Good day in my mind
One thousand seventy-one days ago, a schedule change at work left me with a lot of free time on my hands.
After work, I was sitting in my basement suite overlooking a cemetery (seriously), with several hours to kill and decided to dive into the world of prospect video-clipping for R/Canucks.
It’s kind of funny revisiting that first post where it all started.
Three seasons, 132 game recaps, two TSN radio hits, one Utica radio hit, a Botchford Project selection, over eight trillion hours of tedious microstats tracking later, and the Vancouver Canucks have finally moved their AHL affiliate to the west coast.
The farm team moving to the west coast was a long time coming. As rowdy and raucous as the Utica faithful are, it made zero sense to have the Canucks AHL affiliate situated on the opposite side of the continent.
Plus, I’ll never have to race home in time for those 4:00 PM PST puck drops!
Safe to take a step out
— Cody Severtson (@CodySevertson) October 10, 2021
There’s also this bonus of having a local squad!
With the team’s migration to the lower mainland, the AHLNucksHarvest can now attend practice days and cover home games LIVE at the Abbotsford Centre!
This season, you can now expect quotes, 1-on-1 exclusives with player and coaching personnel, microstat goodness, and so much more!
I had no idea when I started this side-hobby that we would end up here.
The journey isn’t over, and I’m excited to see where the AHLNucksHarvest goes from here!
Get some air now
The Abbotsford Canucks first opponent of the 2021-22 season is the Edmonton Oilers affiliate, Bakersfield Condors.
The Condors lineup will feature recent Oilers draft picks Philip Broberg and Raphael Lavoie, the latter of who debuted with the Condors during last year’s abbreviated AHL season.
Let your edge out
Never forget that the Bakersfield Condors accidentally once let a live Condor get loose during pre-game ceremonies.
Here's how we line up in our first game:
▶️ Klimovich, Wouters, Plasek and Kannok Leipert are making their AHL debuts.
▶️ Klimovich is the 284th player in AHL history to play as an 18-year old.
▶️ Kannok Leipert is the first Thailand-born player in AHL history to play a game. pic.twitter.com/nSVF4gNEAl
— Abbotsford Canucks (@abbycanucks) October 17, 2021
Healthy Scratches: Ethan Keppen, Tristan Neilsen, Adam Brubacher, Cameron Schilling
IR: Guillaume Brisebois (spotted wearing a red non-contact jersey at practice)
Abby Canucks icing a very young and inexperienced forward group, but that top-six carries some considerable speed!
Don’t feel like reading? Click here for spoilers!!
- Abbotsford Canucks green jersey looks sick in this low-quality video feed. I’m not going to lie!
- Canucks lose the opening draw.
- Devante Stephens (#24) loses an edge in the neutral zone forcing rookie Alex Kannok Leipert (#41) to defend the Condors 3-on-1 rush. Kannok Leipert gets a stick on the Condors cross-ice feed, but the puck bounces dangerously to James Hamblin for a dangerous scoring chance.
- Danila Klimovich (#46) displaying good patience with a nice tuck before leading the Canucks d-zone breakout with a pass through the neutral zone.
- Vinny Arseneau (#18) records the Abbotsford Canucks first shot attempt
- Good forechecking pressure from Karel Plasek (#62) to force the turnover
- Cooper Marody gives a little stutter-step to evade Carson Focht (#19) inside the Canucks d-zone before he sets up Brad Malone for a dangerous scoring chance on Mikey Di Pietro
- Canucks ice the puck, then Focht takes a “delay of game” penalty for putting his hand on the puck after the d-zone faceoff
PK1: Sautner, Bailey, Stevens, Woo
PK2: Di Giuseppe, Dries, Juulsen, Bowey
- DiPietro with a shoulder save on a Philip Broberg one-timer
- DiPietro with another wicked save. This time, flashing the glove on a redirect from the slot!
