The Mission City Outlaws opened the playoffs with three straight losses, but have now won five straight playoff games to hit their groove in the Pacific Junior Hockey League‘s Harold Brittain conference final against the Abbotsford Pilots.
David McGowan was the hero on game one in Abbotsford on Friday, scoring the game winner in overtime to give the Outlaws a 1-0 series lead.
The teams felt themselves out in the opening period, with Abbotsford’s Mateo Toledo scoring the first period’s opening goal at 17:43.
The Outlaws came alive in the second period, as McGowan got Mission on the board, and the Outlaws went up 2-1 and 3-2 to erase comebacks from the Pilots, but Abbotsford refused to quit. The Outlaws also got goals from Brody Dyck and Brock Padgham in the second.
Padgham’s goal, the second of the game for the Outlaws, was not without some controversy. The goal rang the inside of the post and came out, and after play continued a review was done by the referee. The goal was awarded shortly after. Alexander Methorst and Cole Methorst tallied for the Pilots, and the game was tied at three after two periods.
Abbotsford’s Francis Bamford scored on another weird one early in the third, after a bouncing puck in front of the net found itself in the back of the goal. Mission continued to push in the third period, and it finally paid off for the club when Kolby Steen scored the tying goal with 63 seconds left in regulation.
Overtime saw McGowan pot the game winner at 5:24 to give game one to the Outlaws.
Game two goes down in Mission tomorrow (Saturday) night at 6:45 at the Mission Leisure Centre. Game three is also in Mission on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Read the Mission City Record online for coverage from games two and three.