ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS VS CALGARY WRANGLERS SERIES PREVIEW
CALGARY, AB - Coming off the back of a pair of road wins in Toronto and Laval, the Abbotsford Canucks descend on Calgary this weekend to face the Wranglers. It’ll be the first time in franhcise history that the two teams have met, with the Wranglers just 15 games into their inaugural season.
The puck drops at 12:00pm pacific time on Friday and Sunday afternoon from the Scotiabank Saddledome. This weekend will mark the first two of 12 games between Abbotsford and Calgary this season, the most frequently played opponent for Abbotsford this season.
Despite getting off to a slow start, the Wranglers have rounded into form of late. Going 7-0-1-0 in their last eight games, Calgary has outscored their opponents 36 – 16 during that stretch as well.
Dustin Wolf has been a key component of Calgary’s success this season, starting in 11 of their 15 games. Going 9-2-0-0, Wolf’s 2.45 GAA is third best in the league by a goaltender who has featured in 10 or more games this year. Of that list, Wolf has registered the fourth best save percentage (.919%), as well as leads the entire AHL in wins.
Yet there is plenty of fire power on offense as well with the Wranglers, tying for the fifth most goals scored. Calgary also is tied for the league lead in amount of players with 10 or more points (8), two of which are defencemen.
Special teams is another strength of Calgary’s, ranking third in the league in Powerplay percentage (29.5%), and leading the AHL in powerplay goals (23).
Abbotsford can hold their own on special teams as well, who’s 15 goals on the man advantage is tied for eighth best in the AHL. Lane Pederson’s four powerplay tallies has him tied for fifth in the league.
Pederson is one of a handful of Canucks riding a hot streak right now, with the forward scoring six times in his last five games, and leading Abbotsford with seven goals this year. Christian Wolanin is on a six game point streak, the longest of his AHL career. Putting up nine assists in his last six outings, Wolanin leads the team in assists and points, and is tied for fifth for assists by a defenceman.
Collin Delia has won four of his last five starts in goal for Abbotsford, averaging 2.40 GAA across that span. Justin Dowling and John Stevens are also riding three game point streaks, putting up four and three points each respectively.
Giving up an average of three penalties a game across their last five contests, Abbotsford has taken pride in their ability to stay out of the box. The Canucks’ 52 times short handed is the fourth lowest number in the league.
The two game series against Calgary will be the final two games of Abbotsford’s six-game Canadian road trip, in which they have split games against Toronto and Laval. Six games is the longest Abbotsford will have to be on the road for, with three five game road trips coming up in the new year.
Both Friday and Sunday’s games will get underway at 12:00pm pacific, with a broadcast available on AHLTV.