ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS FALL TO THE REIGN 3-2 IN OVERTIME
For the second time this weekend, the Abbotsford Canucks squared off with the Ontario Reign on Sunday afternoon from Toyota Arena in California.
Brady Keeper skated in his 100th career AHL game, while Yushiroh Hirano returned to the lineup. Spencer Martin returned to the Abbotsford goal, attempting to become the second goaltender in Abbotsford Canucks history to record 25 wins for the franchise. It would be Matthew Villalta in goal for the Reign, making his 20th start of the season and his first in two weeks.
Abbotsford were the quicker of the two sides out of the gate, opening up the game with a 9-2 shot count over the Reign in the first 10 minutes. Villalta stood tall to the bulk of the chances, however Marc Gatcomb would open the scoring for the visitors.
Aatu Räty muscled the puck away from a Reign defender along the boards before slinging the puck towards goal. Gatcomb took a few jabs at the puck before it trickled past the Ontario netminder and into the back of the net for his third goal of the season.
Lias Andersson would level the game at one before the intermission, as he converted on an Ontario powerplay for his 26th of the year. The clock would wind down and the two sides would head back to the dressing rooms knotted at 1-1. Through 20 minutes, Abbotsford lead the shot count 13-5.
The Canucks would jump back out to the lead with a goal by Arsh Bains eight minutes into the middle frame. Chad Nychuk brought the puck into the Reign zone and fired a shot towards Villalta. The rebound fell straight to Bains who batted the puck out of the air and into the net to give Abbotsford the 2-1 lead.
Bains’ 11th of the season would be the difference maker through 40 minutes, with the Canucks leading 2-1, as well as leading the shot totals 20-15.
Ontario wouldn’t go down without a fight, and Samuel Fagemo pulled the Reign level nine minutes into the third. Capitalizing on another man advantage, Fagemo’s 22nd of the year set up a 2-2 score line.
That would be the score after 60 minutes, with Overtime being required to decide a winner. Tyler Madden would secure the full two points for Ontario, as the Reign took the contest 3-2.
Despite the loss, Abbotsford picked up the point that was required to clinch a playoff spot, as well as Bakersfield defeating San Jose 4-1 earlier in the afternoon.
Arsh Bains grabbed his third goal in four games, while Tyler Madded picked up his second career game winning goal. Spencer Martin turned aside 23 of the 26 shots he saw, while Villalta stopped 29 of Abbotsford’s 31 efforts.
For the full AHL box score, please click HERE.
Up next for the Canucks is a pair of games on Thursday and Saturday in Manitoba against the Moose to round out the road trip. The Canucks then play five games at home to wrap up the year with two more games against Ontario, before finishing the regular season with three games against Calgary.
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