Pilots punch ticket to Keystone Cup final

The Abbotsford Pilots will play for the Keystone Cup on Sunday.

The Abbotsford Pilots will play for the Keystone Cup on Sunday afternoon.

The local squad punched its ticket to the title game at the Western Canadian junior B hockey championship tournament in Saskatoon with a 3-0 win over the Traveland RV Storm on Saturday morning.

The Pilots and the Pilot Butte, Sask. squad battled to a scoreless stalemate through two periods, but Kyle Star broke the ice with a goal at 9:49 of the final frame. Justin Dorey took over from there, bulging the twine twice – the second into an empty net – to round out the scoring.

Pilots goalie Riley Parker posted a 26-save shutout, and picked up player of the game honours.

That triumph gave the Pilots a 4-0-0 record in the round robin, and ensured they would finish among the top two in a six-team field and thus qualify for the final.

It also rendered their final round robin game moot, and Abbotsford dropped an 8-1 decision to the Whitecourt Wolverines on Saturday evening.

Dorey scored the Pilots’ lone goal on a first-period power play, but the Alberta representatives got four-point nights from Brennan Romanovitch (one goal, three assists) and Riley Hellekson (two goals, two assists) en route to victory.

The Pilots (4-1-0) will face the Thunder Bay Northern Hawks (4-1-0) in Sunday’s final, which starts at 1 p.m. Central time (11 a.m. Pacific). Abbotsford beat Thunder Bay 7-4 in their tournament opener on Thursday, but the Ontario squad bounced back to win their next four games and earn a rematch in the final.

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