Following the snapping of their five game win streak, the Abbotsford Canucks kicked off a three game road trip on Wednesday night in Southern California. It would be the San Diego Gulls facing off against the Canucks for the third time this season, and Abbotsford’s lone game at Pechanga Arena until February.

Starting in Abbotsford’s goal for the seventh time in eight games would be Arturs Silovs, having gone 4-1-1 in his last six starts for Abbotsford. Across from Silovs would be Daniel Mannella between the pipes for San Diego, making his first appearance of the season and just the third start of his AHL career after going 2-0 with the Chicago Wolves last season.

Captain Chase Wouters came into this one with six points (1 goal and 5 assists) over his last nine games. Wednesday night also saw a return to the lineup for both Arshdeep Bains and Brady Keeper, both featuring for the first time since December 3rd.

The puck was dropped in San Diego, and Abbotsford’s three game southern road trip was underway.

And it was off to a dream start.

A Noah Juulsen shot from the point made it’s way through traffic and towards Mannella. The Gulls netminder got most of the shot with the glove, having the puck loop up in the air and drop behind him in the crease. It would be Lane Pederson who jumped on the loose puck, steering home the game’s first goal just over a minute into the game.

But as the old cliché goes, you’re most vulnerable when you’ve just scored. The Gulls took advantage of that themselves, as Rocco Grimaldi broke across the blueline and fired a shot over the pad of Silovs to tie the game up 22 seconds later.

Following the trend, Arsh Bains decided to add his name to the score sheet in the third minute of play. Noah Juulsen once again got the play started and had his attempt at goal blocked on the way through. Linus Karlsson’s shot was then denied by Mannella, but the puck falling to a wide open Bains in the slot.

The Surrey native tapped home his second of the season and Abbotsford’s second goal in the opening three minutes. The Canucks held a 2-1 lead, but that didn’t stand for long.

It would be 3-1 just minutes later.

Pederson combined on a sharp passing play from Vasily Podkolzin and Christian Wolanin to bury a one-timer from the left faceoff circle. Pederson’s second of the night flew over the shoulder of Mannella, forcing a change in the Gulls net.

Allowing three goals on six shots, Mannella would be replaced by Garrett Metcalf, making his first appearance of the 2022-23 AHL season.

Metcalf would be tested heavily in the remaining 15 minutes of the opening frame, keeping the Canucks at bay and allowing the game to breathe. However it would once again be Pederson to grab the next goal.

Pederson was crashing towards the net from the left boards, and attempted a cross-crease pass to find Justin Dowling. The pass tipped off the stick of a defending Gull and into the yawning goal, increasing Abbotsford’s lead to 4-1.

The goal would be credited to Pederson, marking his first AHL hat-trick. The tally would also push his count to 17 goals in 18 games, good enough for second most in the AHL.

San Diego would grab a late one via a David Cotton deflection on the powerplay, but the Canucks would take a 4-2 lead to the locker room after twenty minutes. The Canucks’ 22 shots would set a franchise record for most in a single period, as well as Pederson tying the franchise record for most goals in a single period.

The second period would not live up to the same scoring standards as the first, as both Silovs and Metcalf made numerous key saves. Silovs wouldn’t be perfect through the middle frame, as with four minutes remaining, Evan Weinger let a snapshot go from the slot.

The Canucks goalie would only get a piece of it with his glove, as the puck trickled past Silovs to bring the Gulls within one. The second period ended with the Canucks in front by one, who had responded well to the Weinger goal.

Podkolzin almost re-established the Canucks’ two goal lead, as a slapshot from the point struck iron. However it would be Danila Klimovich to put the game beyond reach.

On the end of a stretch pass from Pederson, Klimovich broke free down the right wing, firing a shot with a quick release over the pad of Garrett. The goal would be Klilmovich’s fourth of the year, giving Abbotsford a 5-3 lead.

The Canucks would survive despite allowing a Justin Kirkland powerplay goal in the final minute to clinch the game 5-4, improving Abbotsford’s record to 6-1-0-0 over their last seven games.

Arturs Silovs would finish the night with 19 saves, while Pederson finished off with four points. Pederson’s hat trick sees the Canuck forward second in the league in terms of goals scored, while the Canucks climbed to fifth place in the Pacific Division.

For the full box score from tonight’s game, please click HERE.

Next up for Abbotsford is a pair of games in Henderson on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. The two games will mark the end of this short three game road trip before heading home for a pair of games against San Jose next week.

To purchase tickets to any upcoming Abbotsford Canucks games, please click HERE.