CANUCKS END ROAD TRIP WITTH 8-3 LOSS TO COACHELLA VALLEY
For the final time on this three game road trip, the Abbotsford Canucks took to the ice wearing their road green jerseys on Tuesday, squaring off with the Coachella Valley Firebirds for the first time at Acrisure Arena.
Josh Passolt made his Canucks debut on the night, centering a line of Aidan McDonough and Alex Kannok Leipert. The only other changes from Sunday’s loss in Ontario were Josh Bloom now featuring alongside John Stevens and Marc Gatcomb, and Artūrs Šilovs replacing Nikita Tolopilo in the Abbotsford net.
Chris Dreidger made his fifth start of the season for the Firebirds in goal.
The hosts would open the scoring in the first three minutes, as Logan Morrison beat Šilovs on the blocker side for his first goal in the AHL.
Abbotsford would answer back quickly after, as Arshdeep Bains set up Nils Åman in the slot for a chance. Dreidger would deny Åman, but the puck fell to Sheldon Dries on the doorstep who took a few stabs at burying the rebound. On the second effort, Dries found the back of the net for his second goal in as many games and extending his point streak to four games.
Coachella Valley would grab a pair of late ones in the period, with Jeremy McKenna and Marian Studenic scoring within 30 seconds of each other, giving the Firebirds a 3-1 lead, which they took into the locker rooms for the first intermission.
Max Sasson would bring the Canucks within one, as he collected a no-look drop pass from Aatu Räty in the slot. Sasson would wind and fire a shot into the top corner, beating Dreidger with the slap shot. The goal would be Sasson’s second of the year, and came four minutes into the middle frame.
Once again, the Firebirds would score two in quick succession, this time beating Tolopilo who replaced Šilovs to begin the second period. Ville Petman and Shane Wright scored 1:46 apart from each other, boosting the hosts’ lead to 5-2.
It would be a familiar face in Dries who found the scoresheet next, striking for the second time on the night just before the midway point. Bains and Åman connected behind the Firebirds net to find Dries alone in front. Dries lifted the puck over the netminder’s shoulder to pick up his third goal in two games.
Max McCormick, Ryan Winterton and Connor Carrick each grabbed a late goal to make it a 8-3 Firebirds lead after forty minutes.
That same score line is how the third period would wrap up, with Coachella Valley earning their first win on home ice with a 8-3 victory.
Arsh Bains extended his point streak to six games, and leads the AHL in points with 15 (3G, 12A). Nikita Tolopilo made 25 saves in the second and third period, while Dreidger stopped 23 of Abbotsford’s 26 shots.
The Canucks return home for a four game home stand where they’ll face the Henderson Silver Knights on November 3rd and 4th (Diwali Night), and the Bakersfield Condors on November 9th and 11th. Following those four games, Abbotsford will hit the road once again for a pair of games in Henderson and then a pair in Calgary to round out the month of November.
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