LAVAL, QC — The Abbotsford Canucks never give up.

For the second time on their four-game road trip, they have given up the first goal. However, once again, the Canucks continue to show their resilience, defeating the Laval Rocket 4-2.

“I thought we got better as the game wore on,” Abbotsford head coach Trent Cull said. “We had a rough first period finding our legs. We had a good second period and then kind of hung on with that. It’s been good. The guys are doing the right things. We’ve found some self belief and have some good confidence, both in ourselves and the team as a whole.”

The Canucks outshot the Rockets 16-5 in the second period where they scored all three of their goals.

We talked about what we needed to,” Cull explained. “I felt like we had such a rough start. I didn’t like our first period. I thought our guys got themselves going — better breakouts, better puck support. That led to be some good offensive zone entries. It was nice because we feel very confident with our offensive zone play and that kind of recipe that we have. I thought the guys started achieving that and did a pretty good job with it.”

One of those goals came from defenceman Devante Stephens, who scored his first goal of the season at 19:01 of the period.

“He’s been really solid for us,” Cull stated. “He’s made some big plays on the penalty kill. On 5-on-5, he’s had a heavy stick, he’s done some really good stuff. He’s played a ton of minutes. He’s doing some power play for us. He’s doing everything for us. He’s certainly one of those guys who has risen their game for us.”

There isn’t much time to celebrate, as the two teams will get right back at it on Saturday afternoon at Place Bell.

Abbotsford, who has won nine of their 10 games, has an opportunity to take both games against the Rockets and stay perfect on the road trip.

So Cull’s message to the team is simple.

“Get some rest, have a good start and get the first goal.”


The Abbotsford Canucks (24-17-3) and the Laval Rocket (24-18-3) will face off in a rematch at Place Bell on Saturday. Puck drop is scheduled for 10:00am PST.


Canucks goaltender Spencer Martin, who went 5-2-0 in February, got his first start in March. He made 31 saves.

Canucks forward Sheldon Dries who scored his 30th goal of the season, extended his point streak (eight goals and four assists) to seven games. It also extended his goal streak to five games. He has six goals in that span. He now leads the AHL in goals.

Abbotsford defenceman Matt Murphy had two assists and was a plus-4. He has four assists and a total of plus-6 in his last three games.

Canucks forward Nic Petan extended his point streak (two goals and five assists) to four games.

Abbotsford forward Sheldon Rempal extended his point streak (three goals and three assists) to three games. He has three goals and five assists in his last five games.

Canucks forward John Stevens extended his point streak (two goals and three assists) to three games.



FIRST STAR - ABB’s John Stevens (a goal and an assist)

SECOND STAR - ABB’s Matt Murphy (two assists and a plus-4)

THIRD STAR - ABB’s Spencer Martin (31 saves)