THE BEST INAUGURAL SEASON MOMENTS: COUNTRY NIGHT
With the dust of Abbotsford's playoff efforts being settled, it is time to close the door on the Canucks' Inaugural Season in the AHL. However before the calendar flips to 2022/23, how about a trip down memory lane? Over the next two weeks, memorable moments from the team's inaugural campaign in Abbotsford will be highlighted in this series.
Following yesterday's piece re-visiting Diwali Night AVAILABLE HERE, Country Night get's today's spotlight. April 23rd saw the Laval Rocket make their way to the Abbotsford Centre for their first trip to the Fraser Valley.
Marking the midway point of a six game home stand, Abbotsford were breathing down the neck of clinching a playoff spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs. It also marked the team's first "Country Night".
A community that prides itself on agriculture, hard work and having fun, the city of Abbotsford was made for Country Night. And with hometown favourite Noah Juulsen celebrating his birthday on the same day, it only made the celebration all the more deserved.
A night filled with excitement both on and off the ice, there was never a dull moment. Singers performed in-between periods of hard-hitting hockey between a pair of Canadian foes.
Karen Lee Batten, four time winner of the BC Country Music Association's "Female Vocalist of the Year", headlined the performances. The night also featured performances from BCCMA "Emerging Artist of the Year" Tanner Olsen Band, as well as Abbotsford Canuck's own in-game host Cambree Lovesy with the Cambree Lovesy Band.
Apart from performances, the crowd at the Abbotsford Centre also had line-dancing, country themed photo booths, Dallas Smith ticket giveaways and a barn-burner of a hockey game as well!
Three goals in the opening frame courtesy of Brandon Cutler, Carson Focht and John Stevens got the night off to a rocking start. Tanner Olsen Band kept the party going during the first intermission, performing a live set from the south end of the Abbotsford Centre. Three more goals and two more boot-stomping performances from Karen Lee Batten and the Cambree Lovesy Band wrapped up one crazy Country Night!
The Canucks ended up taking the victory with a comfortable 6-1 win, in part to a 34 save from Spencer Martin. The result capped off an unforgettable night of dancing, sing-alongs and plenty of goal celebrations.
The win also kickstarted a nine-game win streak, propelling the team up the Pacific Division Standings and into the Calder Cup Playoffs.