The Abbotsford Canucks kick started their final series of the regular season on Wednesday night when they hosted the Calgary Wranglers on Autism Acceptance Night at Abbotsford Centre.

Abbotsford came into the contest looking to tie the franchise record for wins in a single season with 39, while Linus Karlsson became the first Abbotsford Canuck to play 70 games in one regular season. Nils Höglander and Andy Carroll returned to the line up, while Arturs Silovs took to the net for the Canucks. With his recall to the Calgary Flames on Wednesday morning, Dustin Wolf was not an option for the visiting Wranglers, leaving Oscar Dansk to tend the Calgary goal.

Both netminders saw plenty of rubber in the opening 20 minutes, with Abbotsford drawing close with a Giuttari effort hitting the post, before Tristen Nielsen almost pulled off a Michigan Move goal.

Abbotsford would finally get their goal with just over five minutes remaining in the frame, when Jack Rathbone walked in and fired a wrist shot under the arm of Dansk. Rathbone’s fifth of the season opened the scoring, and gave the Canucks a 1-0 lead as the two sides broke for the intermission. The Canucks outshot the Wranglers 10-9 through 20 minutes.

The Canucks would pick up where they left off in the middle frame, as they wouldn’t allow a shot on goal until the final six minutes of the period. Abbotsford poured on the pressure and were rewarded for their efforts as Danila Klimovich doubled their lead.

Collecting a pass at the left faceoff circle from Jett Woo, Klimovich flicked a wrist shot towards goal with traffic in front. Dansk lost the puck in the traffic and was soon picking the puck out of his goal, with Klimovich’s tally marking his 15th of the season.

Abbotsford outshot the Wranglers 22-2 in the middle frame, with the two surrendered shots a season-low for the Canucks. The hosts lead 2-0 through 40 minutes, and outshot the Wranglers 32-11.

The third period wouldn’t see any scoring action, and was highlighted by an electric fight between Alex Kannok Leipert and Alex Gallant. However Arturs Silovs would stop all six shots in the final period, as well all 17 shots he faced on the night to record his fourth shutout of the season. Abbotsford snapped Calgary’s streak of picking up points in 13 straight games and handed the Wranglers’ their first game being shut out this season with a 2-0 Canucks’ victory.

Danila Klimovich made it goals in back to back games, while Jett Woo made it five points across his last five games (3G, 2A) picking up the assist on Klimovich’s goal. The Canucks 2 allowed shots in a period is tied for a season-best for Abbotsford, while Calgary tied their season-low in the middle frame.

For the full AHL box score, click HERE.

Up next for the Canucks will be two final games against the Wranglers to close out the regular season. Friday night will be Country Night at the Abbotsford Centre, before the team’s Fan Appreciation Night on Saturday. After this weekend, the Canucks will shift their focus to the playoffs, where they will host the entirety of Round 1 of the Calder Cup Playoffs at Abbotsford Centre. April 19th, 21st and 23rd will make up the best-of-three series against an opponent that is still to be determined, with all games getting underway at 7:00pm.

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