GAMEDAY HARVEST: The Abbotsford Canucks go full Wile-E Coyote in rematch versus the Roadrunners

Quick shoutout to those in the Fraser Valley and BC Interior who read the AHL Nucks Harvest:

I spent my last few recaps lamenting a broken down vehicle which, in hindsight, is a joke compared to the devastating damage caused to my fellow British Columbians by mass flooding.

If you wish to help those impacted by BC’s flooding disaster, check out this GoFundMe page.

Apologies for this ugly segue into less-important escapism in tonight’s Abbotsford Canucks gameday recap.

It’s Been a While

Aaron Lewis said, “it’s been a while since I could hold my head up high.”

A feeling presently held by the Vancouver Canucks farm team as they rematch the Tucson Roadrunners after a disappointing 4-1 loss, Friday.

Scoring two goals for the Roadrunners was former Vancouver Canucks prospect Michael Carcone.

The latest loss represents a concerning trend for the Canucks farm team.

For the seventh time in twelve games, the Junior Nucks were outshot at 5v5, giving up thirteen shots on goal, thirty-nine overall to the Canucks thirty.

The Canucks organization hasn’t paid much attention to their farm team, historically, and with the NHL season looking to be over before it ever really began, wandering eyes will begin to turn to the future.

Oh, right.

About that…

I’ve written, at length, about the Vancouver Canucks organizations’ failures to make use of their AHL system.

At the risk of spending 6000 words on the lack of bodies in the current regime’s cupboards after eight years behind the wheel, let’s instead do a quick check-in on the current U24 prospects in Abbotsford.

  • Jack Rathbone – one point in three games
  • Will Lockwood – three points in last three games after a six-game stint on IR
  • Jett Woo – 25th in U22 AHL defencemen scoring
  • Carson Focht – two points at 5v5, five total
  • Alex Kannok Leipert – zero points
  • Ethan Keppen – zero points
  • Chase Wouters – two points in twelve games and has established himself as one of the team’s best penalty killers
  • Danila Klimovich – one point in his last eight games (still a wee baby, however)
  • Tristen Neilsen – actively scratched in favour of a defenceman playing out of position as a forward

Feeling good Canucks fans?!

Yeah, me neither!

Let’s get into tonight’s game and pretend it’s all going to work out just fine!

THE OPPOSITION

Starting in net for the Roadrunners is former Utica Comet, Zane McIntyre.

STARTING ROSTER

Jack Rathbone hurt himself in last night’s action. In his place comes Guillaume Brisebois, who makes his season debut after an injury sidelined him through season-opening training camp.

Don’t feel like reading? Click here for spoilers!!

GAME 13:

1st period:

  • Three shots on goal for the Roadrunners through the opening two minutes
  • Canucks draw a roughing penalty against Tucson’s Jan Jenik to give themselves the game’s first powerplay!

PP2: Lockwood, Dries, Di Giuseppe, Woo, Klimovich

  • Canucks lose the faceoff and reset from their zone
  • GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 1-0 Canucks: Will Lockwood capitalizes on an uncontrolled rebound from Tucson’s Zane McIntrye to open the scoring on the powerplay. Sheldon Dries (#15) dumps the puck on McIntyre from the Roadrunner’s blue line, and McIntyre kicks the puck out to Lockwood (#10), who dips around McIntyre and flips the puck into the net off his backhand.

 

PP1: Bailey, Stevens, Petan, Rempal, Schilling

PP2: Dries, Lockwood, Di Giuseppe, Klimovich, Woo

PK1: Stevens, Wouters, Sautner, Juulsen

  • GOAL – TUCSON – 1-1 Tie: Well, I definitely jinxed Chase Wouters in the pre-amble because, for the first time this season, he finds himself on-ice for a powerplay goal-against. As Stevens (#16) returns to the top of the PK-triangle, Wouters (#21) is late to switch off to become the rover, allowing Matias Maccelli to wade in towards the top of the left circle for a blistering wrist-shot that finds its way past a screened Silovs.
  • Off the ensuing faceoff, a long shift for Tucson inside the Canucks zone results in a two-minute cross-checking penalty drawn against Madison Bowey.

PK1: Petan, Lockwood, Sautner, Juulsen

  • Petan wins the d-zone draw then clears the zone for Abbotsford
  • Sautner clears after the Tucson re-entry, allowing the Canucks to change forward personnel

PK2: Bailey, Stevens

  • Bailey and Stevens prevent the Roadrunners re-entry, allowing for another Canucks line-change

PK3: Di Giuseppe, Dries, Woo, Brisebois

PP2: Lockwood, Dries, Di Giuseppe, Woo, Klimovich

  • PP2 cycles for forty seconds before Jett Woo launches a shot through traffic that rebounds off McIntyre’s pads and out of the zone

PP1: Bailey, Stevens, Petan, Rempal, Schilling

  • Tucson’s Hudson Elynuik blocks a massive one-timer from Cameron Schilling, then clears the zone to kill the remaining time off Jenik’s penalty.

PP3:  Sautner, Juulsen, Arseneau, Wouters, Lukosevicius

  • Final twenty seconds of the man-advantage, and Cull sends out the above for a late powerplay try.
  • With less than one minute in the opening frame, Tucson ices the puck to give the Canucks an offensive zone faceoff.
  • GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 3-2 RoadrunnersThe Canucks manage to avoid a complete carbon copy of Friday’s game as Sheldon Dries scores his team-leading seventh goal of the season. After the Tucson icing, Canucks win the o-zone faceoff to Guillaume Brisebois (#55), who dishes to Di Giuseppe (#34) for a backhander on McIntyre. PDG’s shot trickles to the right of McIntyre’s pad, and Dries (#15) easily bats in the loose puck to put the Canucks within one.

