DRIES SCORES IN 200TH GAME, BUT CANUCKS UNABLE TO COOL STOCKTON HEAT
ABBOTSFORD, BC -- Abbotsford Canucks forward Sheldon Dries has been, without a doubt, the team’s greatest surprise.
Dries, 27, signed a one-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks on July 28 and was later re-assigned to Abbotsford. The team, despite not many realizing at the time, had landed an absolute gem.
Prior to joining the Canucks, Dries’ best pro season was in 2019-20 when he played for the AHL’s Colorado Eagles. He had 21 goals and 14 assists in 50 games.
As he approached his 200th AHL game when Abbotsford played host to the Stockton Heat on Friday, he already had 27 goals and 18 assists in just 36 games.
“I think Sheldon’s been a great surprise for us,” Abbotsford head coach Trent Cull said. “Sometimes you hear a reference of what kind of player he is and he was always a real good quiet leader who plays hard and is great on the PK… just a real solid guy who can play centre or play the wing. We didn’t expect this offensive flare from him. We’ve rewarded him with a lot of ice time, but I think, in return, he’s rewarded our team in being a great leader for us in all departments. He plays in all situations and he’s a gritty guy. He gets in around the net. You’ll notice a lot that most of Sheldon’s goals come from 10 feet around the goal crease. I think he’s a guy that plays with no fear.”
Dries was no different in his 200th AHL game.
It’s just a little bit of puck luck, honestly,” Dries explained. I just try to keep my game simple: get pucks to the net… get my body to the net and get rewarded in that sense. I haven’t changed too much. I’m just enjoying every day and enjoying the game.”
He scored the lone goal in a 4-1 loss to the Heat. It came on a double-minor power play at 11:08 of the second period. The power-play goal were assisted by forwards Justin Dowling and Nic Petan.
The marker put Dries eighth in league scoring with 45 points and No. 2 in goals. Not only that, he extended his point streak (five goals and an assist) to four games.
“(200 games) a big honour for sure,” Dries said. “My wife told me last night that I was creeping up on that. It’s a huge honour to play 200 games in this league and it’s not taken for granted… that’s for sure.”
That being said, although 200 games was special for Dries, but a victory would have made it that much sweeter.
It was sloppy all around when the beginning,” Dries stated. “It starts with my line. We weren’t great tonight. I thought we had some mojo on the power play. It would have been nice to get that second (goal). It’s always fun to score, but it’s even better to win.”
The Abbotsford Canucks (21-17-3) will play host to the Stockton Heat (30-8-3) once again on Sunday at 4:00pm PST inside the confines of the Abbotsford Centre.
NEWS AND NOTES
- The 4-1 defeat to Stockton marks Abbotsford goaltender Spencer Martin’s only second loss in regulation time. He made 21 saves.
- The Abbotsford Centre returned to full capacity on Friday, as provincial restrictions were lifted on capacity limits.
- Earlier Friday, Abbotsford signed defenceman Brandon Hickey to a professional tryout agreement
- Forward Phil Di Giuseppe was recalled by Vancouver from Abbotsford Friday. Di Giuseppe has recorded 11 goals and 21 assists through 35 games with Abbotsford.