CANUCKS PUT SIX PAST GULLS, PICK UP 6-1 ROAD VICTORY IN SAN DIEGO
The Abbotsford Canucks continued their southern road trip on Wednesday night for a clash with the San Diego Gulls.
In their fourth and final meeting of the season, Abbotsford held a 2-0-0-1 series lead, and looked to improve upon that at Pechanga Arena. A big part of that effort would be Phil Di Giuseppe, who entered the contest with seven goals over his last 10 AHL games.
Michael Regush would make his return to the lineup, while Arturs Silovs would make his seventh start in eight games in the Canucks’ crease. At the other end, it would be Lukas Dostal to stand between the pipes for the Gulls.
It seemed as though the first period would come and go without anybody breaking the deadlock, with only eight combined shots registered through the opening sixteen minutes. However when Noah Juulsen picked up the puck and slipped Phil Di Giuseppe through on a two on one with Nils Åman, that would soon change.
Heading towards Dostal down the right boards, Di Giuseppe brought the puck to the edge of the crease before feeding the puck over to Åman for his third of the season and the game’s opener.
The Swede’s tally would be the lone scoring action of the first period, sending the visitors to the dressing room leading 1-0 after 20.
After the break would be when the flood gates seemingly opened, with Abbotsford scoring twice in the opening two minutes.
First, Christian Wolanin let fly a wrist shot from the blue line with traffic in front. Wolanin’s effort would find it’s way through a heavy screen in front of Dostal and over the blocker for the blue-liner’s fifth goal of the season. The effort would also be the all-star’s 100th career AHL point, and his team-leading 47th point of the year.
Sixteen seconds later, Arsh Bains would extend the lead to three goals. In a similar spot as Wolanin, Bains fired a slapshot from the right point and once again beat Dostal’s blocker. The tally would be the Surrey native’s seventh of the season, while Åman would grab the assist for his second multi-point AHL game.
Danila Klimovich would pile on the offensive pressure with a score of his own, after being sent on a breakaway by Marc Gatcomb. Speeding through the zone before burying a snapshot past Dostal, Klimovich hit double figures in goals as the effort was his tenth of the year. Gatcomb’s assist would be his first point in the AHL.
Rocco Grimaldi would grab one back for the Gulls late in the second period, with his effort coming on a San Diego powerplay. Grimaldi’s team leading 18th goal wrapped up the period, sending Abbotsford to the dressing room leading 4-1 after forty minutes. The Canucks also lead the shot count 18-12, while out-shooting the Gulls 13-5 in the middle frame.
Abbotsford would pick up right where they left off to start the third, this time coming from the stick of Kyle Rau. Mere seconds into a Canucks’ powerplay, Tristen Nielsen muscled off a defender and shot an effort towards Dostal. The chance resulted in a pad save, however the rebound fell straight to Rau who buried his tenth of the season into the empty cage.
The Canucks would add another later in the frame, as Linus Karlsson set up Tristen Nielsen in front of the goal. Karlsson, in the process of being tied up by a Gull, shifted the puck to the centre where Tristen Nielsen got enough of a deflection to deflect the puck over the shoulder of Dostal for Abbotsford’s sixth of the night.
The clock would wind down and the game would wrap up 6-1 in favour of Abbotsford. Arturs Silovs stopped 21 of the 22 shots he saw for a save percentage of .954. The Canucks outshot San Diego 23-14 in the final two periods, and 28-22 across the whole night. 12 different members of the Canucks picked up a point, with Rau, Nielsen and Åman all having multi-point nights.
For the full box score from tonight’s game, click HERE.
Up next for the Canucks, the team wraps up their five game road trip this weekend in a weekend back to back in San Jose taking on the Barracuda. It will be a 7:00pm pst puck drop from Tech CU Arena on Friday night, before a Saturday afternoon game getting underway at 2:00pm. After the weekend, the team is off for a few days for the All Star Break, which will see Christian Wolanin travel to Laval to join in the festivities, before the team is back in action on February 10th and 11th for a matchup with the Tucson Roadrunners.
The Friday night game is “Celebrating The Sedins” night, honoring Henrik and Daniel Sedin. To purchase tickets to any future Abbotsford Canucks home game, please click HERE.