The Abbotsford Pilots opened the Pacific Junior Hockey League regular season on a high note, taking down the Langley Trappers 5-2 at home on Friday night.
The Trappers got on the board first, but Abbotsford countered with three goals over the first two periods, and added two more in the final frame to earn the victory.
The Pilots power play was connecting during game one, with captain Baylee Wright and Brady Morton scoring goals with the man advantage. Ethan Willoughby, Cameron Obcena and Morton adding a late even-strength goal also tallied for Abbotsford.
Penalty killing was perfect for the Pilots, with the locals killing all four shorthanded opportunities they faced.
Obcena had an impressive game, as he was involved in all five goals and collected five points. Wright and Jacob De Waal both recorded three-point nights and the Pilots outshot Langley 30-19.
Pilots goalie Keaton Dyck was solid in his Abbotsford debut, as the Chilliwack native stopped 17 shots to earn the win. Dyck played 15 games for the Trappers last season, and also played for the Mission City Outlaws in the past.
The game also featured an emotional ceremony celebrating the life of former Pilots goalie Robert Nawrot, who died on Aug. 28. Nawrot, who was well respected in the local hockey community as a player and referee, had both his Pilots jersey and referee jersey placed at centre ice for a moment of silence prior to the opening face-off.
Nawrot played six games for Abbotsford last season, recording two wins. He also previously played in the PJHL with the Surrey Knights.
The Pilots did have a game scheduled for Saturday, but it was re-scheduled so players could attend Nawrot’s funeral, which occurred in Abbotsford on Saturday afternoon.
The club returned to action on Tuesday night against the Delta Ice Hawks in Ladner, but results were not available at press time. The Pilots then host the Grandview Steelers on Friday and the Ridge Meadows Flames on Saturday. Friday’s game has a 7:30 p.m. face-off, with Saturday’s tilt getting underway at 8 p.m.
For more on the team, visit abbotsfordpilots.com.