The elbow heard ’round Canucks Twitter
— Cody Severtson (@CodySevertson) December 1, 2021
Now, I have a feeling.
And I could be wrong here.
But I have a feeling that tonight’s rematch versus the Reign is going to be a complete gong-show.
Late in the third period, Ontario’s Brett Sutter, the son of Calgary Flames bench-boss Daryl Sutter, delivered a dangerous elbow to the temple of Canucks netminder Mikey DiPietro.
The Canucks received a late powerplay opportunity off a hooking penalty by T.J. Tynan. After losing the zone, Sutter pursued the puck possessor, Jack Rathbone, deep inside the Canucks d-zone while shorthanded.
It’s tough to see in AHL-quality footage, but this is how I see events unfold:
Rathbone, being the elite skater he is, angles his body in a way that indicates he’ll be cruising around DiPietro’s net for the slingshot exit.
Sutter briefly throws down his right foot to slow down and read/react to Rathbone’s next move.
At the same time, Rathbone plants his left skate and pivots away from DiPietro’s net towards Sheldon Rempal.
Sutter doesn’t react to Rathbone’s hard-pivot and instead takes off the breaks while angling his body/feet towards DiPietro.
Sutter tries to throw his right leg down to try angle away from DiPietro, but it’s such a late reaction that his leg just skips off the ice.
Sutter lifts his elbow, I assume, to brace himself for a body-to-body impact with DiPietro but instead catches the crouched DiPietro clean in the noggin.
I can’t say with certainty that Sutter intentionally attempted to deliver a dirty headshot to an unsuspecting DiPietro.
To me, it looks like the 34-year-old AHL grinder’s poor skating, reaction time, and edgework combined for an incredibly dangerous hit on Mikey DiPietro.
If you want to believe Sutter intentionally tried to take out DiPietro in the dying minutes of a one-goal game. I won’t stop you.
But I really feel like this was just a really bad brainfart that resulted in an incredibly dangerous play.
Regardless, Sutter will likely have to answer for his dangerous elbow. Intentional or not, the code demands retribution.
That short-king goaltender had powerful friends.
Full projected #Reign lineup in Abbotsford tonight!
Tkachev — Turcotte — Vilardi
Madden — Tynan — Frk
Johnson — JAD — Fagemo
Wagner — Sutter — Dudas
Moverare — Spence
Phillips — Grans
Russell — Strand
— Jared Shafran (@ShafReign) December 2, 2021
- Langley native Bobby Russell makes his AHL debut for the Ontario Reign tonight, subbing for Cameron Gaunce.
— Abbotsford Canucks (@abbycanucks) December 2, 2021
- Klimovich experiences his first healthy scratch under Abbotsford head coach Trent Cull.
- I can’t say I blame Cull for the decision either. Klim has looked frustrated for several games now and has been a giveaway machine inside the offensive zone.
- Ashton Sautner struggled to put weight on his leg after blocking a shot late in the third period. Devante Stephens plays his first game for the Abbotsford Canucks in his proper role as a defenseman in Sautner’s place.
Don’t feel like reading? Click here for spoilers!!
- Vladimir Tkachev records the first shot of the game with a wrister off Martin’s blocker.
- GOAL – ONTARIO – 1-0 Reign: One minute into the game, and it’s none other than Tyler Madden who scores the first goal of the game! The odd sequence starts with Madden entering the Canucks d-zone then handing off to Martin Frk, who casually strolls by a stationary Phil Di Giuseppe (#34). Martin deflects Frk’s rebound out to center and into Madden’s shins. Jack Rathbone (#3) knocks down Madden. He inadvertently drives Martin into the net as the puck trickles across the goal line. Classic!
- The referees take a look for goaltender interference, but nothing comes of the review.
- A long shift from the Canucks fourth-line is spent inside the offensive zone, but they fail to generate any quality looks.
- Ethan Keppen (#92) tries to dump Gabe Vilardi into the Ontario bench with a hit.
- Justin Bailey (#95) sends Tristen Nielsen (#84) into the offensive zone for a shot on goal from the left-wing.
