DIPIETRO LEADS CANUCKS TO CRUCIAL 3-1 VICTORY OVER CONDORS
The Abbotsford Canucks have had the goaltending trio of Spencer Martin, Michael DiPietro and Arturs Sliovs splitting time in net for majority of the season.
Martin was acquired by the Vancouver Canucks from the Tampa Bay Lightning on July 31 and was then re-assigned to Abbotsford. He has been remarkable for Abbotsford, as he has gone 14-3-2-3 with a 2.46 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage.
DiPietro, on the other hand, has been much of the same, especially as of late.
Even Silovs, who only got to start in 10 games for Abbotsford and then was re-assigned by the team to the ECHL’s Trios-Rivières Lions on Thursday, didn’t take long to make an impression and show off his abilities.
That’s because later that same night, the Lions played host to the Maine Mariners.
The Lions defeated the Mariners 1-0, with Silovs making 31 saves for the shutout. Let’s not forget too, that it wasn’t just a season debut, but one in the ECHL altogether.
There’s no question that Abbotsford has elite goaltending this season. It has made choosing the starting goaltender a difficult decision every game for the coaching staff, led by head coach Trent Cull.
Ask Cull and he’ll say that it’s a problem the team is happy to have.
As the Canucks began their four-game road trip with a visit to the Bakersfield Condors on Saturday at Mechanics Bank Arena, it was DiPietro that was slated to start in net.
Entering the game against the Condors, he had a .926 save percentage and 1.94 goals-against average over his last two starts.
DiPietro, once again, was spectacular, as the Canucks were outshot 34-20. They defeated the Condors 3-1.
Abbotsford had a number of players out due to injury.
Add another one to the list, as forward Vincent Arseneau suffered a lower-body injury in the first period and didn’t return. It was already missing forwards Sheldon Rempal, Nic Petan and defenceman Noah Juulsen, who were recalled by Vancouver.
DiPietro’s efforts, though, despite all the adversity, was exactly the boost the team needed. He made 33 saves, including 16 in the second period.
Forward Brandon Cutler scored his first-career AHL goal at 18:55 of the first period to open the scoring. Forwards Danila Klimovich and John Stevens had the other two goals for the Canucks.
It was a crucial game for both teams as they battle for home-ice advantage with the 2021 AHL playoffs looming. With the victory, the Canucks and Condors are tied for No. 4 in the Pacific Division with 61 points.
It seems as though, as Abbotsford continues to battle through injuries, the team has found ways to overcome whatever challenge that is put in front of them.
DiPietro, who made his 23rd start of the season, continues to remind people why he was selected by Vancouver with the No. 64 pick in the 2017 NHL draft. He’s starting to come as advertised.
Whether it’s him or Martin in net, their goaltending has had been a large part in helping the Canucks find ways to win games.
It doesn’t matter who is in the lineup.
The Abbotsford Canucks (28-19-4-1) will visit the Ontario Reign (33-12-4-3) at the Toyota Arena on Sunday. Puck drop is scheduled for 5:00PM PST.
NEWS AND NOTES
Canucks defenceman Alex Kannok-Leipert and forward Nicolas Guay was back in the lineup.
Abbotsford defenceman Madison Bowey got his 13th assist of the season and was a plus-2 rating.
Canucks defenceman Devante Stephens, who finished with an assist, extended his point streak (a goal and two assists) to three games. He is a combined plus-4 rating in that span.
Abbotsford forward Chase Wouters finished with two assists and a plus-1 rating.
Canucks forward John Stevens, who scored his 13th goal of the season, led the team with five shots.
The American Hockey League announced on Friday that the game time between the visiting Canucks and the host San Jose Barracuda scheduled on April 15 at Sharks Ice will now be played at 5:00PM PST. It was originally scheduled for 7:00PM PST.
The Canucks signed forward Brannon McManus to an amateur tryout agreement on Friday. He had nine goals and 32 assists in 34 games with the NCAA’s University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks this season.
The Vancouver Canucks recalled forward Sheldon Rempal and defenceman Noah Juulsen from Abbotsford on Thursday.
FIRST STAR — ABB’s Michael DiPietro (33 saves)
SECOND STAR — ABB’s John Stevens (a goal, five shots and a plus-1 rating)
THIRD STAR — ABB’s Brandon Cutler (first AHL goal)