The Abbotsford Pilots presented Western Canadian championship rings to last year’s team in a pre-game ceremony on Friday evening.
Properly inspired, the local junior B hockey squad went out and snapped a three-game losing streak in emphatic fashion.
The Pilots blasted the Mission City Outlaws 9-0 at MSA Arena, out-shooting the visitors by an absurd 47-8 margin as goalie Aaron Oakley picked up perhaps the easiest shutout of his career.
Kyle Star led the way with two goals, and Dakota Schipper, Chris Vinette, Bradley King, Brandon Daase, Mike Tebbutt, Luke Venema and Mico Dragutinovic chipped in with singles.
Pilots general manger/owner Jack Goeson said the ring ceremony was a special moment.
“It brings a lot of memories back from the 24 years I’ve been doing this,” he said, making special mention of the Pilots’ volunteers and head coach Jim Cowden. “You’re just thinking about everybody at that moment.”
The Pilots stumbled on the road Saturday, dropping a 3-1 decision to the North Delta Devils. They out-shot the Devils 29-20, but Daase’s shorthanded marker in the first period was all the offence they could muster against North Delta goalie Steve Myland.
The Pilots (7-4-1, 15 points) still lead the Harold Brittain Conference – they’re the only team in the division above .500, and they’re six points up on the second-place Ridge Meadows Flames.
• The Pilots are back in action on Friday, as they host the Richmond Sockeyes (7:30 p.m., MSA Arena).