STOCKTON, CA — Win or lose, Abbotsford Canucks goaltender Mikey DiPietro has come into form.

It was goaltender Spencer Martin who, at least early on, looked to have earned majority of the starts. After all, Martin is 16-3-2 this season and has the second highest number of shutouts in the American Hockey League, with three.

DiPietro had to earn his playing time.

He has.

Since the end of February, DiPietro and Martin has made deciding Abbotsford’s starting goaltender a difficult one for the team’s coaching staff.

When the Canucks went on their four-game road trip which began on March 19 against the Bakersfield Condors, DiPietro was slated to start in net and was phenomenal.

He made 33 saves as Abbotsford defeated Bakersfield 3-1 and was named the first star of the game.

Martin started next two games and was just as good. He made 23 saves in the team’s 4-2 victory over the Ontario Reign the following night. He was named the third star of the game.

Four days later, when Abbotsford defeated the San Jose Barracuda 4-1, where he made 32 saves. This time, he was named the first star of the game.

That extended Martin’s win streak to four games. Not only that, he has a 0.930 save percentage over his last 12 games.

It was DiPietro’s time to respond, as he got his numbered called to start against the Stockton Heat on Friday. Heading into the game, DiPietro had a 2-1-1 record in March, along with 0.923 save percentage.

The Canucks (30-20-4-1) lost 3-1 to the Heat (38-11-4-1) at Stockton Arena, despite another strong performance from DiPietro. He made 32 saves.

Abbotsford’s 3-1 loss to Stockton snapped a four-game winning streak. The Canucks had points in their last six games.

“I thought Michael played well tonight,” Canucks head coach Trent Cull said. “One thing on this trip is that our goaltenders were great for us. They gave us a chance to win every night.”

Canucks defenceman Guillaume Brisebois scored the lone goal for the team at 1:46 of the first period.

It was his second goal of the season. Forwards Brandon Cutler and Chase Wouters had the assists.

“I think the guys have played great,” Cull said. “I mean, it’s a 2-1 game until that empty net goal. With a lot of adversity to our lineup — guys going up, down, injured, etc. I thought our guys played extremely well.”

Especially when it comes to DiPietro and Martin every game for the last month.

“I think we had seven back-to-back games before we left home,” Cull said. “I had this planned. I wanted both guys to be able to play games and they have. They have deserved it. They’ve played well. I think it’s a great recipe for our team.”

Martin and DiPietro look to be the team’s 1A and 1B in net.

Abbotsford may have found a couple of aces in its pocket.


The Abbotsford Canucks will play host to the Toronto Marlies at the Abbotsford Centre on Tuesday. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00PM PST. It will be the team’s Salute to the 80s Night as well.


Abbotsford defenceman Jack Rathbone and forward Brannon McManus returned to the lineup.

Canucks forward Sheldon Rempal led the team with four shots on net.

Abbotsford forward Brandon Cutler has a goal and two assists over his last five games. He has a combined plus-2 rating and seven shots on net in that span.

Canucks forward Chase Wouters has three assists over his last four games.