal, and assisted on two other tallies, including the winner. He also helped kill off a five-minute penalty assessed to the Pilots’ Clayton Lake late in the third period.
With several key players out with injuries, Pilots coach Jim Cowden said his team needed big games from Lavallee, and the line of Plevy, Brady Lawlor and Kolten Grieve, who scored once and added two assists.
“They’re our best players and they have to be,” Cowden said, noting that the Plevy-Grieve-Lawlor line played more than half the game and “were dangerous all night.”
Cowden expects to make more changes to his roster in the coming week.
“We’re finding our way and once we get all our bodies back, then we can see exactly what we have.”