PK3: Stevens, Lockwood, Kannok Leipert, Stephens
- Bakersfield’s Raphael Lavoie doddles with the puck for too long before sending a pass out of the zone
- Canucks 1/1 on the PK
- Plasek (#62) misses a pass at the Canucks blue line while Kannok Leipert outmuscles former Vancouver Canuck, Tim Schaller in front of the net
- Klimovich (#46) capitalizes on a weak Condors’ pass and quickly dices into the offensive zone to record his first shot on goal, the Abbotsford Canucks first as a franchise.
- Klimovich (#46) displaying some crisp hands under pressure before slipping a pass to Phil Di Giuseppe (#34). Danila Vanilla follows up with a shot that appears to go off of Di Giuseppe.
- Canucks fourth line of Plasek, Arseneau, and Wouters alongside d-men, Bowey and Juulsen spend a long shift inside the d-zone facing pressure from the Condors.
- Condors hammering the Canucks with shot attempts
- Stephens (#24) bats away a Brad Malone centering pass to Cooper Marody
- AHL stats trackers give the Canucks a SOG credit from a red-line dump-in by John Stevens
- Canucks outshot 6-2 with less than eight minutes remaining in the first
- Vinny Arseneau almost blows up Karel Plasek and a Bakersfield skater with a neutral zone check
- DiPietro with another highlight-reel glove save. This one after Klimovich (#46) gives away the puck inside the d-zone and stops skating. Coaches won’t like that,
- DiPietro with another save, this time after the Condors gain the zone off of a Sheldon Dries (#15) turnover in the neutral zone
- Abbotsford with their first bit of sustained pressure in the o-zone all period
- GOAL – BAKERSFIELD – 1-0 Condors: James Hamblin scores for Bakersfield after some ghastly overage from Abbotsford. Focht (#19) and Sautner (#6) goof their coverage of the Condors point-man, followed by Justin Bailey (#95) following his check instead of the puck. Hamblin picks up the loose rebound and backhands one over the shoulder of DiPietro, who had no clue where the puck landed.
- Will Lockwood with a quick entry and tip on goal
- Abbotsford showing some more fire after the Hamblin goal
- Inside the neutral zone, Klimovich (#46) holds the puck for a bit too long, allowing the Condors to strip him of the puck
- Canucks finish the period with an offensive zone faceoff but finish the period down a goal and getting crushed in shots on goal eleven to four.
- Plenty of long passes early in the second period, with the Canucks getting the better of these exchanges
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 1-1 TIE: Jarid Lukosevicius (#14) ties the game at one off a quick zone-entry from Sheldon Rempal (#56). John Stevens (#16) should get an assist here, but he won’t, though the timing on his screen of Stuart Skinner couldn’t be more perfect. Great early response from the Abbotsford Canucks after a brutal first twenty.
- Canucks doing much better at entering the zone for shot attempts than they were in the first
- Condors Brad Malone takes a cross-checking penalty, and the Abbotsford Canucks are off to their first powerplay.
PP1: Bailey, Dries, Rempal, Woo, Di Giuseppe
- Jett Woo manning PP1 hype train!
- Woo (#22) drills a one-timer off the body of a sprawling Condors penalty-killer
PP2: Lockwood, Arseneau, Focht, Klimovich, Bowey
- Arseneau PP2 hype train!
- Bakersfield Condor skater laying on the puck, but the refs refuse to blow the whistle.
- Possibly the most aggressive second powerplay unit in the AHL, haha
- Naturally, a scrum evolves out of the above action, and somehow Lockwood takes a cross-checking penalty out of everything
- Condors to a brief powerplay after the Malone penalty expires
PK1: Sautner, Woo, Bailey, Dries
- GOAL – BAKERSFIELD – 2-1 Condors: Who else but former Vancouver Canuck, Adam Cracknell, put the Condors back up by one goal. A long shift for the Comets’ first PK group leads to serious open ice for a Cracknell one-timer over the stretched-out right pad of DiPietro. DiPietro caught too far over on his left side to make the post-to-post stretch save.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 2-2 Tie: The first of many, as Danila Klimovich (#46) pounces on a fanned-on shot from Jarid Lukosevicius (#14) to tie the game at two! John Stevens (#16) again making things happen as he pressures the Condors for a turnover that lands on Lukosevicius’ stick.
