The Outlaws offense rebounded in a big way after being held off the score-sheet against the Sockeyes on Thursday.
Baylee Wright led the way (as he does most nights) with a herculean five point effort in a 7-5 win over the Port Moody Panthers Saturday at the MLC.
The optics did not favor Mission City coming into the game. The Panthers had won their past two games, including a 3-2 win in Maple Ridge the previous night with Riley Welyk stymying the Flames attack to the tune of 36 saves.
The Outlaws struggled two nights earlier at Minaru allowing 4 power-play goals in 6 chances for the Host Sockeyes. Thankfully, their memory resembled that of Jason Bourne as they have now lit up opposition goalies 20 times in the last 3 games in Mission.
On Saturday they scored a number of ways, with the one common theme wearing 19 in White. He set up Michael Sande as a power-play expired to open the scoring. He wrapped up the first on a brilliant solo short-handed marker that left both Panther defenders and Lazlo Demeter in net searching for their jock straps.
Ryan Sharma was the recipient of a pair of Wright feeds that turned on the lamp. He says the second year pivot has been instrumental to any success the Outlaws have enjoyed so far.
“He’s been so good. Look at what he did again tonight. He wasn’t the only one, though. I thought the boys worked hard, really wanted this (the win). Keaton Dyck made some great saves tonight too that allowed us a chance to do what we needed to. He and Trully (Trulsen) have been really impressive all year.”
Kyle Mooney scored his first of the year, fending off a Panthers defender on a delayed penalty call before sniping it past Demeter. Tyler Myer scored his second in three games, finishing off a 3-way passing play orchestrated by Wright. Michal Holub also found the back of the net for his sixth. The play started with Kyle Lennea out-skating a Panthers defender along the boards, springing himself free before feeding Holub for the one time tap.
It’s been an exciting brand of hockey to watch the past three games at the MLC, a run and gun style offense that’s magical when it yields results, but frustrating to observe when the puck doesn’t roll the Outlaws way. Most coaches are more concerned with tightening things up in the defensive zone. Then again, reigning PJHL Coach of the year Brad Veitch isn’t like ‘most coaches’.
“It’s all about capitalizing on our opportunities,” said Veitch post-game. “Especially early on. It gives our boys a lot of confidence. Unfortunately we didn’t do that in Richmond, but it was nice to see us get back to that tonight.”
Keaton Dyck won his second straight start, making 36 saves. His work in the first period, where he stopped two point blank shots after Outlaws turnovers, laid the groundwork for the 2 points.
“It was a good team effort. We knew that they would come out hard to start the second and I knew I had to stay sharp mentally. It was great to make a couple of saves early on and I thought it was a big win”.
There are still areas for this team to work on to keep them from getting complacent. Their breakout from the defensive zone is getting better, but there are still a few too many turnovers in the wrong areas of the ice. The Panthers scored at least two goals after a failure to clear the defensive zone.
The work ethic was outstanding in the first period, but lagged in spots. There are some talented vets on this team who I’m sure know the old adage that ‘Hard work beats talent when talent isn’t working’.
The few rebounds Dyck gave up seemed to find the back of the net, with Lucian Serban and Hunter Logan both scoring that way. That falls on the players in front of the keeper to help him out after making the first (and sometimes second) save.
The Outlaws are off until Saturday, when they host Cole Pisiak and the Delta Ice Hawks, followed by a Sunday matinee in Burnaby.
Here are the player stats from the win.
|MISSION CITY OUTLAWS PLAYER STATS|
|MISSION CITY OUTLAWS GOALIE STATS|