by Ben Lypka
The Mission City Outlaws continued their drive to first place in the Harold Brittain conference, picking up three out of four points last week, but the club also acknowledged the achievements of captain David McGowan.
The Outlaws star forward broke the single-season Pacific Junior Hockey League assists record on Friday, picking up his 67th assist to set the new mark. The record had stood since the 1977-78 season, when Brent O’Connor of the North Shore Flames and Lexi Doner of the Seattle Northwest Americans both notched 66 assists.
Outlaws head coach Brad Veitch said it’s a remarkable accomplishment for his captain.
“It’s great to see the success he’s had,” he said. “He has been massive for us and has gotten better every year since he was 17. He’s a leader on and off the ice and is everything you want in a player.”
McGowan broke out last season, scoring 51 points in 43 games with the Outlaws. He has been with the club since 2011-12, and has recorded 178 points in 173 games.
Veitch said Friday’s 5-2 win over the Ridge Meadows Flames saw the Outlaws start slow but eventually take over the game.
“We capitalized on our opportunities and limited them to very little, especially in the third,” he said.
The Flames scored just eight seconds in, but Bryce Pisiak tied the game up in the middle of the first. The Flames scored again late in the first to hold a 2-1 lead after one.
Mission then scored four unanswered goals spread out over the second and third periods to earn the win. Brody Dyck, Sammy Zeinab, Ryan Sharma, and Brock Padgham all potted goals.
Ridge Meadows could be the team the Outlaws match up with in the first round of the PJHL playoffs, and Veitch said he would be fine with facing them.
“I think we feel comfortable facing anybody, but the Flames are a team we’ve had a fair bit of success with it,” he said. “But that can all change in the playoffs.”
The Outlaws then hosted the Aldergrove Kodiaks on Saturday, losing 4-3 in double overtime.
Mission saw a two-goal lead in the third period evaporate, and the Kodiaks scored three straight goals to win. Dyck, Pisiak and Tyler Wickman tallied for the Outlaws. Goalie Joshua Matzek stopped 28 shots in the loss.
“There was really no flow in that game and neither team could get into it because of all the penalties and power plays.”