Aldergrove Kodiaks captain Jordan Pughe puts pressure on Abbotsford Pilots goalie Riley Parker at Aldergrove Arena Sunday night in game five of the second round of playoffs. The Pilots won 5-2 that night

Aldergrove Kodiaks captain Jordan Pughe puts pressure on Abbotsford Pilots goalie Riley Parker at Aldergrove Arena Sunday night in game five of the second round of playoffs. The Pilots won 5-2 that night

Short bench depletes Kodiaks

The junior B hockey club, which was facing elimination on Monday night, were 20 minutes away from forcing a seventh and deciding game

It is game over for the Aldergrove Kodiaks.

The junior B hockey club, which was facing elimination on Monday night, were 20 minutes away from forcing a seventh and deciding game, but the Abbotsford Pilots scored three times in a 1:51 span to win 5-4.

The Pilots eliminated the Kodiaks four games to two and will now represent the Harold Brittain Conference in the Pacific International Junior Hockey League championship series.

They face the Delta Ice Hawks, who shocked the Richmond Sockeyes in six games. The Sockeyes had lost just seven games of their 44 games during the regular season.

For any team to advance in the playoffs, attrition is key.

And by the end of the Kodiaks series, injuries and suspensions had taken their toll on the Aldergrove roster.

“We lost a lot of bodies,” said Kodiaks general manager Rick Harkins, pointing out the team had five concussions, a separated shoulder and two suspensions to deal with.

In game six, Aldergrove had three call-ups in the roster, and even with that, they only had nine forwards, instead of the usual dozen.

“We had a very depleted bench, but they gave it their all,” he said.

A big difference in the series was the Pilots relentless attack as they outshot the Kodiaks by an average of 14 shots per game, 289-204.

In fact, the Pilots lowest shot total in a game was 40, while the Kodiaks only hit that mark twice in the six games.

Aldergrove had won the first two games of the series, 2-1 and 6-4 last week at the Aldergrove Arena. But after the series shifted to Abbotsford’s MSA Arena, the Pilots evened things up with a 5-1 win in game three and 5-4 in game four.

Back at the Aldergrove Arena on Sunday for game five, the Pilots became the first team in the series to win on the road, edging the Kodiaks 5-4 and setting up the elimination game on Monday.

Aldergrove looked to be in good shape, up 4-2 after 40 minutes before their short bench caught up to them in the third period.

“We just couldn’t keep up with them afterwards,” Harkins said.

Justin Dorey scored twice and Bradley Parker had the other third period goal for the Pilots.

The three-goal out burst erased a 4-2 Kodiaks lead.

After Travis Grewal had opened the scoring for Abbotsford, Jordan Pughe and Mitchell Guiel gave the Kodiaks a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.

Pughe made it 3-1 and after Jarrett Martin made it 3-2, Brandon Potomak restored the two-goal advantage for Aldergrove.