ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS VS HENDERSON SILVER KNIGHTS SERIES PREVIEW
The 4-3-0-1 Abbotsford Canucks wrap up their six game home stand this week with a pair of games against the 2-9-0-0 Henderson Silver Knights. The puck drops at 7:00pm on both Thursday and Saturday night at the Abbotsford Centre, kicking off an eight game season series between the two.
When Abbotsford and Henderson take to the ice on Thursday night, it will be the first time in 326 days since the two sides faced each other. It’s safe to say that a lot has changed.
A large talking point coming into this game is the return of Sheldon Rempal to the Abbotsford Centre. Rempal lead the Canucks in assists, points, and finished second in goals during Abbotsford’s inaugural season. He hasn’t missed a step in Nevada, leading the Silver Knights in goals and points through the team’s first 11 games.
It hasn’t been an ideal start for Henderson, who sit at the bottom of the Pacific Division. They remain one of just four AHL teams that haven’t registered their third win yet, and their 41 goals conceded is tied for 2nd most in the league. The Knights are also still searching for their first road win, scoring just six times across their four road games.
Jiri Patera and Michael Hutchinson has split the Henderson net so far this season, with Patera starting seven games. Patera has put up a 3.20 Goals Against Average to open up the season, competing with Arturs Silovs’ 3.14.
Abbotsford received Sheldon Dries back from Vancouver on Tuesday, allowing Dries to make his third appearance of the AHL season. Sheldon registered four points (1G and 3A) in a pair of games against the Firebirds in October, as well as picking up an assist in his four games so far with Vancouver.
“2 points is ok but that’s not what we want. We’re still trying to build those habits that we’ll be able to hold on to when it’s tough, when you’re tired, when things are going against you.” – Jeremy Colliton spoke about the mindset and emphasis from the week of practice heading into Thursday’s game.
A key area to focus on will be special teams. Abbotsford’s 70.0% penalty kill percentage ranks fourth lowest in the league, however Henderson’s 12.5% powerplay percentage is second lowest. Abbotsford’s eight powerplay goals is tied for the eight most in the league, with Henderson converting seven times this year.
Thursday night will be the Abbotsford Canucks’ “Salute to Service” night, where the Canadian Military will be honored and celebrated with a special pre-game ceremony. Military vehicles and artifacts will be on display around the arena to honor our veterans.
Then Saturday night is “Country Night” at the Abbotsford Centre. With performances from Chad Brownlee, Karen Lee Batten and Cambree Lovesy, as well as the South Rise Social with player autographs and $5 Budweiser beers.
Both Thursday 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.