- Abbotsford looking much better midway through the second period
- Carson Focht (#19) throws a bit of a cheap cross-check on the Condors Seth Griffith prompting a pseudo-fight/scrum
- Bakersfield’s Devin Brosseau, Ashton Sautner, and Focht head to the box for roughing minors
PK1: Stevens, Bailey, Bowey, Juulsen
- Brad Malone draws a cross-checking penalty from Madison Bowey, and the Canucks are down two crucial penalty-killers and face a 5v3 powerplay for 1:17
PK1: Stevens, Woo, Lockwood
- Broberg rips a one-timer into the chest of DiPietro as the 5v3 slowly winds down.
- Sautner leaves the box as the Canucks face a 5v4 for 46 seconds
- Time winds down, and the Canucks hold Bakersfield to three shots only on their extended man-advantage
- Klimovich (#46) displaying crisp hands as he evades and gains the zone for Abbotsford
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 3-2 Canucks: Off of an offensive zone faceoff, Justin Bailey (#95) earns the Canucks their first lead as a franchise! Sheldon Rempal (#56) with great forechecking pressure to strip the puck and feed Bailey for the one-timer.
- DiPietro with a stop on Cooper Marody followed by a shot-block from John Stevens (#16)
- Abbotsford is controlling play in the offensive zone during the final minute of the second.
- Great resilience showed by the Canucks. They’re being crushed in shots nineteen to eleven, but they’re doing well to set up scoring chances when they are inside the offensive zone!
- Will Lockwood narrowly avoids a crushing hit during a neutral zone breakout
- GOAL – BAKERSFIELD – 3-3 Tie: Yanni Kaldis ties the game at three after sneaking down the left-wing, around Danila Klimovich (#46), to pick up an uncontrolled Phil Kemp rebound and bury it top shelf.
- Before the goal is done being announced, Mike Kesselring, uh, rings a shot off of DiPietro’s goalpost.
- GOAL – BAKERSFIELD – 4-3 Condors: Adam Cracknell picks up his second of the game to regain the lead for Bakersfield. Two goals in thirty-nine seconds for Bakersfield. Canucks caught three bodies behind their goal line, allowing Cracknell plenty of time and space to find a gap in DiPietro’s defence.
- James Hamblin with a dangerous point-blank scoring chance on Mikey DiPietro after Devante Stephens (#24) takes a hard spill into the back of the net.
- A pinch by Jett Woo (#22) at the Bakersfield blue line results in an awkward deflection and two-on-one rush for the Condors. Woo displays some great hustle on the backcheck while Ashton Sautner (#6) lays down the stick to deny the passing lane. DiPietro makes the stop.
- Vinny Arseneau gets shouldered to the ice after an offensive zone faceoff
- Will Lockwood (#10) checks Brad Malone behind the play. The two skaters get into a scrap, with Lockwood almost getting Kassian’d after falling hard to the ice without his helmet.
- Coincidental minors leave the game-state at 5v5.
- Vinny Arseneau (#18) attempts to lay another heavy check, then gets dinged for holding moments later during his shift
PK1: Stephens, Di Giuseppe, Dries, Kannok Leipert
- Devante Stephens (#14) fights off the ref (not literally) and clears the zone out to Di Giuseppe (#34) on the Bakersfield blue line. Di Giuseppe, inside the offensive zone, alone, rips his shot well wide of Stuart Skinner.
PK2: Stevens, Bailey, Sautner, Bowey
- Tim Schaller records a shot for Bakersfield on the powerplay after Sautner (#6) and Bowey (#4) get tangled up at their blue line
- Di Giuseppe (#34) showing Conor Garland how it’s done as he races into the offensive zone and spins for a backhander on goal.
