PODKOLZIN SEALS LAST SECOND OVERTIME VICTORY AS CANUCKS DEFEAT EAGLES 2-1
For the first time this season, the Abbotsford Canucks and Colorado Eagles squared off at Abbotsford Centre on Tuesday night. The matchup was the first of a back-to-back series, concluding on Wednesday night.
Jeremy Colliton adjusted his lineup a fair bit from Saturday’s Overtime loss to the Wranglers, as Nils Åman, who scored a hat-trick in that game, centered the line of Sheldon Dries and Vasily Podkolzin. Arshdeep Bains played alongside Max Sasson and Linus Karlsson, while it would be the trio Aidan McDonough, Aatu Räty and Chase Wouters playing together for the first time this season. Josh Bloom, John Stevens and Marc Gatcomb rounded out the forwards.
The defencemen remained unchanged, while Nikita Tolopilo made his home debut in goal. Justus Annunen would be the starting netminder for Colorado.
A closely fought opening period saw lots of action for Tolopilo and Annunen, with a combined 28 shots faced in the first frame. The two sides were 43 seconds away from breaking to the locker rooms knotted at 0-0, when John Stevens broke forward with Bains on the penalty kill. The shorthanded two-on-one opportunity resulted in Stevens keeping the puck, firing off a snap shot and beating Annunen blocker-side.
The tally would be Stevens’ second of the year, both coming on the penalty kill. His goal would be the final action of the first period as Abbotsford held the 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Riley Tufte would equalize for the visiting Eagles, stealing the puck away from Sasson at the Abbotsford blue line. Tufte broke towards goal and snuck one past Tolopilo, levelling the game at 1-1- halfway through the second period.
Tufte would be the lone scorer of the second period, setting up a winner-take-all third period between the two sides.
A scoreless third period and an impressive showing from Tolopilo, who had racked up 31 saves through 60 minutes, meant that for a second consecutive game, the Abbotsford Canucks were heading for Overtime.
It seemed as though the 3-on-3 session wasn’t enough, as a shoot-out loomed. However with seconds remaining, Vasily Podkolzin took the puck on his back hand, shielding it from oncoming defenders, and charged towards Annunen. He roofed it over the netminder’s shoulder with .6 seconds remaining, clinching the 2-1 victory for Abbotsford.
The goal was Podkolzin’s fifth in five games, and Wolanin’s 8th assist on the season. Bains also recorded a secondary assist, his seventh point of the year. Annunen finished the night with 22 saves while Tolopilo, who was named the night’s first star, stopped 34 Colorado shots.
The two sides meet again on Wednesday night, wrapping up Abbotsford’s four game home stand. The Canucks then head south for a three-game California road trip, stopping in San Diego on Friday night and Ontario on Sunday afternoon. The trip wraps up on Tuesday with a first ever visit to Coachella Valley to face the Firebirds on Halloween night. The Canucks then return home for a four game home stand where they’ll face the Henderson Silver Knights on November 3rd and 4th (Diwali Night), and the Bakersfield Condors on November 9th and 11th.
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