- Nic Petan (#7) sets up Will Lockwood (#10) for a one-timer off the right circle.
- Gabriel Vilardi draws a hooking penalty against Cam Schilling (#5) after dangling his way through three Canucks skaters for a shot on Martin.
PK1: Stevens, Wouters, Bowey, Woo
- Chase Wouters (#21) wins the d-zone faceoff back to Madison Bowey (#4), who instantly sends the puck down the ice.
- GOAL – ONTARIO – 2-0 Reign: Ontario capitalizes on the powerplay as Martin Frk taps in an uncontrolled rebound from Spencer Martin. Madison Bowey (#4) is caught playing way too high into the slot, allowing T.J. Tynan to hit Jaret Anderson-Dolan with a pass on the doorstep. Anderson-Dolan spins uncontested on the doorstep for a shot that rebounds off Martin’s pad and straight to Frk for the goal. OOF.
- Ontario dominates in the Canucks zone after the Frk goal; they only lose possession in the zone after an errant pass escapes the Canucks blue line.
- Vinny Arseneau (#18) levels Gabriel Vilardi with a heavy hit in the neutral zone.
- Tristen Nielsen (#84) tips a point shot from Rathbone (#3) on Garret Sparks.
- A rough shift for Ontario’s Samuel Fagemo as he has his ankle’s broken by Rathbone (#3) before getting levelled along the boards by Arseneau (#18)
- Jett Woo (#22) makes a risky pinch at the Reign blue line that frees up Austin Wagner for a breakaway scoring chance down the left-wing.
- Rathbone (#3) looks smooth as he defends a rush chance from Gabriel Vilardi.
- Will Lockwood drives towards the net for a scoring chance but takes out Sparks in the process with a headshot all too similar to the one Brett Sutter landed on DiPietro.
- Initially, the Canucks thought Justin Bailey had scored on the rebound, but the refs waved off the goal and assessed a two-minute minor against Lockwood for goaltender interference.
PK1: Stevens, Wouters, Stephens, Juulsen
- Wouters (#21) wins the d-zone faceoff into the half-wall, where Noah Juulsen (#47) draws a holding penalty against Ontario’s Martin Frk.
- On the 4-on-4, Jordan Spence draws an interference penalty against Sheldon Dries (#15).
- Unsure what happened, but Madison Bowey is assessed a ten-minute game misconduct and heads down the tunnel.
- Ontario with an extended 4-on-3 powerplay
PK1: Di Giuseppe, Stephens, Juulsen
- Noah Juulsen (#47) blocks a hard shot with his hand, Devante Stephens (#24) ties up a stick to allow Di Giuseppe (#34) to clear the zone for Abbotsford.
PK2: Bailey, Stevens, Schilling
- Will Lockwood leaves the box; Ontario with twenty-eight seconds left on the 5-on-4 powerplay.
- Sheldon Rempal (#56) sends a rinkwide pass to Sheldon Dries (#15) for the breakaway opportunity, but who else but Brett Sutter is there to tie up Dries on the shot attempt.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 2-1 Reign: The Abbotsford Canucks put themselves within one off a gorgeous tic-tac-toe play from Rempal (#56), Di Giuseppe (#34), and Dries (#15). Tremendous vision from the Canucks top-line as they stretch the ice with some fantastic long passes.
- Canucks are turning it on after the Dries goal as Will Lockwood (#10) draws a slashing penalty against Ontario’s Bobby Russell.
- Canucks pull Martin for the extra-attacker; Rathbone (#3) sets up Juulsen (#47) for the one-timer shot on goal.
PP1: Lockwood, Arseneau, Schilling, Dries, Di Giuseppe
- Cam Schilling (#5) lands a shot on goal from the point, and the scrambling Reign skaters manage to clear the zone.
PP2: Bailey, Stevens, Petan, Rempal, Rathbone
- Rathbone (#3) misses Stevens’ (#16) pass to the slot but fights to maintain the zone for Abbotsford by curling the puck into the half-wall.
