Goal scoring wasn’t the big problem for the Mission City Outlaws on Saturday, preventing goals was.
The Outlaws trailed for much of the game against the Ridge Meadows Flames, but battled back in the third period to tie the game at six, only to see the Flames score with 1:45 remaining in the game to nail down the win 7-6.
The league-leading Flames jumped to a 2-0 lead mid-way through the first period, but then Mission’s Kieran Brunetti scored his first career Pacific Junior Hockey League goal to make it 2-1 after one.
Offence exploded in the second period, with the teams trading five goals. Tyler Wickman and Jeremy Zomar scored the Outlaws, with the Flames adding three goals to finish the second with a 5-3 lead.
Mission stormed back in the third period, as Justin Bowerman and Baylee Wright scored to tie the game at five mid-way through the final frame.
The Flames grabbed the lead back 19 seconds later, but the Outlaws tied the game up again when Michal Holub scored.
The Flames took the lead again for the final time at 18:15 of the third to earn the win.
Outlaws goalie Matthew Trulsen made 37 saves in a losing effort.
Wright, Bowerman and Holub all picked up three points.
Penalty killing was also an issue for Mission, as they allowed two goals a man down. The Outlaws went zero for three on the power play in the loss.
Trulsen said Saturday was a lost opportunity for the Outlaws.
“I really wanted to get that win for the boys,” the goalie told the Outlaws website following the game.
“We need to stop this slide we are on, and I wish I could have made a few more saves to make that happen.”
Mission played the game without suspended players captain Ryan Sharma and Holden Wilkerson, as well as defender Michael Sande. Trulsen said playing without those key players is no excuse.
“It’s never easy [with those guys out] but I believe we have enough other good players that can step up and get the job don,” he said.
“We battled hard, we just came up short.”
The Outlaws record drops to three wins, six losses and one overtime loss with the setback.
The club next hosts the Surrey Knights on Saturday at 6:45 p.m.