After failing in their first crack at eliminating the Ridge Meadows Flames, the Abbotsford Pilots finished the job on Tuesday at MSA Arena.
The local junior B hockey club blitzed the Flames 5-2 in Game 5 of their first-round best-of-seven set, winning the series 4-1.
Crucial to the Pilots’ success was their ability to steer clear of the penalty box, and an explosive offensive performance from their top line.
The unit of Braeden Monk, Kolten Grieve and Bradley Parker accounted for four of the five Abby goals – Grieve notched two, while Monk, Parker and Jared Virtanen added singles.
The Pilots held a 10-1 edge in power play opportunities, with half of them coming in the third period as the Flames’ discipline dissolved as their chances of a comeback grew more remote. Abbotsford ended up scoring three times with the man advantage, while amassing a dominant 55-23 edge in shots for the game.
“They’re definitely our go-to guys,” Abby head coach Jim Cowden said of the Monk-Grieve-Parker trio, “but we’re well-balanced.
“We had to work to get to where we wanted to be. I thought we were really disciplined . . . We didn’t give the referee much opportunity to put us in the box.”
The Pilots now await the winner of the other Harold Brittain Conference semifinal series between the Aldergrove Kodiaks and the Mission City Outlaws, which the Kodiaks lead 3-0 heading into Wednesday night’s Game 4 (7:15 p.m., Aldergrove Community Arena). According the Cowden, even if the Kodiaks win Game 4, an Abby-Aldergrove series wouldn’t start until early next week.