A disastrous stretch in the second period cost the Mission Outlaws the game on Friday against the Abbotsford Pilots. Mission had a 2-1 lead after the first period, but the Pilots exploded for four unanswered goals in the second period, and that outburst proved to be enough to hand the Outlaws the loss.
The Outlaws battled back in the third, with goals from David McGowan and Brody Dyck, and also rang a shot off the crossbar in the final minute, but ultimately lost 5-4.
Dyck and Brock Padgham tallied in the first period for Mission.
“I thought we had a really good first period but then we just started running around and kind of got out of our gameplan,” said Outlaws head coach Brad Veitch. “We settled back into it in the third period, and we’ve had tendency to do that all season. We’ve been getting away with it for the most part so it’s good for them to know they can’t keep doing it. Down the road they won’t be successful if they keep doing it.”
Despite the short stretch in the second, Veitch liked his team’s effort.
“Everything turned in a five- or six-minute span there,” he said. “But I was happy with the way they responded. They came out in the third and executed the way we wanted them to and made a game out of it.”
He praised the play of forward Justin Bowerman, who returned from a vicious hit and drew one assist.
The Outlaws then came out strong at home on Saturday, crushing the Ridge Meadows Flames 7-1.
Mission scored five unanswered goals in the first two periods, and added two more in the third for the win. Goal scorers were: Bryce Pisiak (two), Tyler Wickman, Kolby Steen, Mitchell Biermann, Nate Castonguay, and Noah Wiebe. Wickman, McGowan, Steen, Pisiak and Padgham all recorded three-point nights. Outlaws goalie Jeffrey Veitch stopped 21 of 22 shots for the win.
The Outlaws remain tops in the Pacific Junior Hockey League after the weekend, with a record of 19 wins, five losses and one overtime loss. Veitch said it’s been a good first half for his team.
“It’s been a good start but there’s still a lot of work to do,” he said. “We need to get more healthy and iron out our systems a little bit more.”
Mission hosts the Pilots on Saturday, with face-off scheduled for 6:45 p.m. at the Mission Leisure Centre.