Sports

Outlaws down 2-0 to Kodiaks in playoffs

The Mission Outlaws dropped the first game of its playoff series 8-5 to the Aldergrove Kodiaks. Mission hosts the Kodiaks on Saturday and Sunday for games three and four. - Kurt Langmann Photo
The Mission Outlaws dropped the first game of its playoff series 8-5 to the Aldergrove Kodiaks. Mission hosts the Kodiaks on Saturday and Sunday for games three and four.
— image credit: Kurt Langmann Photo

The Mission City Outlaws will try to rally this weekend after falling behind in round one of the Pacific Junior Hockey League playoffs has been determined.

The defending champions squared off in round one against the top-ranked Aldergrove Kodiaks on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

In the playoff opener, Mission fell 8-5 to Aldergrove. The next night, the Outlaws lost again, this time by a score of 4-1.

The series now shifts to Mission for games three and four on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s game occurs at 6:45 p.m., while Sunday gets going at 8:15 p.m., both at the Mission Leisure Centre.

These are must win games for the local squad if they hope to move forward in the playoffs.

During the regular season, the Outlaws were the only team in the league to beat the Kodiaks twice, as two of Aldergrove’s seven losses came at the hands of Mission. The Outlaws also lost in overtime to Aldergrove.

Before the playoff series began, Mission head coach Brad Veitch said that while he would have liked to be higher ranked going into the postseason, the Kodiaks aren’t unbeatable.

“I think we match up as well with them as we do anybody else,” he said.

“It’s all about our composure when we play Aldergrove. We can’t run around and take penalties because they have a deadly power play and tend to draw a lot of penalties.”

Mission beat Aldergrove twice in September, but the Kodiaks won all three times the clubs met in November. Aldergrove also beat Mission 5-3 the last time the two teams met on Dec. 14.

“We need to buy into playing our team game,” Veitch said of the keys to the series. “We need to be physical, we’ve got a big team and need to play hard along the wall and slow down the game. Puck possession and limiting turnovers will also be big for us against Aldergrove.”

The Outlaws ended the regular season with a pair of losses last weekend.

Mission fell 6-2 to the Pilots at home on Saturday, and then lost 6-4 to the Delta Ice Hawks on home ice on Sunday.

Saturday’s game saw the Outlaws tie the game up at two in the second period, but then allow four unanswered goals.

Sammy Zeinab and Nicolas Bizzutto scored the goals for Mission, who were outshot 42-22. Goalie Matthew Trulsen suffered the loss, allowing five goals on 27 shots before he was replaced by Keaton Dyck in the third period. Abbotsford connected on a pair of power play goals to seal the win.

Veitch said it wasn’t one of his team’s better efforts.

“I thought we played for about 10 minutes of the 60,” he said. “We were really depleted up front, and were down to nine forwards heading into the game. All the penalties didn’t help, and it was hard to get anything going.”

During Sunday’s game the Ice Hawks open up a 3-0 lead after one, only to have the Outlaws claw back to tie the game at three by the third period. Delta then scored three more unanswered goals, followed by a late goal by Mission.

Jackson Waniek (two), Kyle Lennea and Ryan Sharma all tallied for the Outlaws. Dyck made 28 saves in the loss.

 

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