CANUCKS PUT FOUR PAST ONTARIO, SHUT OUT REIGN 4-0 ON FRIDAY NIGHT
In the first of six matchups across the next three weeks, the Abbotsford Canucks hosted the Ontario Reign at Abbotsford Centre on Friday night.
Justin Dowling entered the contest on a four-game assist streak, while John Stevens and Jett Woo became the 4th and 5th players in Abbotsford Canucks history to skate in 100 games for the club.
Spencer Martin got the start in the Abbotsford goal, while Cal Petersen started his team leading 30th game this season on Friday night.
The opening 12 minutes or so passed by pretty quickly, with a Vincent Arseneau fight the lone talking point. Until Alex Kannok Leipert poked the puck free and sprung forward with Chase Wouters. Wouters carried the puck towards Petersen, and with Kannok Leipert attracting the attention of the lone Reign defender, Wouters slipped the puck out the back to Danila Klimovich.
Klimovich rifled the puck past the blocker of Petersen to open the scoring, giving the Belarussian winger his 12th goal of the season.
Despite the slower start, the Canucks finished off the frame white hot, as Marc Gatcomb doubled Abbotsford’s lead. Aatu Räty lifted the stick of a defender, causing the Reign to lose possession of the puck in a costly spot. The puck drifted right out in front of Petersen, where Gatcomb backhanded his second goal of his career and first on home ice.
The late scoring surge gave Abbotsford the 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, as well as a 13-7 lead in the shot count.
Abbotsford would pick up right where they left off, as Vincent Arseneau got on the end of a loose puck, beating out Jacob Moverare in a foot race before cutting to the net just three minutes into the frame. In one swift motion, Arseneau roofed the puck over the surging Petersen for his seventh of the season and the Canucks’ third of the night.
Nils Höglander would join in on the fun before the end of the period, while Justin Dowling would extend his assist streak. Breaking forward on a three-on-one with Höglander and Kyle Rau, Dowling slowed the play down and snapped the puck over to Höglander. The young Swedish winger ripped the puck into the roof of the net, notching his 14th goal of the season.
Höglander would set the Canucks’ up with a 4-0 lead through two periods, outshooting the Reign 22-16 in the process.
The third period would come and go without anybody finding the scoresheet, with the Canucks winding up as 4-0 winners. The two points increased Abbotsford’s tally to seven of a possible ten points through the first five games of the home stand.
Justin Dowling increased his point streak to five games, while Spencer Martin stopped all 22 shots that he faced for his first AHL shutout of the season. Nils Höglander and John Stevems lead the game in shots with 5, with Petersen stopping 26 of the 30 efforts that came his way.
To view the full AHL box score, please click HERE.
Up next for the Canucks is a rematch with Ontario on Saturday night, with the puck dropping at 7:00pm from Abbotsford Centre. After this weekend, the Abbotsford Canucks hit the road for their final road trip of the regular season, with a single game in Bakersfield on Wednesday, before a weekend series in Ontario. Following the Sunday afternoon game 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.
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