ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS VS HENDERSON SILVER KNIGHTS SERIES PREVIEW
The Abbotsford Canucks welcome the Henderson Silver Knights this weekend for the first games at the Abbotsford Centre of 2023. Friday and Saturday’s games will be the fifth and sixth meeting of the season between the two sides, with each team winning two games a piece so far.
Abbotsford come into this weekend’s back-to-back winners of 12 of their last 15 contests, despite falling 3-0 to Calgary in their last game on Wednesday night in Alberta. The streak helped propel the Canucks’ up the standings of the Pacific Division into third place, as well as eighth overall in the AHL.
As for Henderson, the Silver Knights make the trip to BC hoping to right ship after dropping four of their last five games. Despite what their 12-19-0-3 record might suggest, it is often a close affair when teams have to face Henderson, with 10 of their last 14 games being decided by two or fewer goals.
The Vegas Golden Knights’ AHL affiliate’s 95 goals against is the fewest goals conceded by any of the bottom 12 teams in the league, and the third fewest of all teams in the bottom half of the AHL standings.
A large part of their low scoring contests is their goaltending tandem of Laurent Brossoit and Jiri Patera. With six and five wins respectively, Henderson are one of 15 teams across the AHL with multiple active goalies to register five or more wins each (Condors, Checkers, Firebirds, Silver Knights, Bears, Wild, Moose, Admirals, Bruins, IceHogs, Barracuda, Crunch, Stars, Marlies, Roadrunners).
Three of the four previous meetings between Abbotsford and Henderson were separated by just one goal, winning goals coming from John Stevens, Gage Quinney (HSK), and Chase Wouters. The fourth and most recent clash between these two ended up in a 3-0 score line in favour of Henderson.
Gage Quinney is the man to watch for from the visitors this weekend, as the Nevada native leads the team in goals (13) and points (24). Byron Froese leads the team in assists (17), and is tied with former Canuck Sheldon Rempal for the second most points on the team with 23.
Christian Wolanin and Justin Dowling are the only two players on the active Abbotsford roster averaging over a point per game (1.19 and 1.13 PPG respectively). They also are the two players who are leading the team in points, with Wolanin’s 37 and Dowling’s 27.
33 of Wolanin’s 37 points are assists, which is a team high and good enough for most in the AHL as well. Lane Pederson and Will Lockwood lead the Canucks in goals with 17 and 12, however while they are both currently on the Vancouver roster, rookie Linus Karlsson’s nine goals leads the team.
Arturs Silovs is also amongst the league leaders, as his 13 wins currently has him tied for the second most by a goaltender in the AHL. The Latvian netminder also ranks third in the league in minutes played and has started in 11 of Abbotsford’s last 13 games.
Following this weekend’s games, the Canucks will travel to San Jose for a pair of games against the Barracuda next Saturday and Sunday (January 14th/15th), before returning back to Abbotsford for a five game home stand against Calgary and Toronto. That home stand begins on the 18th of January, with all five games getting underway at 7:00pm.
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