The Port Moody Panthers were a pesky bunch Saturday, but still didnâ€™t have the teeth to take down the Aldergrove Kodiaks.
The Kodiaks scored the only three goals of the second period before cruising to a 7-4 win at Port Moody Arena.
The final Pacific Junior Hockey League regular season game for both teams featured the best and worst of the PJHLâ€™s five-team Harold Brittain Conference.
Aldergroveâ€™s junior Bs ended with a 34-6-2-2 record and were runaway winners of the conference title.
The 72 points the Kodiaks amassed in 44 regular season games was the most, by far, in the Aldergrove franchiseâ€™s six-year history.
The Panthers finished their season at 10-30-2-2.
Stephen Ryan, who led the Kodiaks and the entire PJHL in scoring with 88 points, notched his 40th and 41st goals of the season to go along with two assists to spearhead Aldergroveâ€™s offence.
Ryanâ€™s linemates Adam Callegari and Spencer Unger posted a goal and two assists each.
For the 20-year-old Callegari, his goal was the 50th of his PJHL career, in his 100th game.
Nolan Wallinger scored two of the Kodiaksâ€™ three second period goals and added a helper.
Elvis Jansons tallied the only goal of the first period for the Kodiaks.
Port Moody took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
Kodiaks goaltender Jordan Liem made 33 saves to earn his 20th win. Liem posted an outstanding 20-3-1 record with two shutouts and a 2.52 goals against average this season.
The Kodiaks won despite only dressing three lines, with Spencer and Scott McHaffie and Quinncy Leroux not playing.
Kodiaks assistant coach/general manager Rick Harkins said the Panthers put up a fight, looking to end their year with a win.
â€œThey made a pretty good push trying to get a playoff spot after Christmas, and being professional, they wanted to go out on a good note, and they played hard,â€ Harkins said.
Landen Matechuk scored twice in the third frame for the Panthers, who got first period goals from Evan Locke and Kurt Sonne.
Kodiaks 5, Abbotsford Pilots 3
Down 3-1 after the first period of play Wednesday at Aldergrove Arena, the Kodiaks rallied to score twice in the second period before adding two more goals in the final stanza to beat their Harold Brittain Conference rivals from Abbotsford.
The Kodiaksâ€™ Joshua Cronin (on a powerplay) and Nolan Dyck scored in the second period to tie the game at 3-3.
At the 10:20 mark of the third period, Aldergroveâ€™s Jonathan Philley broke the deadlock with what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
Two minutes and 42 seconds later, the Kodiaksâ€™ Scott McHaffie added an insurance marker.
â€œIt was typical Aldergrove/Abbotsford match-up,â€ Harkins said. â€œTheyâ€™re always great games and there was a playoff atmosphere. Both teams are hoping to meet in second round [of the playoffs] if all things go right. Both teams were trying to send a message, thatâ€™s for sure.â€
The Kodiaks had a slow start to the game, with Ryan scoring the Aldergroveâ€™s lone goal of the first frame. Abbotsford got goals from Alexander Methorst, Jared Virtanen, and Braeden Monk in the opening 20 minutes, but was held off the scoreboard after that.
â€œOur guys persevered, and we had pretty good second and third periods and were able to come out with the win,â€ Harkins said.
The Kodiaks finished 13 points clear of the Pilots, who ended up second in the Harold Brittain with a 27-12-2-3 mark.
The Kodiaks begin their post-season tonight (Tuesday, Feb. 18) when they visit the Mission Leisure Centre to face the Mission City Outlaws.
Game time is 7:30 p.m.
From the outset, the odds are stacked against the Outlaws, who finished fourth in the Harold Brittain with an 11-28-2-3 record.
The teams meet again for game two of the seven-game series Wednesday at Aldergrove Arena. Opening faceoff is 7:15 p.m.
The Pilots also open their playoffs tonight, hosting the Ridge Meadows Flames at Abbotsfordâ€™s MSA Arena.
The Flames took third in the Harold Brittain with a 17-22-2-3 mark.
ICE CHIPS: Despite a six-game win streak to end their season, the Kodiaks finished a point back of the Richmond Sockeyes in the race for top spot in the PJHL.
The Tom Shaw Conference-leading Sockeyes (34-5-3-2) won their final seven games of the campaign.