Abbotsford Canucks Lose Heartbreaker in the Desert

The Abbotsford Canucks (4-6-2-1) lost a heartbreaker on Saturday night, falling 5-4 against the Tucson Roadrunners (7-6-1-0) in Arizona. The Canucks entered the final period with a one-goal advantage but the Roadrunners fought back to take the two points, thanks to a late go-ahead goal with 51 seconds to play.

The goals came fast and furious early in this one, as both teams combined to score five goals in the opening frame. For the second consecutive game, Will Lockwood got the Canucks on the board with an early marker. The goal came on the powerplay with Phil Di Giuseppe and Sheldon Dries recording assists on the play,

It was deja vu for the Canucks on Saturday, as just like during Friday's game, the Roadrunners followed up Lockwood's goal with three unanswered goals. Matias Maccelli must've made a wish for a goal because he tied the game at one on the powerplay at the 11:11 mark of the first period. Bokondji Imama gave the home side the lead shortly thereafter when he beat Arturs Silovs. Less than a minute later, Cameron Hebig came up large to give Tucson a 3-1 lead. Tucson netted three goals in four minutes and 37 seconds to give Tucson a 3-1 lead with less than five minutes to play in the first period.

Sheldon Dries put an end to the scoring spree with a goal of his own to cut the Roadrunner lead in half with less than a minute to play in the first period. Di Giuseppe earned his second assist of the period and Guillaume Brisebois recorded his first assist of the season on the play. The goal was Dries' second point of the period and the 100th point of his AHL career.

Jarid Lukosevicius tickled the twine at the 11:27 mark of the second period to tie the game at 3 for the Abby Canucks. The goal was the third of the season for Lukosevicius. Jett Woo contributed a beautiful pass to register an assist on the play.

John Stevens gave the Canucks the lead when he tipped home a Woo shot making it a 4-3 game. The goal was Stevens' third of the campaign. Woo registered his second assist of the game and Chase Wouters also added a helper on Stevens' goal.

The Canucks took a 4-3 lead into the third period, but the final 20 minutes were dominated by Tucson. Hebig got the comeback started by scoring a big goal to tie the game at the 14:20 mark. With 51 seconds left in the game, Janis Moser found the back of the net on the powerplay to give Tucson the edge. Abby couldn't get the equalizer and fell 5-4 to the Roadrunners on Saturday night.

This was a painful loss for Abbotsford, as they appeared to be in a great position to at least pick up a point heading into the final period. The Canucks ultimately outshot the Roadrunners, 25 to 23, but couldn't quite seal the deal in the desert. However, there were some positives to build on for Abby. Overall, Abbotsford played much better and was very competitive in tonight's game. Di Giuseppe, Dries and Woo all tied for the team lead with two points each.

Arturs Silovs entered tonight's game having not played a game since November 6th and the young Latvian netminder looked a little rusty between the pipes. Silovs allowed five goals on 23 shots in his worst outing of the season. Regardless of tonight's performance, he has been one of the better goalies in the AHL this season and tonight was out of character for the 20-year-old.

Will Lockwood has been a positive force as of late for the Abby Canucks. Since returning from Injury on November 6th, Lockwood has registered four points (2-2-4) in five games, including a point in each of his past four outings. Utilizing his blazing speed, the University of Michigan alum has been a force on both ends of the ice for Abby and he figures to continue to cause problems for opponents.

The Abbotsford Canucks (4-6-2-1) will now fly north, as they return to Abby to host the Ontario Reign (11-2-0-1) this Tuesday at Abbotsford Centre. The Canucks and Reign have already squared off four times this season, with the Reign coming out on top in three of those four games. Abby will enter the two game series with 11 points and the Reign cross the 49th Parallel with 23 points through 14 games. The week ahead features four home games for Abbotsford, including their Teddy Bear Toss game scheduled for Saturday, December 4th.