The Mission City Outlaws stumbled on day one of the Pacific Junior Hockey League’s first-ever Winter Classic tournament in Richmond, but bounced back to split a pair of games.
The event featured all 10 PJHL teams, and the Outlaws participated in the first game of the tournament at 1 p.m. on Friday against the North Vancouver Wolf Pack.
Mission’s Bryce Pisiak opened the scoring, but North Vancouver scored two late goals to build a 2-1 lead after the first period. Outlaws forward Baylee Wright tied the game in the second period, but the Wolf Pack scored five unanswered goals to earn the 7-2 win.
The penalty kill hurt Mission, as the Wolf Pack scored three power play goals on seven opportunities. Outlaws goalie Jeffrey Veitch made 28 saves in the loss.
Mission returned to the Minoru Arena on Saturday and defeated the Port Moody Black Panthers 3-1. David McGowan and Nate Castonguay scored first-period goals for the Outlaws, with Pisiak adding an insurance goal in the second. Mission scored two power play goals in the win, and Veitch stopped 26 shots for the win.
The results see the Outlaws out of first place for the first time since October, as they now sit one point behind the first-place Abbotsford Pilots in the Harold Brittain conference.
Mission next hosts the Langley Knights at the Mission Leisure Centre on Saturday. Faceoff is set for 6:45 p.m.
In other Outlaws news, the club traded the playing rights of goalie Gunnar Neilsen to the Bonnyville Pontiacs of the Alberta Junior League in exchange for future considerations. Neilsen had a record of 10 wins and four losses, a goals-against average of 3.01 and a .919 save percentage this season with Mission.
The Outlaws also announced on Dec. 30 that they have acquired the playing rights of defenceman Arshdeeep Shergill from the Pilots for future considerations. Shergill had played four games with the Pilots this season and recorded two points.
For more information on the club, visit missioncityoutlaws.com.