It was a “battle royale” between the top teams of the division but an onslaught of shots on Langley Knights’ net failed to give the Aldergrove Kodiaks the equalizer Wednesday night at Aldergrove Arena.
The 6-5 loss keeps the Knights in first place with 32 points after 27 games, while the Kodiaks and Abbotsford Pilots are tied for second with 28 points after 26 games apiece.
The Kodiaks outshot the Knights 43-19 but their keeper Nickolas Trenciansky deflected 38 of those shots. Kodiaks keeper Ben Giesbrecht stopped 12 of 17 shots in the first two periods and backup keeper Griffin Ballie allowed one of two in the third.
The Kodiaks were off to a good start with Cameron Davitt scoring 90 seconds into the first period, assisted by Eric Callegari and Jordan Funk. However, the Knights scored thrice in the first to put them up 3-1.
Funk scored first in the second period, assisted by Davitt and Callegari, but the Knights responded with two more goals to put them ahead 5-2.
In the third period Knights’ Tristan Craighead put the visitors ahead by a seemingly insurmountable 6-2 but the Kodiaks unleashed everything they had for three goals within five minutes. Scorers were Kodiaks captain Aaron Markin from Brandon Dolby and Quinncy Leroux, Funk on a power play from Davitt and Joshua Poitras, and Nolan Wallinger from Evan Cusmano and Baillie.
The Kodiaks had four power plays in the third period and outshot the Knights 15-2, but the final score of 6-5 was as close as they could get that night.
Games set for the remainder of the month leading up to Christmas break are: Dec. 13 away at Panthers; Dec. 17 at home versus North Vancouver Wolf Pack; Dec. 18 away at Knights; and Dec, 23 away at Delta Ice Hawks. The Kodiaks then host the Flames on Monday, Dec. 29 at Aldergrove Arena, puck drop at 7:15 p.m.
The regular season wraps up in the middle of February, with playoffs to follow.