Pilots’ unbeaten streak ends

Abbotsford suffers first loss this month on Friday

Pilots forward Mateo Toledo rushes past a Delta Ice Hawks defender in PJHL action.

A dominant December ended with a loss for the Abbotsford Pilots on Saturday.

The Pilots fell 5-4 to the Delta Ice Hawks to snap a nine-game undefeated streak, stretching back to Nov. 27.

Kevin Allen opened the scoring for Abbotsford at 12:21, but the Ice Hawks scored at 16:16 to tie the game up after one period. Delta grabbed its first lead in the second, but Philip Gauthier scored a pair of goals to put the Pilots up 3-2 after two periods.

Delta scored on the power play early into the third, and added another goal to move ahead, but Dryden Michaud knotted the game up again at 9:27. The Ice Hawks then grabbed the lead for good at 13:19.

Abbotsford outshot the Ice Hawks 45-31 in the loss, and goalie Jacob Crawford made 26 saves.

On Wednesday, the Pilots and the Ridge Meadows Flames played to a 6-6 tie. Brady Morton, Hayden Guilderson, Jackson Waniek (two), Kevin Allen, and Erik Olson scored for Abbotsford. Crawford stopped 40 shots in the draw.

The Pilots sit in second place in the Harold Brittain conference, with a record of 19 wins, 10 losses, one tie, and one overtime loss. Abbotsford heads into the holiday break just one point behind the first-place Mission City Outlaws.

Cole Methorst is the Pilots’ leading scorer heading into the break, with 33 points in 29 games. Methorst ranks 11th overall in the Pacific Junior Hockey League in scoring.

Rookie Dryden Michaud is second on the team and 14th overall with 30 points.

Alexander Methorst leads the Pilots in goals with 16, and Hayden Guilderson has notched a team-high 23 assists.

Devon Becker is the top point-producing defenceman, with 23 points, while Jackson Waniek has spent the most time in the penalty box at 69 minutes.

Crawford is fourth in the PJHL with wins at 13, and is fourth in both save percentage (.914) and goals against average (2.74).

Next up for the Pilots is the first-ever PJHL’s Winter Classic from Jan. 1 to 3 at Minoru Arena in Richmond. All 10 teams in the league are set to participate in the event. Abbotsford plays Delta on Jan. 1 and Ridge Meadows on Jan. 2. The event is part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the league.

The event is being designed as a showcase for young talent, with scouts from junior hockey and college programs expected to be on hand.

The next home game for the Pilots occurs on Jan. 9, when they host Ridge Meadows.

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