POWER PLAY LEADS ABBOTSFORD TO FIRST-EVER WIN OVER TORONTO
TORONTO — The Abbotsford Canucks had March 2 against the Toronto Marlies circled on their calendars since the start of the season.
It’s not often that Abbotsford gets to visit the Marlies at the Coca-Cola Coliseum. The stakes and spotlight are always sightly brighter when it comes to hockey and Toronto.
Add in the fact that it would be the first-ever matchup between the two teams since Abbotsford joined the AHL.
The Canucks took full advantage, defeating the Marlies 6-4.
“I really liked the way we settled in at the end of the first period,” Canucks’ head coach Trent Cull said. “I thought we played well. I thought we were and little loose in the third period… I didn’t love that, but it was a good first win of the road trip. It was good. The guys were invested in the game. Every team that I’ve been a part of, when you come to Toronto, it’s a little bit of a hockey Mecca. Guys get involved and they are excited to play, so it’s good to see both teams have a little bit of extra energy.”
Abbotsford got contributions from everyone, including defenceman Brandon Hickey, who scored his first goal with the team at 6:03 of the second period.
Hickey signed a professional tryout agreement on Feb. 25.
'It’s really nice,” Cull stated. “We’ll take any of that on our back end, that’s for sure. It was a great job by him tonight. He’s a great skating defenceman who got himself involved in the rush. He was really good.”
Enter in the Canucks’ power play too. It continues to surge for Abbotsford, going 3-for-7.
The Canucks, meanwhile, managed to stay out of the penalty box for majority of the game. Abbotsford defenceman Devante Stephens took the lone penalty for the team. He was called for interference at 16:17 of the third period, but Abbotsford was able to kill it off.
The team has now won eight of their last 10 games.
“The power play is clicking,” Cull said. “They guys are very confident in it. We have a good recipe at 5-on-5 in terms of what we want to accomplish offensively and I think the guys are doing that. Our defence has had a bit of a face lift lately, but they are doing a really good job. Our goaltending has been real solid.
“All our guys have been doing really well right now.”
The Abbotsford Canucks (23-17-3) will begin a back-to-back series against the Laval Rocket (24-17-3) at the Place Bell on Friday. It is scheduled for 4:00PM PST.
NEWS AND NOTES
- Canucks forward Danila Klimovich scored his sixth goal of the season. He has goals in back-to-back games. He also had six shots, which tied for the team lead with right-winger Sheldon Rempal.
Abbotsford forward Sheldon Rempal had two goals and an assist. He has four goals and six assists in his last seven games. He is No. 11 in the AHL’s points lead with 46.
Canucks forward Sheldon Dries, who scored his 29th goal of the season and added an assist, extended his point streak (seven goals and four assists) to six games. He is tied for No. 1 as the AHL’s goals leader.
- Abbotsford forward Nic Petan scored his 12th goal of the season and had two assists. He is on a three-game (two goals and four assists) point streak.
- Canucks defenceman Noah Juulsen has four assists in his last four games.
- Canucks forward Brandon Cutler (upper-body injury) returned to the lineup since Feb. 9. He He had two shots.
- Abbotsford goaltender Mikey DiPietro made consecutive starts for the fourth time this season. He made 25 saves.
FIRST STAR - ABB’s Sheldon Rempal (two goals, an assist, along with six shots)
SECOND STAR - ABB’s Nic Petan (a goal and two assists)
THIRD STAR - ABB’s Danila Klimovich (a goal and six shots)