- Di Giuseppe (#34) is really trying to show Conor Garland how it’s done with his second spinnerooni. This time he sets up Noah Juulsen (#47) on the blue line, who finds Madison Bowey (#4) down low for a sharp angle shot on goal.
- Jarid Lukosevicius (#14) races down the left wing before sending a puck through Skinner’s crease
- Noah Juulsen (#47) throws a high hit, leading with the elbow, prompting a scrum
- Incredibly, Juulsen takes a minor for roughing and draws two roughing minors from Cooper Marody to give the Canucks a powerplay.
PP1: Woo, Di Giuseppe, Dries, Bailey, Rempal
- Rempal (#56) picks up Jett Woo’s (#22) rebound and wires a shot through traffic, but it hits a body and doesn’t reach Skinner
PP2: Arseneau, Bowey, Focht, Lockwood, Klimovich
- PP2 struggling to gain the zone and post up
- Bakersfield manages to set up a cycle inside the Canucks d-zone, killing off the remainder of the Canucks powerplay.
- Sautner (#6) accidentally kicks a loose puck out to Seth Griffith, who races past Karel Plasek (#62) for a shot on DiPietro.
- Philip Broberg sends a hard pass to Mike Kesselring, bouncing hard off his stick to the high slot where Carson Focht (#19) times a slapshot that ricochets off a diving Kesselring’s ankle
- With 1:37 left in regulation, DiPietro heads to the bench for an extra Canucks attacker.
- Justin Bailey (#95) spots Di Giuseppe (#34) with a great pass, but PDG fans on the one-timer almost leading to a Bakersfield empty-net goal
- A long shot from Rempal leads to an offensive zone faceoff for Abbotsford
- Trent Cull going with one defenceman and five forwards during the 6v5
- Bailey, Lukosevicius, Stevens, Dries, Rempal, Woo
- Rempal (#56) takes a little spill while breaking out of the d-zone but recovers with some nice puck control from his knees to support the Canucks entry
- GOAL – BAKERSFIELD – 5-3 Condors: Sheldon Dries (#15) picks off a Bakersfield clearing attempt, but in his attempts to settle the puck and reset, he blindly throws the puck away to Luke Esposito, who seals it for Bakersfield with the empty-netter.
Bakersfield Condors def. Abbotsford Canucks 5-3
- While it wasn’t the debut the Abbotsford Canucks were hoping for; the game had some lone bright spots that provided some entertainment
- The Canucks finished the game having been outshot 32 to 22
- It felt, at times, that the Abbotsford group was working through chemistry issues for the entire first period, settled into a groove during the second, and ended up on the receiving end of some rough matchups in the third that won the game for Bakersfield.
- Bakersfield’s first line of Seth Griffith, Adam Cracknell, and Ostap Safin scored twice in 39-seconds while crushing Klimovich, Stevens, and Lukosevicius/Arseneau in puck possession.
- Truthfully, it didn’t ever feel like Abbotsford was that threatening with their offensive zone pressure. Perhaps, more time playing together will lead to better chemistry and playmaking, but it wasn’t ever there tonight.
- Despite the scoreline, Mikey DiPietro was incredibly sharp tonight. On several occasions, he made lightning-fast glove saves on high-danger shots within his crease. We can maybe fault him on that powerplay goal where he was cheating too far to one side, but otherwise, this game wasn’t his fault.
- Jett Woo played a tonne for Abbotsford tonight! I was pleasantly surprised to see him getting PP1 duty as the point man. He finished the night with one shot on goal and zero points, but I like the speed he brings to the blue line.
- Phil Di Giuseppe didn’t stand out until the third period when he started throwing spinnerooni’s into his gameplay. Quiet night from someone who had Canucks Twitter in an uproar over his demotion to the AHL.
