ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS AT HENDERSON SILVER KNIGHTS SERIES PREVIEW
The Abbotsford Canucks will kick off their four game road trip this weekend with a pair of games against the Henderson Silver Knights.
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The two sides will meet on Friday night at 7:00pm, as well as Saturday afternoon at 3:00pm from The Dollar Loan Centre.
This weekend’s fixtures will see two of the top teams in the AHL square off, as Henderson is second in the Pacific Division and fourth in the league, having gone 9-4-0 to start the season. Abbotsford enter the series just behind the Silver Knights, sitting third in the division and fifth in the AHL thanks to their 8-4-1 record.
Despite Henderson’s 46 goals scored, which is tied for second most in the league, their goal differential through 13 games is +3, the lowest of the top eight teams in the standings. 43 goals conceded is the sixth most in the AHL, and the third most by a team with a winning record. San Jose, Springfield, San Diego, Rochester and Laval are the only teams with more goals against. The Silver Knights are on a two game winning streak, and have won four of their last six games.
Abbotsford sit atop the AHL standings offensively, with their 49 goals scored being the most by anytime in the league at this time. The Canucks are riding a three game win streak, and have conceded just one goal in that span, featuring shutout wins over Henderson and Bakersfield.
When these two sides met earlier this month, they split the series at Abbotsford Centre as the Canucks fell 5-2 in the opener, before bouncing back and shutting out Henderson 2-0 on Diwali Night. Aatu Räty, Linus Karlsson, Max Sasson and Jett Woo each picked up a pair of points against Henderson in that series. After this weekend, the Canucks and Silver Knights won’t meet again until March, where they will play four games in 10 days to close out their eight game season series.
Grigori Denisenko has been all over the score sheet for Henderson to start the year, leading his team in assists (8), and points (15), while tying with former Canuck Sheldon Rempal for the team lead in goals with 7 each. Dennisenko and Rempal combined for a goal and two assists in Henderson’s 5-2 victory over Abbotsford, with the former putting up eight points (5G, 3A) in his last six games. Adam Cracknell and Brendan Brisson have also reached double digits in points, putting up 12 and 11 respectively.
The Canucks have shared the scoring well this season, with five players reaching double digit point totals already this season, making Abbotsford the only team to have five players reach this milestone. Arshdeep Bains, Nils Åman, Christian Wolanin, Sheldon Dries and Linus Karlsson have all surpassed the 10 point mark, with Max Sasson and Aatu Räty registering 8 points each. Åman leads the team in goals with seven, while Bains tops the charts in assists (14) and points (17). Bains’ 17 points is also tied for second most in the AHL, while leading the league in assists. Wolanin’s 12 assists is tied for second most in the league.
Jiri Patera and Jesper Vikmam have been the goaltending tandem for Henderson to start the year, with Patera featuring in 10 of their 13 games. Vikman, a rookie, has gone 3-0-0 in his first three starts, while Patera sits second in the AHL in minutes played (590:50). Artūrs Šilovs and Nikita Tolopilo have shared the Canucks’ crease so far, with Šilovs only conceding once in his last three starts. The Latvian’s two shutouts is tied for the most in the league, while recording a .983 save percentage in that stretch.
After this weekend, the Canucks will fly home for a couple of days before heading over to face Calgary on November 25th and 26th. Abbotsford will then return home for two games against Laval on December 1st and 2nd (Teddy Bear Toss), and wrapping up with a pair of home games against Coachella Valley a week later.
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