KYLE RAU SCORES OVERTIME WINNER AS CANUCKS DEFEAT MANITOBA 3-2
For the second time in as many nights, the Abbotsford Canucks welcomed the Manitoba Moose to Abbotsford Centre on Wednesday night.
Arshdeep Bains entered the contest having picked up five points over his last five games, while Aatu Räty registered points in back to back games following his return from Vancouver. Arturs Silovs started between the Abbotsford pipes, having gone 5-1-0 through his last six AHL games. Oskari Salminen took over from Arvid Holm in the Moose crease following Manitoba’s 4-3 victory on Tuesday.
Salminen would be tested early and tested often in the opening frame, with the Moose having to kill off several penalties with Abbotsford mounting pressure in front of the Manitoba goal. Despite the Canucks early pressure, the first twenty minutes came and went without anybody finding the scoresheet. The shot count was tied at eight shots each, with both teams killing off the four combined penalties.
The second period did not follow the same path as the first, as Nils Höglander broke the deadlock in the opening minutes of the second period. Justin Dowling picked the pocket of a Moose player in Abbotsford’s defensive zone, before breaking forward himself. Dowling sent the puck across the crease for Kyle Rau, who then centered the puck immediately for Höglander who buried his 12th of the year.
Six minutes later, the Moose capitalized on a five-on-three powerplay as Leon Gawanke brought Manitoba level. Gawanke’s slapshot from the left faceoff circle beat a diving Silovs, but the middle frame’s scoring didn’t stop there.
In the final two minutes of the second period, Jett Woo held in a Moose clearing attempt at the blue line. Woo fired a wrist shot towards Salminen and through a maze of bodies the puck squirmed it’s way through and into the back of the net. The third goal of the season for Woo, which is also the second of the year against his hometown Moose, gave the hosts a 2-1 lead as the two sided headed back into the locker room. Abbotsford lead the shot count 21-15.
Manitoba answered back just as quickly in the third period, as Wyatt Bongiovanni snapped home his 12th of the season less than a minute into the third. Collecting a pass from Declan Chisholm, the snapshot beat Silovs to tie the game up at two.
The third period wouldn’t see any more goals, however it certainly had a handful of chances. Most notably, Kyle Rau and Justin Dowling being denied by Salminen in the dying stages of the third period to secure a point for both sides. The game was sent to Overtime with the score locked at 2-2, while Abbotsford lead the shots 28-22.
Abbotsford were gifted a man advantage in Overtime following a high sticking penalty from Greg Meireles. Jeremy Colliton put the powerplay team to work, and they got their reward just over three minutes into the extra frame. Tristen Nielsen was along the right boards and threw an effort towards goal with some traffic in front. Kyle Rau battled through the screen and tucked the puck between the legs of Salminen and it trickled over the goal line to secure the full two points for Abbotsford. Rau’s 15th of the year secured the 3-2 victory for Abbotsford on Wednesday night.
Arturs Silovs made 20 saves on the 22 efforts he saw, while Salminen stopped 28 of the 28 shots he faced on the night. Nils Höglander picked up his seventh point in his last five games, while Jett Woo picked up his second multi-point game of the year and his fourth in Abbotsford.
For the full AHL box score, please click HERE.
Up next for Abbotsford is a pair of games against the Colorado Eagles on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at the Abbotsford Centre. Saturday’s game is the first annual Abbotsford Canucks “Flaunt Your Flannel” game, where fans are encouraged to wear flannel or plaid clothing to the game. Then the Canucks wrap up their six game homestand with two games against the Ontario Reign on Friday March 17th and Saturday March 18th.
To purchase tickets to an upcoming Abbotsford Canucks’ game, please click HERE.