- Stephens (#24) with a dicey giveaway to Gabriel Vilardi inside the Canucks d-zone. Fortunately, Chase Wouters (#21) picks off Vilardi’s errant centering pass to break the puck out of the zone for Abbotsford.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 2-2 Tie: A spectacular individual effort from Sheldon Rempal (#56) ties the game at two with less than two minutes remaining in the opening frame! The sequence starts with a bad pass from Jordan Spence that goes uncontrolled by Austin Strand. Rempal strips Strand of the puck and cuts towards Sparks before roofing the puck over Sparks’ glove side. A filthy effort from Rempal to even things up!
- After being down two-nothing on the scoreboard and outshot eleven to five, midway through the period, the Abbotsford Canucks rally back to tie things at two and close the shots on goal gap, fifteen to thirteen.
- Rempal (#56) slips a hit at the Canucks blue line for the zone exit but trips himself up in the neutral zone.
- Ethan Keppen attempts to hit Tristen Nielsen with a rinkwide bank-pass into the offensive zone, but it’s just out of Neilsen’s reach.
- Nic Petan draws a slash against Gabriel Vilardi to give the Canucks their third powerplay of the game.
PP1: Petan, Di Giuseppe, Dries, Arseneau, Schilling
PP2: Rathbone, Rempal, Lockwood, Bailey, Stevens
- Canucks powerplay expires; Rempal (#56) sets up Lockwood (#10) for a one-timer chance from the left circle.
- Jarid Lukosevicius (#14) sets up Nielsen (#84) for a shot on Sparks.
- With twelve minutes left in the second period, Madison Bowey returns from his ten-minute game misconduct.
- Bailey (#95) steals the puck from behind Sparks’ net and sets up Petan (#7) for a one-timer from the slot.
- Di Giuseppe (#34) falls hard into the Ontario endboards while chasing down a loose puck.
- LMAO, Vinny Arseneau (#18) takes a stick to the face behind Sparks’ net from T.J. Tynan, then takes a high-sticking penalty seconds later while in pursuit of, well, T.J. Tynan.
- Arseneau slams his stick on the ice, and it bounces comically high into the air.
PK1: Stevens, Wouters, Juulsen, Stephens
- Wouters wins another d-zone faceoff, allowing the Canucks to clear
- Wouters has won every PK faceoff draw so far tonight!
- GOAL – ONTARIO – 3-2 Reign: Samuel Fagemo regains the lead for Ontario after Devante Stephens (#24) puts the puck right on his stick at the front of the net. Hard to fault Martin for this one as Stephens’ (#24) weak clearing attempt handed Fagemo a point-blank scoring chance from the slot.
- Justin Bailey (#95) picks up a loose puck in the d-zone and doesn’t immediately race end-to-end for a solo rush chance.
- Keppen (#92) enters the offensive zone with speed, then displays some great patience before setting up Bowey (#4) for a dangerous shot on goal.
- Bowey (#4) shakes Tynan at the Ontario blue line before setting up Keppen (#92) for a tap-in opportunity that sails high over the net.
- Spencer Martin makes a great save on Martin Frk’s breakaway chance.
- Ontario’s Austin Wagner is tossed from the game after a blatant shot to the head on Vinny Arseneau (#18).
PP1: Rathbone, Stevens, Rempal, Bailey, Lockwood
- Tyler Madden flips the puck over the glass, handing the Canucks an extended 5-on-3 powerplay opportunity.
PP1: Petan, Di Giuseppe, Rempal, Rathbone, Dries
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 3-3 Tie: The Canucks capitalize on the two-man advantage as a howitzer one-timer from Jack Rathbone (#3) deflects off the skate of Sheldon Dries and past Sparks for the equalizer!
- Canucks finish the period with one minute and ten seconds of a 5-on-4 powerplay.
- Alex Turcotte generates a shorthanded chance with twenty seconds left in the period
- A dominant period for Abbotsford as they pump the Reign eighteen to six
- Canucks start the final frame with 2:30 of powerplay time.
