The Mission City Outlaws clinched a playoff berth this past week by splitting a pair of games with the Surrey Knights and Delta Ice Hawks.
The Outlaws outlasted the Surrey Knights 4-3 in a shootout on Thursday night (Jan. 19) in a close game that saw seven rounds of shootout action and over 40 shots for each team. James Veitch scored the shootout winner for Mission, while Cayden Karcioglu and Rowan Zapisocki each contributed a goal and an assist to the Outlaws’ offence. Jake Thompson earned the first star of the game by potting two goals for the Knights while Parkor Sarai added two assists. Max Fowle turned aside 40 shots for Mission in the win.
Bryce Mueske opened the scoring for the Knights just over four minutes into the game, but Blake Clease answered on the power play for Mission midway through the first period. Thompson found the back of the net late in the period to put Surrey ahead 2-1 before the intermission.
Zapisocki tied the game and scored his first goal of the season just 21 seconds into the second period. Thompson netted another go-ahead goal 12 minutes later for his 17th of the season.Karcioglu had a quick reply for the Outlaws just over two minutes later to make it 3-3 heading into the third period.
After the fireworks of the first two periods, the teams were able to lock down in the third and then in overtime. The Outlaws outshot the Knights 17-7 in the third after facing a 35-23 shot deficit after 40 minutes.
In the shootout, the Outlaws and Knights went tit for tat for six rounds before Sarai failed to best Fowle and Veitch scored the game-winner.
In a return to Mission Leisure Centre on Saturday night (Jan. 21), a goaltending duel resulted in a 2-0 win for the Delta Ice Hawks. Zach Shaughnessy earned the shut out, making 28 saves to lead Delta to victory. Fowle was spectacular for the Outlaws once again, stopping 40 of 41 shots in the loss.
Caelyn Mander scored first goal of the game about halfway through the first period with assists from Carson Merriman and Brayden Sinclair.
Delta outshot Mission in each period but were unable to extend their lead. Late in the third period, the Outlaws had an opportunity to tie the game. Henry Smith picked up a hooking penalty with just over a minute remaining to put the Outlaws on the power play with Fowle on the bench.
However, Mission was unable to capitalize and Ryan Bal iced the game with a shorthanded empty-netter with just 15 seconds remaining.
With the split, the Outlaws sit at 21-19 on the season and fall to fourth place in the Harold Brittain conference after over a month in third. The Outlaws are two points behind the Chilliwack Jets for third place with a playoff spot clinched and a game in hand.
Up next, Mission pays a visit to Aldergrove Credit Union Community Arena for a matchup with the Aldergrove Kodiaks at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday. The squad returns to Mission Leisure Centre on Saturday for a rematch with the Surrey Knights.