ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS VS COACHELLA VALLEY FIREBIRDS SERIES PREVIEW
The 3-2-0-1 Abbotsford Canucks continue their six game home stand with a pair of games this weekend against the Coachella Valley Firebirds. Less than two weeks after the two teams split their first series of the season in Seattle, the two move north to the Abbotsford Centre for a pair of 7:00pm games on Friday and Saturday night.
Due to the ongoing construction on Coachella Valley’s new Acrisure Arena, the Firebirds face a long road trip ahead until they are able to return home. 16 games to be exact, kicking off with this weekend’s series in Abbotsford.
This weekend’s games will mark the last time that Abbotsford and Coachella Valley meet this season, which has already seen some high scoring action this year. In Seattle, which was the Firebirds’ “home away from home” for a few weeks, Abbotsford won one of the two matchups. They took the first game in a comeback 4-3 victory, with Tristen Nielsen grabbing the game winning goal late in the third. Two days later, the Canucks fell 7-4 in a wild one at Climate Pledge Arena.
It has been a hot start to the expansion Firebirds, who have opened the year at 4-2-0-0, good enough for fourth place in the Pacific Division. Their 28 goals scored is the most by a team who have played six games or fewer, averaging 4.66 goals a game.
That attack has been spearheaded by a pair of some of the AHL’s top scorers this year, Jesper Froden and Andrew Poturalski. Both ranking in the AHL’s top 10 in terms of points , Poturalski making the list for assists, and Froden cracking the top five for goals, the pair’s combined 22 points makes up for over 27% of total points scored by the Firebirds this season.
Froden was also announced as the AHL’s Player of the Month for October.
At the other end of the ice, netminder Christopher Gibson was assigned to the Firebirds from the Seattle Kraken on Thursday morning. In addition, Coachella Valley signed goalie Shane Starrett to a Professional Tryout Agreement on Thursday as well. Callum Booth was the netminder for the majority of the 7-4 game for the visitors against Abbotsford, making several key saves in that one. Booth also started and won his first start of the season in Coachella’s last game, a 5-3 Firebirds win over Calgary last Saturday.
As for Abbotsford, the Canucks have had nearly a full week to prepare for this weekend following their shootout loss last Saturday to the San Diego Gulls. A slower paced game compared to their 7-3 barn burner the night before, Abbotsford’s seven points on the year has them sitting in fifth in the Pacific Division.
Kyle Rau and Lane Pederson look to continue their hot starts for Abbotsford, with their pair both scoring in their first games for the Canucks last weekend.
“They’re both guys that can make plays that have a bit of confidence with the puck, which adds to our group for sure. The more they can be here and be part of our team, getting those weeks of practices in, they will fit in and help this group. They add some depth and hopefully they can pick up where they left off.” – Jeremy Colliton spoke about recent additions Rau and Pederson after practice earlier this week.
Both Friday and Saturday’s games will be available for viewing on AHLTV, as well as the radio call on MIXLR. To purchase tickets to this weekend’s game’s, please click HERE..