 

  • The buzzer sounds with Abbotsford edging the Roadrunners in shots, twelve to eleven.

2nd period:

PP1: Bailey, Stevens, Petan, Rempal, Schilling

  • Canucks with an early shot off the faceoff
  • Pbp calls Cam Schilling “Schillinger,” which is pretty great if you’re a fan of HBO’s ‘OZ.’
  • PP1 loses the zone, and PP2 hops on in place

PP2: Lockwood, Dries, Di Giuseppe, Woo, Klimovich

 

 

  • Abbotsford continues to pressure with shots from Bailey and Bowey; Canucks are repeatedly looking for the ‘late-tip on perimeter shot’ play.
  • With four minutes left in the middle frame, Cole Hults records Tucson’s second shot of the period.
    • Seconds later, Hults records Tuscon’s third shot of the period after a Canucks d-zone faceoff.
  • [checks notes] Vinny Arseneau (#18) wheels through open ice and into the offensive zone before colliding into the half-wall and knocking open the zamboni door.
  • Boko Imama rifles a shot on Silovs with less than five seconds remaining in the second period.
  • Dominant middle frame for Abbotsford as they spend the majority of the frame inside the offensive zone, outshooting the Roadrunners nine to four.

3rd period:

PK1: Sautner, Juulsen, Di Giuseppe, Dries

  • Janis Moser flubs a shot from the blue line, forcing the Roadrunners to reset from their end.

PK2: Stevens, Wouters, Sautner, Juulsen

  • John Stevens loses his stick, and Silovs dives onto a loose puck to ensure personnel change.
  • Tucson calls for a timeout.

PK3: Petan, Dries, Sautner, Juulsen

  • GOAL – TUCSON – 5-4 Roadrunners: lol. Seven seconds left on the Bowey penalty, and Janis Moser scores from the point with a slapshot that rolls up Silovs’ blocker and into the net.
  • lol
  • Canucks earn an offensive zone faceoff with forty-two seconds left in the third period.

6v5: Bailey, Rempal, Di Giuseppe, Dries, Schilling, Petan

RESULT:

Tucson Roadrunners def. Abbotsford Canucks 5-4

SCORESHEET:

Game 13 Scoresheet versus Tucson

TAKEAWAYS:

  • lol
  • No, actually, lol
  • What is there to say, really? If the Junior Canucks third period gameplan was “park the bus, don’t do anything stupid, just play mistake-free hockey and eke out the one-goal victory,” then I don’t know what to say. The team has TWO regulation wins this season. TWO! There is no excuse to sit back and play defensive hockey when you’ve only won a single game in November!
  • Now, maybe the game plan was to press, build off their second-period dominance, and bury this Roadrunners squad? Begging the question, is this Abbotsford Canucks squad hungry enough? I hate to use shitty hockey cliche questions. Three straight goals-against in the first period, followed by a solid second-period comeback effort, preceding a four-shot third period while holding a one-goal lead is pathetic! Show some consistent effort!
  • Only two shots on net were recorded by Canucks defencemen tonight.
  • There were some bright spots tonight, but when the organization is top-to-bottom failing, it’s not even worth mentioning them.
  • Zane McIntyre held a 3.16 goals-against-average, and a 0.894 save percentage while playing for the Utica Comets on their dynamite (offensively) 2019-20 team. Since leaving the organization, McIntyre has averaged a 2.02 GAA, and a 0.926 save percentage while posting a record of 17-3-4.
  • Carson Focht barely saw ice-time in the third period. 99% sure he was benched after the Boko Imama tiebreaker goal in the first. 5v5 continues to be a problem for him. He doesn’t appear to have the footspeed to engage in one-on-one battles for loose pucks. He’s been fine on the powerplay with the extra time and space, but 5v5, he’s just a non-factor.
  • Chase Wouters had a rough read on the powerplay goal that tied the game at one; Cull took him off that PK pairing with Stevens on the Bowey penalty but re-inserted him for the second Bowey penalty when things were tight in the third. Hopefully, this is a sign that Cull isn’t going to sour on Wouters’ development. He was good at 5v5 and one of the few players who played with consistency through all sixty minutes.
  • Will Lockwood looked alright in the first and second periods but was invisible in the third.
  • Justin Bailey did not look good.
  • This might be the first game I’ve watched where Sheldon Rempal was completely invisible.
  • Jett Woo picked up two points (both at 5v5), but his shot needs so much work from the blueline. His aim is an issue, yes. But, the lack of power on his shot is gravely concerning.
  • The last time this organization audited their AHL club, they said all was fine before really investigating. After investing considerable dollars into the AHL club’s roster, I genuinely wonder if they take a longer look now that they are sitting at the bottom of the Pacific Division alongside the San Jose Barracuda.
  • Credit to Thomas Drance for pointing out how the Canucks organization’s inaction is similar to Wile-E Coyote falling off a cliff. The audience is waiting for Wile-E to realize he’s no longer standing on the cliff but about to fall. That was the Abbotsford Canucks tonight. Fifteen minutes of zero effort play results in the team’s ninth loss of the season.

Cody’s Three Stars

  1. Jett Woo, I guess?
  2. Chase Wouters, I guess?
  3. N/A

Next Up on the Docket

The Abbotsford Canucks are in for a quick turnaround when they head home for a four-game home stint versus the Ontario Reign and San Jose Barracuda. Their first home games since massive flooding shuffled their schedule.

Plugs

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