Sports

Kodiaks sweep Outlaws, Pilots next

Aldergrove Kodiaks
Aldergrove Kodiaks' Spencer Unger tries to slip the puck past Mission City Outlaws goalie Jeffrey Veitch during game two of the best-of-seven playoff series.
— image credit: Harry Hunt/Black Press

In the end, the depth of the Aldergrove Kodiaks was too much for the over-matched Mission City Outlaws.

“We had a couple of lapses there and they put pressure on us, but for the most part, we dominated,” said Kodiaks coach Brad Rihela.

“Mission had their chances and battled hard, but Jordan Liem was great for us in goal.”

The junior B Kodiaks completed their first round sweep in the PJHL’s best-of-seven series on Wednesday (Feb. 26) at the Aldergrove Arena with a 6-2 victory in game four.

The Kodiaks also won by scores of 5-2, 5-1 and 6-3.

In the final game, the Outlaws led 1-0 after one period  — it was the first time Aldergrove trailed the entire series — but three goals in the second and then three more to open the third put the game out of reach.

The Kodiaks scored four times on the power play.

Aldergrove, which won the Harold Brittain Conference with 72 points, used their superior depth to fashion the sweep.

Stephen Ryan, the leading scorer in the PJHL during the regular season with 41 goals and 88 points in 44 games, didn’t score until game four when he popped in a pair.

“Everybody was solid and our depth came through,” Rihela said.

Out of the 18 players who suited up in any of the four games, 17 had at least one point and 10 had goals.

Quinncy Leroux led the team in total goals during the series with four while Elvis Jansons finished with eight assists and Spencer McHaffie had three goals and three assists.

The Kodiaks next battle the Abbotsford Pilots in round two with a berth in the league finals on the line.

The Pilots finished second, 13 points behind Aldergrove, and won their first round series in five games over the Ridge Meadows Flames.

“It is going to be a tough test for us, two really good hockey clubs,” Rihela said.

“We have been looking forward to this all year. We are excited and we are ready.”

The teams played six times during the regular season, but after the Pilots won the first two, Aldergrove won the final four. One of the victories was in overtime.

And while Abbotsford would love nothing more than to knock off their division rivals, the Pilots are guaranteed a spot at the provincial championships as the host team in April.

“They have a lot of talent over there and it’s a healthy rivalry,” Rihala said.

“The key is going to be to execute.”

•••••

The second round series with Abbotsford gets underway with games one and two at the Aldergrove Arena on March 4 and 5.

The series shifts to Abbotsford’s MSA Arena for games three and four on March 7 and 8.

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