CANUCKS PUSH WIN STREAK TO FIVE WITH WIN OVER CALGARY
Calgary, AB – The Abbotsford Canucks opened the 2023 edition of their season with a statement 5-2 road win over the Calgary Wranglers Monday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
It was the meeting of win-streaks between the two teams, as the Canucks extended their own streak to five games. Calgary, which had entered the game first-place in the AHL’s Pacific Division, had it’s six-game win streak snapped with the loss.
Abbotsford’s Tristen Nielsen scored the game-winner at the 14:03 mark of the third to give the Canucks their 19th win of the season (19-9-1-1).
With the loss, the Wranglers moved into second place in the Pacific Division with a 21-8-1-0 record.
Canucks goaltender Arturs Silovs picked up his fifth consecutive win in a row, a career-best mark for the 21-year-old Latvian. With the victory, Silovs saw his personal record in goal move to 13-5-2 this season.
Defenceman Christian Wolanin paced the Canucks offence, picking up four assists to add to his league-leading 34 helpers on the season, while Nils Åman scored his first two career AHL goals in the late stages of the game. Forwards Nils Höglander and Danila Klimovich also scored for Abbotsford.
Calgary opened the game with a man-advantage early, as forward Linus Karlsson was called to the box on a two-minute hooking penalty just 1:08 into the contest. Silovs and the Canucks managed to kill the penalty off, however, before getting opportunities of their own at the midway mark of the first.
Höglander wasted no time on the Canucks’ second powerplay of the game, firing home a Karlsson rebound and scoring his second goal in as many games to give Abbotsford the 1-0 lead. Karlsson and Wolanin picked up the helpers.
The second period saw the Canucks add to their lead, as Klimovich rifled a shot from the left faceoff dot that snuck behind Wranglers goaltender Oscar Dansk to make it 2-0. The goal was the 19-year-old Klimovich’s sixth of the season, and fourth point over the past three games.
Jakob Pelletier nabbed the Wranglers first goal in the game late in the second, netting his 15th goal of the season past Silovs to break the shutout bid at the 18:24 mark of the middle frame. Adam Klapka and Nicolas Meloche picked up the assists on the goal.
Into the third, Wranglers’ centre Mitch McLain scored just 1:31 into the period after chipping one in past Silovs on the back-door of the net to knot the game up at two goals apiece. Conor Zary nabbed his Wranglers-leading 22nd assist of the season with the primary helper.
Calgary was then given an opportunity to add to their lead moments later, when Jett Woo was handed a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct for elbowing. But it was the Canucks penalty kill standing tall, limiting the Wranglers to four shots and no goals on the opportunity.
The Canucks then regained their lead with just over six minutes remaining in the final period, as Kalynuk’s point shot was tipped by Nielsen’s stick just in front of the Calgary crease to give Abbotsford the 3-2 lead. The goal was Nielsen’s fifth of the season.
Nils Åman would the add two insurance markers for the Canucks to seal the win.
The season series now sits at 2-1 in favour of Calgary, as the Wranglers won the first two meetings of the season 5-1 (Nov. 25) and 4-3 (Nov. 27) in Calgary.
To view the full box score, click HERE.
Abbotsford and Calgary will meet once more this week on Wednesday, January 4th before the Canucks return to Abbotsford Centre for a pair of games against the Henderson Silver Knights beginning Friday, January 6th.
To purchase tickets to an upcoming Abbotsford Canucks game, click HERE.