The Abbotsford Canucks welcomed the Calgary Wranglers for their first ever meeting at the Abbotsford Center in the first of a three game series on Wednesday night.

Calgary lead the season series 3-1 coming into Wednesday night, with all four matchups taking place at the Scotiabank Arena. However a key member to Abbotsford’s success of late has been Phil Di Giuseppe, putting up five points in his last five games (3G and 2A).

Brady Keeper made his return to the lineup on Wednesday as well, finding his name on the lineup sheet for the first time since December 20th due to an injury. The clash also saw a battle of the two goaltenders with the most wins in the AHL between Dustin Wolf and Arturs Silovs.

The visitors would strike first, and it would come shorthanded. Just over six minutes into the game, Brett Sutter threw a puck towards goal from the far boards. The shot ricocheted off of Silovs’ shoulder and into the net to give Sutter his eighth of the year.

Colton Poolman would add another just past the midway mark of the frame, as a shot from the same spot as Sutter’s trickled under the arm of Silovs to double the Wranglers’ lead. Calgary outshot the Canucks 17-4 through the opening 20, as the two sides headed to the locker room.

Abbotsford came out to a hot start in the second, with Linus Karlsson, Justin Dowling, Tristen Nielsen and Christian Wolanin all picking up multiple shots in the second period.

It looked as though the period would end the same way as it had started, until Vasily Podkolzin stole the puck in the Calgary zone. Spinning and wheeling away from a stagnant Wranglers defence, Podkolzin powered in from the right boards and fired the puck over the blocker of Wolf.

Podkolzin’s fifth of the season came with just 18 seconds left in the middle frame, and set up a 2-1 score line in favour of the visitors after forty minutes.

Abbotsford were knocking on the door of levelling the game at two, but it wasn’t quite the finishing touch that was needed. At least until Arsh Bains got on the end of a cross-ice feed from Wolanin. With just seven minutes remaining, the Surrey native buried his fifth of the year off of a dime of a pass to the back door from Wolanin to tie the game up at two.

The Canucks outshot Calgary 27-11 in the final two periods, however the game was destined to be settled in overtime. Matthew Phillips burst into the zone six seconds into overtime and let fly the game-winning shot, beating Silovs and giving Calgary the 3-2 victory.

Silovs stopped 26 of 29 shots, while Wolf turned aside 29 of 31 attempts. Matthew Phillips was awarded the third star for his game-winning goal, while Dowling and Di Giuseppe each registered five shots each.

For the full box score from tonight’s game, please click HERE.

Up next for Abbotsford will be two chances at revenge against Calgary, with the puck dropping at 7:00pm on Friday and Saturday nights at Abbotsford Centre. Following that, the Canucks welcome the Toronto Marlies to town, for a pair of mid-week games on Tuesday and Wednesday night.

To purchase tickets to an upcoming Canucks’ game, please click HERE.