TRISTEN NIELSEN SCORES TWICE AS CANUCKS DEFEAT LEAGUE LEADING WRANGLERS 4-2,
For the last time on the road this season, Abbotsford took to the ice to take on the Calgary Wranglers in their ninth clash of the season. After suffering a 4-1 defeat on Tuesday night, the Canucks were looking to split their short road trip with a victory at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Part of the lineup looking to do so was Chad Nychuk, who was making his AHL debut in the Wednesday contest. Nils Höglander and Justin Dowling both entered the game on their own three game point streaks, putting up four and three points across the span respectively.
Starting in net for Abbotsford would be Spencer Martin, fresh off the back of a 35 save performance on Tuesday. This game would be the 200th appearance of his AHL career. 200 feet away, Dustin Wolf once again lined up in the Calgary crease.
Calgary were quicker out of the gate on Tuesday night, but in this contest, it would be the Canucks who broke through first. Chase Wouters collected the puck and fired it from the blue line towards Wolf in the 12th minute. Wolf was able to steer aside the effort, however the rebound fell perfectly to Christian Wolanin who was steaming down towards the goal. Wolanin roofed the puck over the sprawling netminder for his sixth of the season as well as the opening goal for Abbotsford.
Emilio Pettersen would pull the Wranglers level three minutes later. Cutting between a pair of players, Pettersen fired a shot from the faceoff circle that made it’s way past Martin for a tied game.
It seemed as though the frame was heading towards deadlock at the intermission until Arshdeep Bains broke forward. Taking the puck from the defensive to offensive zones, Bains was double teamed and forced to move the puck. As he was falling, he sent Tristen Nielsen bursting through the middle of the ice towards goal, who stuck the puck between the legs of Wolf for a late Abbotsford lead.
Nielsen’s 11th of the campaign would be the final action of the first period, sending Abbotsford to the locker room with a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes. The Canucks outshot the hosts 17-8 as well in the first period.
The second period would come and go without anybody finding the scoresheet, with Justin Dowling generating some of Abbotsford’s best chances in the middle frame. The Canucks lead the shot count 26-20, as well as held the 2-1 scoreline, after 40 minutes.
The third period had the same story lines as the second written all over it, and seemed as though it would be a nail-biting finish in Alberta. At least until Tristen Nielsen picked off a breakout Wranglers pass just inside the blue line. A quick head fake and snap shot over the blocker of Wolf gave Nielsen his second of the night and Abbotsford a 3-1 lead.
The Wranglers gave themselves a path back into this one late thanks to Pettersen’s second of the night with just under two minutes remaining, cutting the deficit in half. However that would be as close as the hosts would come thanks to Jack Rathbone burying a long range slap shot past Wolf for Abbotsford’s fourth.
The game would wind down and the Canucks improved to winners of six of their last seven games, defeating the Calgary Wranglers 4-2 on Wednesday night. Tristen Nielsen and Christian Wolanin both had multi-point nights, while the Canucks outshot Calgary 37-32 across the contest. Spencer Martin picked up his first AHL win since April, turning aside 30 of the 32 efforts he saw, while Dustin Wolf made 33 saves on the night.
For the full AHL box score, please click HERE.
Up next for the Canucks is a pair of home games this weekend against the San Jose Barracuda. The two clash on Saturday night at 7:00pm, as well as Monday February 20th at 2:00pm which is Family Day in BC. Celebrate Family Day with the Abbotsford Canucks, with activities such as a bouncy castle, an autograph session with the players post game, special appearances by FIN as well as Disney/Marvel characters, and free hot chocolate and popcorn for the kids.
To purchase tickets to an upcoming Canucks game, please click HERE.