The Abbotsford Canucks continued their five-game road trip on Friday night with the first of two stops in Ontario against the Reign.

Linus Karlsson, who leads Abbotsford in goals and points, entered the contest with five points over his last five games, while Arsh Bains has registered nine points across his last nine contests. Earlier in the afternoon, Jack Rathbone was recalled to Vancouver, meaning Chad Nychuk made his return to the Abbotsford blue line on Friday.

Arturs Silovs, two days after his 22nd birthday, took to the crease for Abbotsford. The Latvian shot stopper came into the game with a 7-1-1 record over his last nine AHL starts. Cal Petersen, off the back of a 4-0 shutout victory in Tucson against the Roadrunners, got the start for the Reign.

It was an even, back and forth first period, with Abbotsford striking the iron twice from Aatu Räty and Matt Alfaro. However it would be the hosts who opened up the scoring in the final four minutes of the frame. Nate Schnarr snapped a shot from the blue line, and through a screen in front of Silovs, Schnarr’s first as a member of the Reign opened the scoring.

That lead would last a mere eight seconds, as Brady Keeper rung the puck around the boards of the Reign zone. Taking a deflection off of the stanchion then the top of the net, the puck fell flat in front of the crease with Petersen behind the goal trying to react to the hop. Chase Wouters won the foot race and steered home his sixth of the season, levelling the game up at 1-1.

Ontario would take the lead back less than a minute later, as Alex Turcotte slid the puck across the face of goal to Samuel Fagemo, who jammed the puck past Silovs. Fagemo’s 21st of the season would be the final scoring action of the frame, with the Reign taking the 2-1 lead into the dressing rooms after 20 minutes. The hosts also outshot Abbotsford 8-7 in the first period.

The second period would come and go without any changes to the score line, despite the best efforts of Aidan Dudas, who was denied on a breakaway by Silovs. All seven penalties of the game at that point came in the middle frame, with Abbotsford going a perfect 4/4 on the penalty kill. Ontario entered the third period leading 2-1 despite being out shot 19-17.

It wouldn’t take long for that score line to change, as Cameron Gaunce doubled the Reign’s advantage three minutes into the period. Gaunce’s first of the season came from the slot after a centering feed from Andre Lee.

Lee would later be the one to seal the game, as he buried an empty net goal with four minutes remaining to set up a 4-1 Reign lead.

That is how the game would end, and the Canucks would continue to wait for their playoff birth in the 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs. Ontario made it two wins in a row and took the contest 4-1 on home ice.

Andre Lee grabbed his first shorthanded goal of his AHL career, as well as the second multi-point game of his career. Chase Wouters grabbed his first goal since December 31st, while Abbotsford gave up it’s first short handed goal on the road since November. Arturs Silovs made 19 saves on 22 attempts, while Cal Petersen stopped 26 of the 27 Canucks’ efforts he faced.

For the full AHL box score, please click HERE.

Up next for the Canucks is a Sunday afternoon clash with Ontario at 3:00pm. Following the series against the Reign, Abbotsford finishes their road trip with a pair of games next Thursday and Saturday in Manitoba against the Moose. The Canucks then play five games at home to wrap up the year against Ontario and Calgary.

To purchase tickets to an upcoming Abbotsford Canucks game, please click HERE.