Pilots produce offensive surge

Abbotsford scores seven against Mission and Surrey over weekend

Pilots defenceman Haydn Downing lines up an Outlaws forward for a hit during Friday's game.

Pilots defenceman Haydn Downing lines up an Outlaws forward for a hit during Friday's game.

The battle of the Fraser River in the Pacific Junior Hockey League heated up on Friday night, and the Abbotsford Pilots were left standing tall.

The Pilots blew up offensively, scoring seven goals and taking down the Mission City Outlaws 7-2 in the two clubs’ first regular-season meeting of the 2016-17 season.

Abbotsford’s Mateo Toledo continued his red-hot start to the season, as he scored a hat trick. The third-year player now has seven goals in the Pilots’ first four games.

Pilots forward Jackson Waniek also had a strong game, with two goals and two assists.

Also lighting the lamp for Abbotsford were Logan Favel and Alexander Methorst.

Pilots goalie Jacob Crawford stopped 21 of 23 shots in the win.

The game was filled with penalties, as the two clubs renewed their rivalry from last season. Abbotsford was assessed 46 minutes in penalties, while Mission compiled 36.

Despite the win, Pilots head coach Jim Cowden said it’s still early to get too excited.

“There is still lots of work for us to do,” he said. “We had lots of mistakes and turnovers tonight, but I think we will get better as the season goes on. We have a lot of speed, and I like the way our team has been put together.”

The Pilots also put up seven goals on Thursday, beating the Surrey Knights 7-3.

Goal scorers were: Toledo (two), Mitchell Plevy (two), Haydn Downing, Kolby Steen and Methorst.

Abbotsford fired 46 shots at the Surrey net, while Pilots goalie Noah Giesbrecht saved 25 shots for his first ever PJHL win.

The Pilots sit tied for first place in the Harold Brittain conference early into the season, with a record of three wins and one loss.

The Pilots next travel to Richmond to take on the Sockeyes on Thursday, and then host the North Vancouver Wolf Pack on Friday night at the MSA Arena.