DESPITE LATE PUSH, CANUCKS FALL TO SILVER KNIGHTS
Abbotsford, B.C. - After a long and testing few weeks, the Abbotsford Canucks wrapped up their six-game home stand with a rematch against the Henderson Silver Knights on Saturday night. The pair played out a closely fought contest on Thursday, with the home side Canucks edging out a 2-1 victory.
Now, on Country Night, Abbotsford faced the opportunity to win back-to-back games at home for the first time this season.
It would be Jiri Patera in net for Henderson, replacing Michael Hutchinson who made 28 saves in Thursday’s loss. The start would be Patera’s seventh, sitting at a 1-5 record on the campaign. In the opposite crease once again would be Arturs Silovs, making his seventh start as well. The Latvian netminder is 3-2-0-1 in the year so far, looking to take his win percentage above .500.
In the early goings, it looked like Saturday’s game would follow suit from Thursday, with both sides seeming evenly matched. Both Patera and Silovs would be called upon to make a handful of big saves in the early minutes, with some rebounds being jumped on but unable to convert.
Jermaine Loewen would open the scoring with six minutes remaining in the first, opening up his account for the year. An awkward effort thrown on goal from the left boards snuck past Silovs and put the visitors on the board first for the second time in as many games.
Yet it would be a streaking Tristen Nielsen who knotted the game up at one just a few minutes later. Nielsen took a pass from Christian Wolanin, cut through the middle of the defending Knights, and calmly rounded Patera. Patiently waiting out the sliding netminder, Nielsen tucked home his second of the season on the back hand, sending the two sides to the locker room tied at 1-1.
Henderson would claw themselves back into the lead in the opening minutes of the second. Daniil Miromanov was on the receiving end of an inch perfect pass from Ivan Morozov, and the finish squeaked between Silovs’ glove and the goal post.
The visitors wouldn’t stop there, with Gage Quinney doubling Henderson’s advantage. Jumping on a loose rebound in front of Silovs’ crease, Quinney jammed home his second of the year, making it a 3-1 score line to finish the second period.
Heavily outshooting Henderson, Abbotsford 31 shots through the first two periods were the most by the Canucks in the opening 40 minutes this season.
Five minutes into the third period, Abbotsford were rewarded for their efforts. On the man advantage, Noah Juulsen slid the puck over to Lane Pederson at the left faceoff circle. Pederson walked in and let a wrist shot fly, which flew over the blocker of Patera, making it a 3-2 hockey game.
The Canucks would continue pressuring into the rest of the period, but despite 14 shots in the final frame, they were unable to beat the Silver Knights’ goaltender Patera for a third time.
"How we played tonight, if we can repeat it over and over again, we'll get rewarded with goals and points." - Jeremy Colliton when asked about positives from Saturday's game.
The loss dropped Abbotsford’s regular season record to 5-4-0-1, eighth in the AHL’s Pacific Division. Henderson improved to 3-10-0-0.
The Canucks finished the night 2/4 on the powerplay, while the Silver Knights went 1/4.