ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS VS SAN DIEGO GULLS GAME PREVIEW
The Abbotsford Canucks are back on the road this week for a brief three-game road trip down to California and Nevada. On Wednesday, the team will take on the San Diego Gulls at Pechanga Arena at 7:00pm pacific. Following their single game in San Diego, Abbotsford heads to Henderson for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday against the Silver Knights.
Wednesday’s game will be the third matchup of a four game season series between the two, with each side winning once so far.
Abbotsford welcomed the Gulls for their home opening weekend, winning the first game 7-3. The second clash ended up in a closely fought contest, with San Diego escaping as 3-2 winners by way of a shoot-out.
The second game of that weekend was the first for Lane Pederson in an Abbotsford sweater, who’s impact on the team since his arrival can’t be understated. Leading the team with 14 goals, including 13 in his last 13 games, Pederson has also been a boost to the Abbotsford powerplay.
Including Pederson’s eight tallies with the man advantage, the Canucks’ 24 total powerplay goals is sixth best in the AHL, converting at a 23.5% rate. Meanwhile, the Gulls have struggled converting on special teams, with their 16.5% powerplay success rate tied for fifth-lowest in the league.
San Diego’s success comes on the other side of the puck.
The Gulls’ 82.3% penalty kill rate is good enough for the eleventh best in the league, despite spending the second most amount of time shorthanded in the AHL (113).
Despite the Gulls finding themselves sitting in last place in the AHL, a lone bright spot has been netminder Lukas Dostal, with a save percentage of .916% through 20 games. Dostal leads the league in saves made as well as minutes played and games played.
As for Abbotsford, Arturs Silovs has started in six of the last seven Canucks’ games due to Collin Delia being recalled to Vancouver. Putting up a .898 save percentage across that span, Silovs helped Abbotsford pick up nine of a possible 12 points in that stretch, including a shutout against Manitoba.
The Canucks were riding a five game win streak until their previous game, a 2-1 loss at home to the Moose. Sitting in sixth place in the Pacific Divison (12-8-1-1), the Canucks face the bottom two teams this road trip in San Diego and Henderson, in a tight race in the middle of the division.
After this week, the next time Abbotsford and San Diego meet will be on February 1st in California, for the fourth and final time this season. The Canucks are off to Henderson after Wednesday for games on Friday at 7:00pm and Saturday at 3:00pm.
Then Abbotsford returns home for their final two games of 2022. The Canucks welcome the San Jose Barracuda on December 20th and 21st to the Abbotsford Centre before they head to their Christmas break.
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