Mission Outlaws fall in Abbotsford

Outlaws lose for first time in 2016-17 PJHL season

Mission's Nick Sourtzis collides with a Pilots player during PJHL action in Abbotsford on Friday.

Mission's Nick Sourtzis collides with a Pilots player during PJHL action in Abbotsford on Friday.

BY: BEN LYPKA/BLACK PRESS

Round one of the battle of the Fraser River was won by the Abbotsford Pilots on Friday, but the Mission City Outlaws will have plenty of time and more opportunities to even the score.

The Outlaws and the Pilots met for the first time since Mission eliminated Abbotsford in round two of the Pacific Junior Hockey League playoffs last season, but after a decent start the Outlaws let the game slip away, losing 7-2.

Mission opened the scoring early in the first when Baylee Wright gave the Outlaws their only lead of the game. Abbotsford added two in the first period, one in the second, and exploded in the third for five to bury Mission. Justin Bowerman added a late goal for Mission.

“I thought we were ok in the first period but a little flat,” said Outlaws head coach Brad Veitch. “Once they got up on us we stopped moving the puck.”

Veitch pointed out the loss was the first time Abbotsford has defeated Mission dating back to early last season.

“It’s tough to beat a team seven times in a row,” he said, noting that Mission had beaten Abbotsford the previous six times the clubs had met. “Guys maybe thought it would be easier than it was, but this is a group that needs to be woken up sometimes.”

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.

The Outlaws were also badly outshot, with the Pilots firing 45 shots on net compared to just 23 for Mission.

The setback was the first loss of the 2016-17 season for the Outlaws, but they have a chance to bounce back on Saturday when they host the Grandview Steelers. Face-off is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Mission Leisure Centre.

For details on that game and a more in-depth look at the upcoming season for the Outlaws, read Friday’s print edition of the Mission City Record.