ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS FALL TO SAN DIEGO IN SHOOTOUT
For the first time this season, the Abbotsford Centre hosted Saturday night hockey, between two brewing rivals. The Abbotsford Canucks welcomed back the San Diego Gulls on Saturday night after handing the Californians a 7-3 defeat on Friday.
Collin Delia and Lukas Dostal, who both featured on Friday, made way for Arturs Silovs and Olle Eriksson Ek respectively. However during warm up, a last minute change was made and Dostal found himself starting in the Gulls goal.
Diwali Night was in full swing in Abbotsford, with special performers, DJ’s and a specialty warm up jersey worn by the Canucks.
It was all shaping up to be a memorable night, and it started out with a flying start.
Arshdeep Bains went flying down the left wing, before he was forced to go behind Dostal’s net. Bains threw the puck into the slot for newcomer Lane Pederson, who squeezed the puck between the post and Dostal’s blocker to open the scoring.
Less than four minutes into the game, Saturday night’s game already showed signs of Friday’s high scoring affair.
San Diego thought so too. Especially Glenn Gawdin. Danny O’Reagan connected on a three on two chance with Gawdin as he grabbed his third of the year going over the glove of Silovs. Abbotsford’s lead lasted just 12 seconds, as the Gulls firmly planted themselves back in the game.
Gulls defenceman Josh Healy was ejected from the game late in the first period following a hit on Phil Di Giuseppe. The result left Abbotsford with a five minute man advantage. Abbotsford were unable to convert, and the two sides went to the dressing rooms tied at one after the opening 20 minutes.
Despite an overwhelmingly dominating start to the middle frame, Abbotsford were unable to re-establish the lead. It took over twelve and a half minutes for Abbotsford to allow a shot on goal, outshooting them 10-0 to open the frame.
Yet, it would be Will Lockwood, fresh off his two goal performance on Friday, to put his name back on the scoresheet. Pederson was battling with Bains and a pair of Gulls in the corner, before a backhand pass found Lockwood alone in the slot. A one-time slapshot from the right faceoff circle soared past Dostal and put the home side back on top.
The visitors brought the intensity in the dying minutes of the second, with Silovs remaining up to the task. After forty minutes, despite heavily outshooting their opposition, the Canucks clung to a one goal lead.
That lead wouldn’t last long however, as the Gulls pulled even on the man advantage. O’Reagan brought the puck forward on a rush, before centering it to Rocco Grimaldi. Grimaldi executed a tidy finish and levelled the game at two with his third of the season.
Both goaltenders were tested heavily in the final few minutes, with Silovs and Dostal making a handful of saves each to keep the game level at two.
That is exactly how it would end after sixty minutes, so the fans were treated to Overtime.
An end-to-end five minutes were played during the extra frame, with both teams creating quality chances. Josh Lopina hit the post off of a breakaway, extending the game momentarily. Karlsson had a chance as well to bury the game, but his effort was denied by the blocker of Dostal.
Overtime came and went, sending Abbotsford to it’s first shootout of the season.
Karlsson, Nielsen, Rau and Lockwood all stepped up, but were unable to slot the puck into the net. Despite Silovs making three saves, Danny O’Reagan broke the deadlock and won the game for the Gulls in Round 4 of the shootout.
"When we were grinding at 5-on-5 I thought we were pretty good. Obviously we didn't come through on the power play like we would have liked to." – Jeremy Colliton when asked his thoughts on Saturday’s game.
Next up for Abbotsford is a home game on Friday night, where they welcome the Coachella Valley Firebirds to the Fraser Valley for the first time. The Canucks sit in 5th place in the Pacific Division with a 3-2-0-1 record while the Gulls climb up to 7th in the Pacific with a 3-4-0-0 record.
For tonight’s full box score,CLICK HERE.