It was a play years in the making for the Mission City Outlaws.
Forward David McGowan dished to defenceman Brock Padgham, who connected with a fresh-off-the-bench Bryce Pisiak, who danced in all alone and beat Abbotsford Pilots goalie Jacob Crawford to win the game in double overtime for Mission.
Outlaws players poured onto the ice to celebrate the winning goal in the 7-6 victory on Friday, and a little bit of breathing room atop the Pilots in the tight Harold Brittain conference standings.
“We’ve worked on that set play for a few years, and it’s the first time it’s ever worked,” said Outlaws head coach Brad Veitch.
The goal capped off a back and forth game that saw the contest tied up on five different occasions, and needed three-on-three action to crown a winner.
Veitch said it was a big win for his club.
“I thought our energy level was real good and we came out physical to start,” he said. “In the third, we were pushing to win and I thought they sat back a little bit. We rolled four lines up front for the first two periods, and they didn’t, so I think our guys were a little fresher at the end.”
The teams scored two goals apiece in the game’s first 3:46, as Justin Bowerman and Padgham got the Outlaws on the board. Noah Wiebe added a late goal to put the Outlaws up 3-2 after one. Ryan Sharma gave Mission a 4-2 lead early in the second, but the Pilots battled back to tie the game at four after two periods.
Abbotsford grabbed the lead in the third, but Kolby Steen and Kyle Lennea gave the Outlaws a 6-5 lead, only to have the Pilots score with 2:35 left to send the game to overtime.
“Padgham was a rock out there for us and Steen had a strong game too,” Veitch said. “McGowan and Pisiak were good as always, and I thought Bowerman played really hard for us.”
Pisiak, who scored the winning goal, had a four-point night, and was named the game’s first star. Goalie Joshua Matzek stopped 28 shots to improve to a perfect 3-0 in Pacific Junior Hockey League play this season.
The Outlaws returned to the ice on Saturday to host the Grandview Steelers, and extended the win streak to eight games with a 4-1 win.
Tristan Dundas opened the scoring in the first, but 62 seconds later the Steelers drew even. Mission then got unanswered goals from Steen (two) and Pisiak to earn the win.
Mission held the Steelers to just 19 shots, and goalie Jeffrey Veitch made 18 saves to pick up his 10th win on the season.
The Outlaws opened up a three-point cushion on the second-place Pilots after the pair of wins, and now have a record of 28 wins, 11 losses, and one overtime loss.
Mission takes on the Ridge Meadows Flames in Maple Ridge on Friday, and then host the Aldergrove Kodiaks on Saturday at the Mission Leisure Centre. Face-off is set for 6:45 p.m.