Abbotsford, BC - After four wins in a row, the Abbotsford Canucks are hosting the Manitoba Moose for back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday.

Coming off two series sweeps against the Bakersfield Condors and the Laval Rocket; Abbotsford sits 6th in the Pacific division (11-7-1-1). The Manitoba Moose sit 3rd in the Central division after their split series against the Milwaukee Admirals earlier this week (10-5-2-1). Abbotsford and Manitoba met 4 times last season with the Canucks winning only 1 of those 4 challenges.

Although the teams are similar in standings, it is special teams that sets them apart. Abbotsford sits 9th in their division for penalty kill percentage at 73.2%. Manitoba sits well above that with an 83.5 penalty kill percentage, 2nd in the Central Division.

However, Abbotsford leads over Manitoba in power play opportunities and goals, sitting 2nd in the Pacific Division with 93 and 23 respectively. Manitoba has registered 64 power play opportunities and 14 power play goals, leaving them 5th in their division.

Abbotsford has been dominating league leaderboards. Blue liner Christian Wolanin was named AHL Player of the Week this past week after tallying 10 points in 4 games. He sits second in the league for points by a defenceman, eighth overall for skaters (24) and second in the league for defencemen assists (20).

He also has the longest point streak in the AHL so far this season with 12. Speaking of streaks, Justin Dowling is currently on a 6-game assist streak and Lane Pederson is on a 5-game goal streak.

Although none of Manitoba’s skaters have hit the leaderboards, their goalie, rookie Oskari Salminen, is top 12 in the league with a 0.915 save percentage in 12 games, including one shutout. Abbotsford’s Arturs Silovs has a save percentage of 0.884% over 13 games.

Abbotsford goalie Jake Kupsky, called up just hours after being named the ECHL’s goaltender of the month (November), has a save percentage of 0.955. Kupsky has yet to start in net for Abbotsford.

Manitoba’s Ashton Sautner spent the 21.22 season in Abbotsford. The defenceman played 41 games with Abbotsford tallying 13 total points. Manitoba’s most recent games against Milwaukee were Sautner’s 300th and 301st career AHL games. 281 of those games were played on Vancouver’s AHL affiliate team, as Sautner also spent 5 seasons with the Utica Comets.

A handful of other Moose players are set to skate some milestones this weekend. Declan Chisholm could see his 100th career AHL game this weekend and Evan Polei could see his 200th career AHL game. They currently sit at 98 and 198, respectively.

Fast facts:

Lane Pederson leads the league in power-play goals with seven.

All of Abbotsford’s rookies have recorded at least one point, with Linus Karlsson sitting 12th for overall rookie points in the league.

Every active Manitoba skater has registered at least one shot on goal. Abbotsford’s skaters have all registered at least three.

Manitoba assistant coach, Nolan Baumgartner had a brief stint as both a player and coach for the Vancouver Canucks and it’s AHL affiliate.

Manitoba defenceman Declan Chilsholm is 4th in points for the Manitoba Moose with 10.

Manitoba defenceman Ville Heinola is 2nd in +/- for the Manitoba Moose with +15. John Stevens leads Abbotsford in +/- with +5.

Abbotsford and Manitoba will meet six more times this season after this series and will ring in the 2023 New Year with a December 31st match in Winnipeg.