The Pilots' Jarrett Martin (right) watches a shot go into the net during Saturday afternoon's round-robin game vs. the Saskatoon Quakers.

Pilots punch ticket to Keystone Cup final

The Abbotsford Pilots have what they've been craving – another shot at the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in the Keystone Cup final.

The Abbotsford Pilots have what they’ve been craving – another shot at the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in the Keystone Cup final.

Beaver Valley, the B.C. provincial champions, dismantled the Pilots 10-2 in the opening game of the Western Canadian junior B hockey championship at Abbotsford Recreation Centre.

But the Pilots (4-1) have been lights-out since then, reeling off four straight wins to punch their ticket to Sunday’s title game (1 p.m., ARC).

The Nitehawks (4-0), meanwhile, are also assured of a finals berth heading into their round-robin finale vs. the Thunder Bay Northern Hawks at 8 p.m. Saturday.

“It’s the perfect end to the story,” Pilots coach Jim Cowden enthused. “They beat us 10-2, but we’re a better hockey club than that.

“Like I said to the guys, the 10-2 (score) was a blessing, rather than 2-1 or 3-1 . . . we’ve got lots to prove to them.”

The Pilots found out they’d secured a trip to the title game on Saturday morning, when the Blackfalds Wranglers beat the Thunder Bay Northern Hawks 8-4. Both teams could finish with no fewer than two losses, and the Pilots had the head-to-head tiebreaker vs. both teams.

That gave Abbotsford the luxury of resting several of their regulars – forwards Kolten Grieve, Colten Cowden and Dylan Cusmano, and defenceman Austin Edwards – for their last round-robin game vs. the Saskatoon Quakers on Saturday afternoon.

Even without those players, the Pilots cruised to a 9-3 victory behind two goals from Jared Virtanen, who moved into a tie for the tourney scoring lead with five goals and six assists for 11 points. Beaver Valley’s Dallas Calvin (six goals, five assists) was also on 11 points heading into his team’s game vs. Thunder Bay.

Jordan Henri, with two goals and an assist, led the way offensively for the Quakers (1-4).

Cowden said his team’s main objective was just to get through the game without incurring a suspension or injury, and added that William Latimer will get the start in goal for Sunday’s final.

The match-up for the bronze medal game (10 a.m. Sunday) is also set – it will feature Blackfalds and Thunder Bay, both sitting at 2-2 heading into their last round-robin games on Saturday night.

 

Just Posted

Field set for Greater Trail municipal elections

Mayoral races in Warfield, Trail, Montrose and Fruitvale

Police investigate break-in, theft at Trail bakery

Trail RCMP officers responded to a break-in at the Pastry Shoppe on Friday

Basin sees increased support from the Trust

$57 million in benefits delivered through 65 programs and initiatives last year

Kootenay West MLA addresses Trail acid spills

Conroy seeking answers to public’s questions

Connect online to Columbia Basin and Kootenay Rockies farmers’ markets

BC Association of Farmers’ Markets new online tool connects people to farmers’ markets

‘Fire tornado’ erupts as firefighters battle interior B.C. wildfire

Firefighters near Vanderhoof were taken by surprise

Abdelrazik torture lawsuit delay would be unconscionable: lawyer

The federal government is making a last-minute plea to delay the Federal Court hearing

Trudeau upset after meeting with Saskatchewan chiefs

Trudeau is upset about how time was managed in a recent meeting

B.C. tent city ‘devastated’ after flash flood

Maple Ridge mayor says that residents shouldn’t have to return to their flooded tents

Filipino-Canadians concerned about family after typhoon hits Philippines

Typhoon Mangkhut has killed 66 people in the Philippines and four in China

Ottawa looks at having retired judge help guide renewed pipeline review process

The feds would only says that ‘multiple options were on the table’

Canada bans use of trans fats in food products

Trans fats are know to cause heart disease

Yukon suspect in B.C. mail bombing makes court appearance

Whitehorse man Leon Nepper faces charges related to a mail bomb sent to a Port Alice home Sept. 11

Nearly 80% of British Columbians support a ban on handguns in cities

86% support a ban on military-style assault weapons

Most Read