The Mission City Outlaws had a rough start to 2018, winning just one of four games to open the new year.
The club kicked off 2018 by getting hammered 8-1 in Ladner on Jan. 2 by the top team in the Pacific Junior Hockey League – the Delta Ice Hawks.
The Outlaws lone goal came late in the third period with the team trailing 3-0. Liam Robinson tallied on the power play, but that would be all Mission could produce. They went on to allow four more goals in the second period, and one more in the third.
Mission goalie Matthew Trulsen was saddled with the loss, allowing five goals on 26 shots and he was yanked in the second period. Backup Mitchell Davis went on to allow three goals on 16 shots. The Outlaws were outshot 42-17 in the game.
The club returned to the ice on Jan. 3, but simply couldn’t put one past Aldergrove Kodiaks goalie Michael Lauriente and lost 1-0 in Aldergrove.
The teams were scoreless through the first two periods, but Aldergrove scored a shorthanded goal at 11:09 of the third period to earn the win. Trulsen bounced back with a strong effort, stopping 27 of 28 shots.
The Outlaws then traveled to Richmond to participate in the PJHL’s annual Winter Classic event last weekend.
Mission opened the event on Jan. 5 with a 3-2 overtime win over the Port Moody Panthers.
Michael Nemeth was the overtime hero, clinching the win for the Outlaws at 4:08 of the extra frame. The teams traded leads for most of the game, with Joshua Martin putting Mission up 1-0 after 20 minutes, but the Panthers tying the game up on the power play in the second.
Port Moody scored an early goal in the third to take a 2-1 lead, but Maximilian Corazza tied the game up at 12:41 to send the game to overtime. Trulsen had another strong performance, making 33 saves to earn his ninth win of the season.
The Outlaws returned to Richmond on Saturday to battle the Grandview Steelers, but fell 5-2.
Mission’s Kyle Mooney opened the scoring just 51 seconds into the game, but Grandview tied the game up just under 10 minutes later.
The Outlaws made it 2-1 early in the second, when Terrance Josephson scored at 1:55, but from there it was all Steelers. Grandview scored three unanswered goals in the second, and then added an empty net goal in the third to pick up the victory.
Davis made 27 saves in a losing cause, and the Outlaws were outshot 32-18 by Grandview.
The Outlaws took on the Langley Trappers in Langley on Wednesday night, but results were not available at press time. Mission then travels to North Vancouver on Friday to battle the Wolf Pack.
The club returns home on Saturday for its first home game since Dec. 16, when they host the Kodiaks. Face-off is set for 6:45 p.m. at the Mission Leisure Centre.