With the Pilots out of the playoff picture, it was a big win for the home team who snapped a four-game winless streak against a Grandview squad coming into the night tied for second place in the Tom Shaw conference.
Due to a short roster, Abbotsford called up affiliate players forward Kobe Bonato and forward Dawson Travis from Chilliwack Midget A1 for the game. It would be each of the players’s third appearance of the season with the Pilots as an affiliate.
Defenceman Jameson Crawford opened the scoring for the Steelers at 11:39 of the first period with a seeing eye shot from the left point, beating Abbotsford’s Machholz who was in the pipes for his sixth-straight start. The lone goal would hold in the opening twenty minutes, with Grandview outshooting the Pilots 16-4.
The Pilots pulled even in the second period at 7:31 courtesy of Sean McCracken who took a pass from Mason Smith up the left wing and fired it far side on Grandview goaltender Emmett Larson for his 11th goal of the season. Abbotsford got the bulk of shots in the middle frame with 14 shots to the Steelers’ 9.
The 1-1 tie eventually set up a dramatic finish in the third period. After Abbotsford successfully killed off an Ethan Rideout holding penalty late in the frame, Hunter Brown connected with the Pilots defenceman out of the box who capitalized on the breakaway at 17:39. It would be Rideout’s first goal since September 10th and would stand as the game winner. The goal capped off a notable night for him as he was donning the captain’s “C” in lieu of Jared Pitkethly, who was a healthy scratch.
The Pilots have the week off and will close out the month by hosting the league-leading North Vancouver Wolf Pack on Friday, January 31st at MSA Arena. The puck will drop at 7:30pm.