The Pacific Junior Hockey League’s (PJHL) annual Winter Classic showcase featured the league’s thirteen teams last weekend (Dec. 29-Jan. 1) at Minoru Arena in Richmond with each team playing twice. The Mission City Outlaws split their pair of games with a 4-3 overtime win over the North Vancouver Wolfpack on Thursday and a 5-1 loss to the White Rock Whalers on Friday.
The Outlaws snapped a four game losing streak with their win over the Wolf Pack after they gave up a two-goal lead in the third period. Owen Elson’s overtime winner delivered a much-needed victory to Mission. Blake Clease’s two goals earned him the game’s first star, while Kade Padgham and Brendan Chabot each tallied two points in the win. North Vancouver’s Ryan Hunter had two assists in the loss, while Callum Tung made 30 saves in defeat.
Corson Penman opened the scoring in the seventh minute of the first period for the Wolf Pack, but Clease answered 10 minutes later to tie the game 1-1 heading into the first intermission.
Mission outplayed North Vancouver in the second, out-shooting their opponents 14-8 and scoring twice to go ahead 4-2. Clease scored his second of the game less than two minutes into the period and Chabot scored on the power play just a few minutes later.
However, the Wolf Pack recovered in the third and outshot the Outlaws 14-6. Halfway through the period, Padgham was issued a game misconduct for a blow to the head and picked up a five-minute major penalty. The Wolf Pack capitalized on the ensuing power play with goals from Jonathan Soares and Trevor Baron less than a minute apart. The Outlaws avoided losing their fifth straight game with Elson’s game-winner in overtime.
Meanwhile on Saturday, Mission dropped to 0-4 against the White Rock Whalers this season with each loss coming in December. The Whalers dominated special teams and came close to securing a shutout but Cayden Karcioglu’s power play goal with less than two minutes remaining made the final score 5-1 for White Rock. Charlie Derrheim’s two goals powered the Whalers to victory while Chris Fortems and Maxim Woodward each notched two points as well. Evan Paul stopped 20 shots in the win while Max Fowle stopped 36 of 41 in the loss.
Derrheim opened the scoring five minutes in and Fortems scored later in the first period to give the Whalers a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. In the second period, Woodward scored shorthanded and Jacob Dorohoy scored on the power play to extend White Rock’s lead to 4-0. Derrheim potted a power play goal to go ahead 5-0 in the third period before Karcioglu’s late goal got the Outlaws on the scoreboard before the final buzzer.
Mission carries a 19-15 record into the new year, tied for third in the Harold Brittain Conference with the Chilliwack Jets. Each team has 38 points and an 18 point cushion over fifth-place Surrey and Aldergrove, but the Outlaws have a game in hand on the Jets.
The ‘Laws will play their first game of the new year on Saturday at Mission Leisure Centre at 6:45 p.m. against the Richmond Sockeyes.