NILS HÖGLANDER SCORES SHOOTOUT WINNER AS CANUCKS DEFEAT COLORADO 2-1
For the second consecutive night, the Abbotsford Canucks took to the ice at Budweiser Events Centre to take on the Colorado Eagles on Saturday night.
Nils Höglander entered the game with nine points over his last nine contests, with three goals and six assists. Linus Karlsson also came into the game after cracking the top 10 for rookies goals scored on Friday with 16.
Spencer Martin got the nod from Jeremy Colliton to start in goal for Abbotsford, making it six consecutive games for the Canucks number 30. Meanwhile Jonas Johansson would start between the pipes for the Eagles.
The hosts would open the scoring in the early goings, as Cedric Paré broke forward down the left boards. He would throw the puck across the face of goal to Callahan Burke who steered home his 15th of the season two minutes into the contest.
It would be a closely fought opening frame, with the Canucks’ penalty kill unit going a perfect 3/3 in the opening frame. However it would be rookie forward Arshdeep Bains that would pull the game level once again. On the powerplay, Phil Di Giuseppe played the buck behind the goal to Karlsson, who immediately sent the puck to an open Bains in the faceoff circle.
A first time effort from Bains beat Johansson’s glove and tied the game with just over eight minutes left in the frame. The Surrey native’s eighth of the season sent the teams to the locker rooms tied at one after 20 minutes, with Abbotsford leading the shot count 8-7.
The second period would come and go without anybody finding the scoresheet, with the Canucks killing another pair of powerplays for the Eagles. Martin registered 13 saves in the middle frame, as the Eagles lead in shots with 21 compared to Abbotsford’s 15.
The game would pass through the third period with Spencer martin standing on his head to keep Abbotsford still in the game. Multiple large glove saves and mad scrambles in front of the crease were all turned aside by the Canucks’ netminder.
Arsh Bains would hit the cross bar in the search for his second of the night in the final four minutes, but that would be as close as any team would get as the clock expired with the teams still level at one, sending the contest into overtime.
End to end action in the extra five minutes couldn’t separate the two sides, as this one was destined for a shoot-out.
Spencer Martin turned aside all three Eagles shooters, as Nils Höglander scored the lone goal. Skating in, Höglander started skating backwards towards Johansson before backhanding the puck five hole on the Colorado netminder.
The goal sealed the full two points for Abbotsford, who pull even on points with Colorado and Ontario in the Pacific Division standings. Abbotsford walked out as 2-1 winners, with Spencer Martin stopping 36 of the 37 saves he saw in game, as well as all three shootout attempts.
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Following their weekend in the Rockies, Abbotsford travels to Ontario for their second meeting with the Reign this season on Wednesday March 1st. Following two more road games in Henderson, the team returns home for a six game home stand starting on March 7th with games against Manitoba, Colorado and Ontario.
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