CANUCKS LOSE FINAL GAME OF ROAD TRIP; WIN STREAK SNAPPED IN 3-0 CALGARY LOSS
The Abbotsford Canucks faced off with the Calgary Wranglers in their fourth and final game of this January road trip on Wednesday night. The clash would be a rematch of Monday’s contest, which Abbotsford won handily 5-2.
A key piece of that victory was Arturs Silovs, who picked up a franchise record fifth consecutive victory on Monday, and was given the nod from Jeremy Colliton to start between the pipes in this one. His counterpart would be the likes of Dustin Wolf, setting up an intriguing goaltending dual. Wolf leads the AHL in wins with 18, while Silovs sits second in that category with 13 victories of his own.
Wednesday night also saw the return of John Stevens, making his first appearance since December 21st due to an injury. He would add to an offensive unit featuring six Abbotsford players entering the game with point streaks of three games or more.
That offensive unit which averaged over five goals a game during this five game win streak was held off the scoresheet in the opening 20, mustering eight shots on goal compared to Calgary’s 14.
Silovs made the biggest play of the frame for either side, stopping a Nick DeSimone effort from the point, before making a sprawling stop on a Connor Zary attempt in close. Nils Åman had the best chance for the Canucks to break the deadlock, putting his effort just wide of the post from the slot.
The first period would end just as it had started, tied at zero.
Abbotsford were the quicker of the two sides to start the second, as Vasily Podkolzin went streaking down the right boards, trying to go cost-to-coast. Forced back to the outside, Podkolzin found Phil Di Giuseppe alone in front of Wolf, who had his attempt steered aside before missing the follow up chance on the rebound.
Five minutes later, Tristen Nielsen got on the end of a long looping pass before desperately shifting the puck to John Stevens. Again, alone in front of goal, Stevens couldn’t sneak the puck past Wolf as the game remained scoreless.
That is how the second period would finish up, with both teams still searching for the game’s opener.
After 46 minutes of hockey, the deadlock was broken via a wrist shot from the Wranglers captain Brett Sutter. Matthew Phillips gloved the puck down and fed the puck to Ben Jones behind’s Silovs’ goal. Jones found Sutter streaking through the shot, who put the puck over the shoulder of Silovs for the game’s first goal.
Phillips would double up on Calgary’s lead just minutes later, as he broke through on a two on one with Jakob Pelletier. Pelletier carried the puck across the blue line before feeding Phillips who rounded Silovs and pushed the score to 2-0 in favour of the hosts.
The Canucks would come close to finding the scoresheet as Jack Rathbone was denied by the inside of the post, as well as a Linus Karlsson effort that was turned aside by a sliding Dustin Wolf in the final minutes.
Yet it would be an empty net tally from Mitch McLain that finished the game off, as that 3-0 score line would be how this one would end.
Silovs registered 37 saves on 39 shots, while Dustin Wolf picked up his fourth shut out of the season. For the full box score, please click HERE.
Up next for the Canucks is a pair of home games this weekend against the Henderson Silver Knights. The puck drops on Friday and Saturday night from the Abbotsford Centre at 7:00pm for the fifth and sixth meetings between the two sides.
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