Outlaws/Knights photos by Jeff Dyck
The Outlaws dumped the Surrey Knights 10-0 Friday at the MLC before being edged 6-5 by the Port Moody Panthers in overtime.
Many wondered where the goals would come from after then-top scorer Baylee Wright departed up the ladder with the Langley Rivermen. After finding the back of the net 19 times in their last three games, I think the Outlaws have put that question to bed for now.
On Friday, the Outlaws faced a roster-depleted Surrey Knights team that battled bravely the previous Saturday at the MLC in a 4-1 loss.
It would not be nearly as close this night.
#19 Kyle Lennea and #6 Hayd Downing made their Outlaws debut, after being acquired from the Pilots for Tyler Wickman at the trade deadline. Ryan Sharma also returned from a suspension.
It took the “Lennea and the Jets” seven minutes and change to solve Knights netminder Robert Nawrot.
Brendan Saether doing the honours with a point shot that snuck through the keepers five hole. Saether’s first junior hockey goal.
That set off a six goal barrage played out over the next four minutes.
Michael Holub scored his 12th, sliding a low shot through as he fell to the ice.
Justin Bowerman’s backhand in front of the crease made it 3-0. That spelled a break for Nawrot, as Mission minor hockey product Jackson Peleski checked in.
Kyle Lennea scored two in 10 seconds on the young netminder, who got no help from his beleagered defence. The first a one-timer set up by Sammy Zeinab. The second a backhand as he charged to the net.
Kyle Mooney rounded out the assault one-timing a Holub offering in.
Nawrot was back in net to start the second period. Lennea would strike again after his initial shot was stopped by Nawrot. Ryan Sharma dug out the rebound and slipped it to Lennea for the hat trick.
Lennea scored his fourth of the game in the final three minutes of the period, tapping in a Zeinab rebound. After the game, he said he even surprised himself.
“I never thought I’d score four goals. It was nice to get my first career hat trick, felt really good.”
The Outlaws scored two more in the third.
Matthew Mason with a solid individual effort, shielding a defender away from the puck before placing a backhand in far side.
Sharma with a goal after setting up four when he tipped a Zeinab backhand in. 10-0 final. Shots were 48-18 as Matthew Trulsen recorded his second shutout of the year.
He said credit goes to his team mates for the shutout and win.
“The boys played well in front of me. They worked hard, earned every goal they got. Every blocked shot they took, I appreciate. It was a good game, we played well and I enjoyed it.”
Kyle Mooney said Coach Veitch kept the ship steered in the right direction early on.
“After the first period it was a little hard (to stay focused)…some of the boys were joking around. But Brad came in and gave us a little talking to, and we got back into it. It was good.”
Coach Brad Veitch said he liked the start.
“What we’ve been working on in practice… puck possession, staying in control..I thought the boys did really well in those areas, especially early in the game. ”
The next night, in Port Moody, the Outlaws and Panthers fought a see-saw battle into extra time.
The Panthers struck first, shorthanded after a fortunate bounce. As the Outlaws attempted to send the puck in the Panthers zone, it hit an official at the blueline. Logan Hunter spied a wide open Daniel Szpakowski who wired a heavy wrist shot home for the only goal of the first period.
The second was a coaches nightmare as the teams combined for eight goals. Nic Bizzutto scored twice in 36 seconds, both set up by Sharma and Zeinab.
Marcus Sihota in the slot tied the game six and a half minutes in.
The Panthers thought they had another one thanks to a shot from Christian Bettiol, but Dyck made a great glove save to keep it even on the board.
Maximilian Corazza deflected a Brady Morrison point shot past Keaton Dyck to restore the Panthers lead at 10:40.
One minute after that goal, Kyle Mooney scored a beautiful goal as he skated past Robinson and beat Riley Welyk through the five hole from a sharp angle.
Chong Min Lee responded 24 seconds later for the Panthers .
Sammy Zeinab tied the game again 49 seconds later, depositing a lovely pass from Sharma, who snuck around a Panthers centerman in the face off circle to deliver the gift.
There was even more action in the second that didn’t involve a red light, when Michael Nemeth and Brady Morrison squared off in a tilt.
The Panthers restored the lead on another Szpakowski shorthanded goal with three and a half minutes remaining. He slipped behind the Outlaws defense and finished a nice feed from Hunter.
Mooney knotted the game again, picking up a puck inside the Panthers blueline and wiring a wrist shot past Welyk for the only goal of the third period. The Outlaws outshot the Panthers 18-8 in the final 20 minutes of regulation and had even more chances that were blocked.
In overtime, they failed to convert a power-play opportunity that carried over from the third, and it would come back to bite them.
Chong Min Lee took on a pair of Outlaws defenders three minutes in and snapped one past Dyck for the win. Outlaws with the 42-27 edge in shots.
With the point, the Outlaws now trail the Ridge Meadows Flames by just five points with eight games left. They’ll meet at the MLC Saturday, one of two head-to-head games left. Up next for the Outlaws is a trip to Surrey on Thursday.