The Abbotsford Canucks wrapped up their four game road trip on Sunday afternoon, taking on the Calgary Wranglers for the second game of a back to back series.

Jack Studnicka centered a line of Sheldon Dries and Tristen Nielsen, while John Stevens now slotted alongside Aidan McDonough and Vasily Podkolzin. Jeremy Colliton kept both the Räty, Sasson and Karlsson line, as well as the Bloom, Wouters, Gatcomb lines together to round out the forward group. There would be no other changes to the lineup apart from Nikita Tolopilo getting the start in the Abbotsford crease, swapping out Artūrs Šilovs from Saturday. Dustin Wolf would once again start in net for Calgary.

Abbotsford would waste no time getting the scoring started in this one, as Chad Nychuk found the back of the net in the opening 90 seconds. Aatu Räty won the offensive zone faceoff, and Linus Karlsson dug the puck out and played it back to Nychuk at the point. Nychuk fired a low shot through traffic that beat Wolf, which was Nychuk’s first goal in the AHL.

The Canucks would strike again at the midway mark, as Jett Woo fired a similar low shot from the blue line towards Wolf. McDonough, who was setting a screen in front of the Wranglers’ netminder, deflected the puck over Wolf’s pad and into the back of the net for his third of the year.

Before the end of the opening frame, the Canucks would increase their lead to three. McDonough played the puck to Räty in front of goal, who shifted the puck onto his forehand and roofed it over Wold’s shoulder and into the back of the net. Räty’s fifth of the season came on the man advantage, and set Abbotsford up with a 3-0 lead.

They would take that lead into the intermission, outshooting the hosts 11-4 in the process. Räty, McDonough and Woo all had multiple points in the opening 20 minutes, registering a goal and an assist, a goal and an assist, and two assists respectively.

Similarly to the first period, Abbotsford would strike again early in the second, this time coming 96 seconds into the middle frame. Marc Gatcomb would intercept a Wrangler pass in the Canucks’ zone, and streak forward with nobody between him and Wolf. A sharp cut from his backhand to his forehand created enough space for Gatcomb to slide home his third of the year. The tally came shorthanded, giving Abbotsford their sixth goal on the penalty kill this season, the most in the AHL.

Dustin Wolf was pulled from the game after Gatcomb’s goal, giving up four goals on 12 shots. Oscar Dansk would come in hold down the Wranglers’ crease.

Four minutes later, Tristen Nielsen would join the scoresheet as he broke forward with Jack Studnicka. Studnicka played the puck to Nielsen who was nearing the goal line on Dansk’s left side. Nielsen threw the puck towards goal, and the puck took a deflection off of a defender’s skate and nestled into the bottom right corner for his fourth of the season.

Sheldon Dries would grab another power play goal for Abbotsford, coming off of a rebound from a Linus Karlsson shot in front of goal. Dansk got the pad down to deny Dries right away, but after taking a few swipes at the puck, it squeezed across the line for Dries’ eighth of the season.

Matt Coronato would break Tolopilo’s perfect start to the game, getting the Wranglers on the board with four minutes remaining in the second. Coronato’s tally would cut the deficit to five, as Abbotsford held a 6-1 lead going back to the locker rooms for the second intermission, outshooting the Wranglers 25-17 through 40 minutes.

Abbotsford would steadily hold that five goal lead until about the halfway mark of the third period. Vasily Podkolzin found Filip Johansson who walked along a tight rope to keep the puck in the offensive zone. Johansson took the puck down the right hand boards and fired a wrist shot, beating Dansk. The effort flew over the goaltender’s glove and was Johansson’s first career AHL goal.

Adam Klapka would grab a late one for Calgary, but the Canucks would emerge as comfortable 7-2 winners on Sunday afternoon.

Six Canucks registered a multi point night, including Woo (2A), Räty (1G, 1A), Studnicka (2A), McDonough (1G, 1A), Podkolzin (2A) and Karlsson (2A). Tolopilo stopped 29 of Calgary’s 31 shots, while Dansk made 17 saves on the 20 shots he faced through the final 38 minutes.

Abbotsford will now return home for a pair of home games against Laval on December 1st and 2nd, including Teddy Bear Toss on December 2nd. The following week, the Canucks will welcome the Coachella Valley Firebirds to Abbotsford Centre on December 8th and 9th for their second series of the season. The team then flies out for a three game road trip, stopping in Coachella Valley and then Tucson for a pair of games, before their final home games of 2023 against Ontario on December 20th and 21st.

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