Pilots hook league-leading Sockeyes

The Abbotsford Pilots authored a signature victory on Friday evening, knocking off the Richmond Sockeyes 3-2 at MSA Arena.

Brett Kolins and Luke Venema of the Pilots put the clamps on Richmond’s Kyzen Loo.

Brett Kolins and Luke Venema of the Pilots put the clamps on Richmond’s Kyzen Loo.

The Abbotsford Pilots authored a signature victory on Friday evening, knocking off the Richmond Sockeyes 3-2 at MSA Arena.

The Sockeyes have been nearly unbeatable this season – Friday’s defeat was just the fifth of the season for the Richmond club, which leads the Pacific International Junior Hockey League with a 26-5-0-0 record.

But the Pilots, despite being out-shot 35-20, escaped with a 3-2 win on the strength of Justin Dorey’s goal with 38 seconds remaining in the third period.

Dorey took a pass from Brad Parker in the neutral zone, then beat a Richmond defender wide down the left wing, out-waited goalie Kootenay Alder, and tucked the puck inside the far post.

“It was a very nice goal,” Pilots head coach Jim Cowden enthused.

“We had to work hard, and that was probably one of our most complete games as a team. You have to, to beat those guys.”

Adam Rossi and Luke Venema also scored for the Pilots, while Aaron Oakley made 33 saves in the win.

The Abby squad followed up the Richmond victory with a 4-2 road triumph over the North Vancouver Wolf Pack on Saturday. The Wolf Pack led 2-0 after the first period, but the Pilots got four unanswered goals from Dorey, Rossi, Travis Grewal and Colton Cowden to improve to 19-9-2-0.

• The Pilots return to action on Friday, as they host the Wolf Pack (7:30 p.m., MSA Arena).