The Delta Ice Hawks are the 2012 Pacific International Junior Hockey League champions after knocking off the Abbotsford Pilots 4-3 Friday night at MSA Arena, taking the best-of-seven series four games to two.
The Ridge Meadows Flames junior B club was knocked out of the PIJHL playoffs in the first round, losing four games to two to the Aldergrove Kodiaks. The Kodiaks were then eliminated by the Pilots in the second round, with Pilots advancing to the league finals.
Abbotsford opened the scoring in front of the home crowd seven minutes into the first period Friday night. However, Delta responded with three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead by midway through the second period.
But with the prospect of elimination facing them, the Pilots closed the gap on Delta thanks to a pair of goals by Bradley Parker, sending the game into the third period with the scored tied 3-3.
Despite Abbotsford’s comeback attempt, Delta was able to score the lone goal of the third period, and claim the league title.
However, the two teams will be facing off again next week as Abbotsford hosts the Cyclone Taylor Cup, B.C.’s junior B hockey championship.
As hosts, the Pilots earn the right to appear in the four-team tournament, which includes the PIJHL champions, as well as the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League and Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League champions.
The Ice Hawks and Pilots will face each other for a rematch Friday, April 13 at MSA Arena.
Justin Dorey led PIJHL scorers this postseason with 26 points in 16 games, while Cody Fidgett of the Ice Hawks had 24 points in 19 games. Sean Pesut was the Ridge Meadows Flames’ top point-scorer, with eight in six games, good for sixth place in points-per-game in the PIJHL playoffs.