The Outlaws snapped a 3 game skid Saturday night with a 7-2 win over Surrey at the MLC.
A once stagnant offense that had scored a mere 9 goals in 5 games between September 23-October 4th worked on giving the goal light judge callouses for a second straight game.
Granted it was against a win-less Knights squad that had coughed up a league high 59 goals in their first 10 games. The Outlaws, though, were without the services of Captain Ryan Sharma, who was the team’s leading scorer before being handed a suspension in Ladner. It was a cast of secondary scorers who led the offensive charge in this one.
The first period featured some good intensity, especially from the visiting Knights. Their discipline early on led to a deficit. They started the game with a bench minor, followed that up with a hooking penalty a minute later then completed the dubious hat trick of shame with a tripping penalty at the 3 minute mark.
The Outlaws cashed in during the middle of the Knights sin bin parade. Kyle Lennea finished off a beautiful give-and-go with Kieran Brunetti with a diving shot in the slot. Sammy Zeinab the other helper at 1:56.
The Knights responded as Jin Woo Lee buried a shot top shelf past Keaton Dyck at 8:18.
The Laws restored the lead with just over 3 minutes remaining. Zeinab started the play by poking the puck past a Knights defender at the Outlaws blueline. Brunetti took a pass that sent him in alone on Jeevan Bains and he slipped it past the Knights keeper. Lennea the second assist.
Less than a minute later the game was tied again. Blake McCulloch scored his team leading 8th goal by bouncing a shot off Outlaws defender Brendan Murphy and past a surprised Dyck.
2-2 after 20. Shots 22-10 Mission.
The Outlaws took the lead for good in the second period. At 8:15 Tyler Myer’s pinball shot found the back of the mesh. Then Jeremy Zomar slipped a 5-hole special past Bains after taking a sweet feed from Baylee Wright at 16:55. Justin Bowerman finished off the scoring in the middle frame with an ugly goal that somehow hit paydirt at 17:40.
5-2 after 40. Shots 22-17 Knights.
Two more goals in the third. Lennea received a breakaway pass from Brunetti 26 seconds in to make it 6-2 (15 year old Jackson O’Brien with the other assist, his second of the season).
Zomar completed the red light party by tipping a Tyler Wickman point shot home at 8:15.
Bains made 42 saves as the Knights failed to score on 7 power-play opportunites. They are now 0/28 on the road this year. Outlaws were 1/6.
Dyck made 39 saves in winning his first game of the season. Coach Brad Veitch very complementary of the game the 17 year old Chilliwack net-minder played.
“I was really impressed. Both goals they scored on him weren’t his fault, I mean we put one in ourselves and the other was a strange bounce high off the stantion we lost sight of. For him to recover mentally and give us the second period he did speaks volumes about him.”
Veitch also pleased to see a few more players get involved in the offense.
“It was nice to get the win, it was really just a matter of time and nice it came in my first game back (after the suspension). A game like this allowed me to give more ice time to a few guys than they would normally see. Kieran (Brunetti) had a strong game. He was really moving his feet and he drove well to the net. As for Jeremy (Zomar), he’s a talented kid that can put the puck in the net and tonight he did, twice.”
Brunetti finished the game with a goal and 2 assists. He says this win should help the team moving forward.
“It gives us a lot of confidence, winning big like this. Now what we need to do is bring the momentum we are building into the game against the Sockeyes on Thursday. ”
Zomar seemed relieved after the game to have scored a pair.
“It’s always good to score a couple, anything to help out the boys. Our offense should get even better with Sharma back in the mix next game.”
Zomar pointed out that despite the win, there’s still plenty to work on in practice this week.
“We’ve got to stop turning the puck over in our end and at our blue-line. We also need to focus on creating better quality shots on our opponents net. We do that and good things are going to continue happening for us.”