TRISTEN NIELSEN SCORES THE WINNING SHOOTOUT GOAL AS CANUCKS EXTEND WIN STREAK TO FIVE
It would be a Saturday matinee in Nevada as the Abbotsford Canucks battled with the Henderson Silver Knights in their fourth meeting of the season.
Arshdeep Bains, Sheldon Dries and Vasily Podkolzin would line up together again, while Tristen Nielsen returned from injury as he slotted alongside Nils Åman and Friday’s Overtime hero Jack Studnicka. The reliable line of Aatu Räty, Max Sasson and Linus Karlsson stuck together, while captain Chase Wouters centered Josh Bloom and Marc Gatcomb. Jeremy Colliton made no changes to his defensive unit from Friday, with Nikita Tolopilo stepping in for Artūrs Šilovs in net for the first time in five games.
Jordan Papirny made his first appearance of the season in the Henderson goal, and just his fourth AHL start in his career.
A tightly fought opening frame proved very little could separate the two sides, until Max Sasson chipped and chased the puck down the right wing into the Henderson zone. He fought well to keep possession of the puck, and threw it towards goal where he found a waiting Aatu Räty. Räty roofed the puck over Papirny’s blocker, and put the Canucks in front with his fourth of the year coming in the final six minutes.
Abbotsford would hold that 1-0 lead into the intermission, where as both teams put up 10 shots each through 20 minutes.
Max Sasson would once again find himself on the score sheet, as he would double Abbotsford’s advantage just after the midway mark of the middle frame. Collecting a loose puck in the offensive zone corner, Sasson tried to find Räty who was waiting at the back post with an empty cage to shoot at. His pass would take a deflection off of the skate of a Henderson defender, beating Papirny and giving the Canucks a 2-0 lead.
The Silver Knights would respond quickly, as Mason Geertsen squeezed a puck past Tolopilo on a wrap around attempt. That 2-1 score is how the second period would close, with the Canucks outshooting Henderson 23-21 through 40 minutes.
Despite oncoming pressure from Henderson, Tolopilo was able to keep Abbotsford’s slim lead safe as the game entered it’s final minutes. Inside the final four minutes, Sheldon Rempal would redirect a Tyler Benson shot, beating the Canucks’ netminder and tying the game at 2-2.
For the second straight night, the Canucks and Silver Knights required more than 60 minutes to determine a winner.
There was nearly a four minute consecutive play following a Jett Woo penalty in the extra frame, but Abbotsford defended well and generated three shots on goal in sudden death.
A shootout would be required.
Through the first three rounds of the shootout, neither side had beaten Tolopilo or Papirny, keeping a shutout as the game entered round 4. Tolopilo would make another save, giving Tristen Nielsen the opportunity to be the shootout hero in his return to action.
Nielsen took the puck quickly onto his backhand, beating the outstretched glove of Papirny, and slid home the game winning goal.
Abbotsford would emerge as 3-2 winners, sweeping the Silver Knights and increasing their win streak to five games.
Tolopilo made 31 saves, including four stops in the shootout, while Papirny made 30 saves and added three stops in the shootout. Max Sasson made it five points in three games (3G, 2A), while Räty also added his third multi point game of the season.
The Canucks will now fly home to practice for a few days in Abbotsford before heading over to face Calgary on November 25th and 26th. Abbotsford will then return home for two games against Laval on December 1st and 2nd (Teddy Bear Toss), and wrapping up with a pair of home games against Coachella Valley a week later.
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