- Jarid Lukosevicius had a pretty okay night! I wasn’t expecting much of him after posting thoroughly underwhelming point totals in the watered-down AHL last season. After working on his shot and visualization, he was one of the last guys to leave the ice at last Saturday’s practice. Lukosevicius’ work ethic was on display tonight as he bagged a goal and an assist through simple heads-up plays.
- Both of Lukosevicius’ points tonight were earned on goals that tied the game.
- Sheldon Dries is a go-to faceoff guy for Trent Cull. He would routinely start a PK shift, or d-zone faceoff for the draw, then quickly change as soon as possible. I will have to ask him about that when I get the chance!
- John Stevens put in some good work tonight in the offensive zone to get Abbotsford on the board. I’ve never viewed Stevens as a strong skater, but I thought his skating looked significantly better tonight!
- Carson Focht looked okay. He has a good shot, but I can’t help but feel he spends most of his game chasing play instead of controlling it.
- Will Lockwood, see above. He threw his body around quite a bit and even got in a fight, but I didn’t ever notice him with the puck.
- Chase Wouters, quiet. Not really noticeable outside of some finished checks here and there.
- Karel Plasek, good wheels, but positioning needs work. He created some rough situations for Abbotsford after colliding with his teammates in open territory.
- Devante Stephens looked solid and capable.
- Alex Kannok Leipert looked good early but appeared to fade. His gas tank might be an issue during those prolonged heavy shifts inside the d-zone. I did, however, like seeing him on the Canucks penalty kill! Didn’t look out of place there either!
- Danila Klimovich is very hit or miss. The kid has above-average puck handling and shooting skills. It’s everywhere else that needs work. He needs to commit much more in 1-on-1 battles, and he can’t be giving up on plays in the d-zone like this one above. Unfortunately, the Canucks powerplay wasn’t clicking at all, so we didn’t get to see much of the Klimovich one-timer. At 18-years-old, I’m not worried about his lack of defensive play or engagement level. He’ll pick it up along the way.
- After a fairly underwhelming preseason training camp, Sheldon Rempal looked rather impressive tonight in Bakersfield. He finished his evening with two assists and considerable TOI on the Canucks powerplay and penalty-killing units. I liked his speed and tenacity and am looking forward to seeing how his deployment translates over a 68-game season.
- Justin Bailey is fast. Very very fast. He looked to be shaking off the rust still but had some great b-line rushes onto loose pucks. He was one of the few players to get significantly better as the game progressed. His line with Rempal and Dries didn’t show much promise, chemistry-wise, so I’m wondering if Cull switches it up for tomorrow’s game against the Ontario Reign.
- Given that it took me close to five hours to finish this first recap, safe to say, I’m really not looking forward to the microstats tracking part of the equation. Fingers crossed the Ontario Reign uses video cameras from this century.
- I don’t want to tell you how many times I typed COMETS instead of Canucks.
- It’s going to be a long season…
Best Offseason Improvement
Sneak peak 👀👀👀 pic.twitter.com/s7gfmC6CIg
— Abbotsford Canucks (@abbycanucks) October 16, 2021
It took two training camps, but the Canucks organization finally spelled Artūrs Šilovs nameplate correctly.
Time to start the “give Šilovs his caron” campaign.
Cody’s Three Stars
- Sheldon Rempal
- Jarid Lukosevicius
- Mikey DiPietro
HM: Danila Klimovich for being a point-per-game player as an 18-year-old!
Next Up on the Docket
The Abbotsford Canucks are back in action tomorrow when they face off against the Los Angeles Kings affiliate, the Ontario Reign.
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for your daily dose of memes, sarcasm, stats, and gameday clips from the Vancouver and Abbotsford Canucks!
You can also catch me on Podcast format with Lachlan Irvine over at the Creasecast! Please give us a follow on your go-to podcast platform and rate, like and subscribe to help us out!
And if you’re more of a visual person! You can check out the Creasecast Youtube channel, where we upload all of our podcasts in video form!
Cheers for tuning in to the first AHL Nucks Harvest recap of the 2021-22 season!