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Port Moody Panthers win home opener, start new season 1-1

Three players score three points each to ignite young, eager offense — which also sported new threads at Port Moody Arena.
The Port Moody Panthers' new jerseys may prove to be a lucky charm as they won their 2022-23 home opener by a score of 5-2 over the Abbotsford Pilots.

Port Moody's top men's hockey club has begun its new season in hopes of what will be a campaign of accomplishments and team growth.

And they appear to be skating in the right direction.

The Port Moody Panthers won their 2022-23 home opener Saturday night (Sept. 17) in a 5-2 comeback victory against the Abbotsford Pilots.

The local franchise is also off to a 1-1 start after losing their Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) season opener Thursday (Sept. 15) in Richmond, 4-2.

But the offense looks promising as three players recorded three points each over the first two matches:

  • Derek Leroux
    • Two goals, one assist
  • Ryden Mathieson
    • One goal, two assists
  • Jack Graham
    • One goal, two assists

Second-year goaltender Adam Goody combined for 65 saves from 71 shots in his first two starts of the season.

On Saturday, North Vancouver forward Jobey Pearson lit the first lamp in front of hundreds of fans at Port Moody Arena 6:55 into the contest.

However, Abbotsford powered back with two goals in just under five minutes to take a 2-1 lead at the intermission.

But the Panthers rallied back with four unanswered goals en route to the victory, including Coquitlam's Connor Hughes 5:21 into the second stanza to kickstart the comeback.

Mathieson, who was acquired in the summer via a trade with the White Rock Whalers, put Port Moody out in front early in the third for the 3-2 advantage, which would ultimately serve as the game-winning goal.

Graham's first of the year provided the Panthers some insurance before rookie defenceman Bruce Grey notched his first career PJHL goal eight minutes ahead of the final horn.

And the cats may have also found a new lucky charm for home games as they showcased new jerseys reminiscent of the NHL's Florida Panthers — a white base with black trims and a giant red stripe across the front.

Port Moody will look to stay in the win column when they take on the reigning PJHL and B.C. junior 'B' provincial-champion Langley Trappers on Wednesday (Sept. 21), 7 p.m. at George Preston Arena.

The Panthers' next home game is set for Saturday (Sept. 24) against their Pitt River rivals, the Ridge Meadows Flames, with a 7:45 p.m. puck drop.