CANUCKS WILD COMEBACK FALLS SHORT IN 7-6 OVERTIME LOSS TO WRANGLERS
Looking for revenge following their 3-2 defeat on Friday night, the Abbotsford Canucks squared off with the Calgary Wranglers at Abbotsford Centre on Saturday.
Marc Gatcomb made his way into Jeremy Colliton’s lineup, replacing Tristen Nielsen. Saturday was Gatcomb’s first appearance of the AHL season, slotting along side Josh Bloom and Nils Åman, while Arshdeep Bains now flanked Vasily Podkolzin and Sheldon Dries.
It would be a rematch of Friday’s netminders, as Artūrs Šilovs and Dustin Wolf defended the Abbotsford and Calgary goals respectively.
It would be another fast start for Abbotsford, this time getting on the board in the opening 30 seconds. Matt Irwin’s effort from the point was seemingly heading wide, until Dries deflected the puck under the arm of Wolf and lifting the Canucks in front. The effort would be Dries’ first of the season.
Calgary would soon respond as Ilya Solovyov fired an effort through a screen, beating Šilovs. The Wranglers took just under four minutes to respond, with Solovyov grabbing his first goal of the campaign as well.
Marc Gatcomb dropped the gloves with Clark Bishop at the mid-way point, energizing the home crowd. Abbotsford rallied around that momentum and generated a handful of powerplay chances in the final few minutes, once again registering 18 shots in the opening frame.
However, Wolf kept the game level at one a piece, and that’s how it looked as the time expired on the first period.
Abbotsford would soon regain the lead, coming from the stick of captain Chase Wouters. Jett Woo played the puck along the boards in his own zone for Aatu Räty, who chipped it along for a streaking Wouters. Joined by Stevens for a two-on-one opportunity, Wouters kept the puck and fired one past Wolf, beating him glove side.
The breakaway goal would be Wouters’ first of the season, and came 6:39 into the second period.
Once again, the Wranglers would pull even shortly after, as Ben Jones got on the end of a Connor Zary attempt that slowed down after a block. Jones was the quickest to react and slotted home the equalizer.
Nils Åman followed that up with a goal of his own, jumping on a turn over right in front of Wolf. Åman’s stick got just enough on the puck to slide it between the Calgary netminder’s pads and put the Canucks back in front once again.
The see-saw second period was almost over, until Lucas Ciona once again pulled the Wranglers even with Calgary’s third goal of the night. Ciona’s first of the season came with just over two minutes remaining, and that is how the middle frame would come to a close. 3-3 was the score line, with Abbotsford leading the shot count 27-21.
What was shaping up to be a close fight to the finish, certainly didn’t feel that way as Calgary opened up the third period with three goals coming from Bishop, Adam Klapka and Martin Pospisil. As the clock continued to wind down, it seemed as though the Wranglers would comfortably see out the game.
The final four minutes proved anything but that.
Nils Åman grabbed his second of the night from the slot, with Arshdeep Bains and Christian Wolanin grabbing the helpers on the man advantage. The puck was whipped around quicjly before Åman’s first-time finish over Wolf’s shoulder.
Then, 64 seconds later, Vasily Podkolzin grabbed his fourth of the season with a move that is starting to become all too familiar to Canucks’ fans. Waiting in the right faceoff circle, Wolanin slipped Podkolzin the pass that was unleashed goal wards, beating Wolf before he had a chance to see it. Podkolzin’s fourth goal in four games brought Abbotsford within one with under three minutes remaining.
It would be Åman once again, grabbing his first career AHL hat-trick, who from the exact same spot as before, roofed one into the back of the Wranglers goal. Bains and Wolanin picked up the helpers on that one as well.
Three goals in under two and a half minutes secured at least a point for the Canucks, as the game shifted to Overtime.
In the extra frame, Pospisil cut the Canucks’ comeback short, as he grabbed the game winner for the Wranglers at the 3:24 mark of sudden death. With the goal, Pospisil secured the win for the Wranglers in a wild 7-6 Overtime game.
Vasily Podkolzin, Nils Åman and Arshdeep Bains all registered a three-point night, while Wolanin also had a multi-point performance. Dustin Wolf turned aside 34 of Abbotsford’s 40 shots on the evening, while Artūrs Šilovs denided the Wranglers on 30 of their 37 attempts.
The Canucks now welcome the Colorado Eagles to Abbotsford on Tuesday and Wednesday night, with both games getting underway at 7:00pm from Abbotsford Centre. Abbotsford will then head south for a three game California road trip with stops in San Diego, Ontario and Coachella Valley. Following that sting, the team returns home for another four game home stand, featuring Diwali night on November 4th against Henderson.
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