- Vinny Arseneau comes out for a spin on the Canucks powerplay; nice to see that he’s okay after that nasty hit from Wagner.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 4-3 Canucks: Abbotsford regains the lead off a tremendous effort by the rookie, Tristen Nielsen, who scores his first goal as a pro! Petan (#7) starts the sequence by breaking up a wraparound chance from Martin Frk before sending Nielsen (#84) in behind the defence with a stretch pass through the neutral zone. Nielsen charges around Bobby Russell and dekes Sparks for a backhander that trickles through molasses into the net.
- In true Canuck fashion, immediately following the go-ahead goal, Stephens (#24) takes a minor penalty for charging.
PK1: Wouters, Stevens, Schilling, Juulsen
- Chase Wouters (#21) wins another faceoff, then blocks two massive shots, drawing a reaction from the Canucks bench.
PK2: Bailey, Lockwood, Bowey, Woo
- Lockwood (#10) steals from Tyler Madden and clears for the Canucks.
- Canucks kill the Stephens’ penalty.
- Helge Grans draws a high-sticking penalty against Rempal (#56) with less than thirteen minutes left in the period.
PK1: Stevens, Wouters, Schilling, Juulsen
- Wouters wins another PK faceoff for Abbotsford.
- A poor clearance attempt from Spencer Martin almost results in an empty net chance. Fortunately, the Ontario Reign do not capitalize on the opportunity.
PK2: Lockwood, Bailey, Rathbone, Bowey
- Lockwood (#10) sells out for the shot-block late in the Ontario powerplay.
- GOAL – ONTARIO – 4-4 TIE: Gabriel Vilardi ties the game at four during a pretty funny sequence that sees three Abbotsford skaters collide into each other like a failed free-kick wall in football. After Keppen, Rathbone, and Nielsen collide at the left circle. Bobby Russell launches a shot that clips the ankle of Keppen. The deflected puck lands on Vilardi’s tape and, uncontested, buries the point-blank chance on Martin.
- Ontario pressing after the equalizer.
- Petan (#7) throws a shot into the crease that deflects off Bailey’s (#95) shoulder and nearly into the net.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 5-4 Canucks: Sheldon Dries (#15) records the first hat-trick in Abbotsford Canucks franchise history with an absolute beauty. Stephens (#24) sets up Dries for the zone exit, and Dries decides to weave his way around four Reign skaters before going backhand over Sparks glove side.
- Ontario pressuring inside the Canucks d-zone late in the period
- Cam Schilling heads to the box for cross-checking with less than two minutes left in the period. Uh oh!
PK1: Wouters, Stevens, Bowey, Juulsen
- For the first time tonight, Wouters loses a PK faceoff!
- Ontario pulls sparks for the extra attacker.
- Stevens clears towards the empty net, but the puck doesn’t have enough speed to go all the way down the ice!
PK2: Bailey, Lockwood
- Vilardi rips a shot off the crossbar and wide!
- Juulsen (#47) drops the knee to block a shot from Martin Frk!
- Canucks earn an offensive zone faceoff with less than eleven seconds remaining in the game after an empty-netter attempt is deflected wide with a high stick.
PK3: Di Giuseppe, Dries, Bowey, Juulsen
- Jaret Anderson-Dolan races down the ice for one final chance before the buzzer!
- Canucks win back-to-back games for the first time since October 24th!
- Canucks outshoot the Reign forty to twenty-nine, come back from two-goal and one-goal deficits, and kill five of seven powerplay opportunities!
Abbotsford Canucks def. Ontario Reign 5-4
- The Canucks organization must be breathing a sigh of relief right now as both of their teams are sitting on two-game win streaks!
- I’m fairly surprised that no honouring of “the code” occurred in tonight’s game. Especially after the Lockwood goaltender interference, the Bowey misconduct, and the Wagner check to the head,
more like Sheldon Wet https://t.co/IJKJUUyBRN
— God®(jeep) (@RileyMiner) December 2, 2021
- Sheldon Dries scored the first hat-trick in Abbotsford Canucks franchise history and his first career hat-trick! Three goals on six shots; pretty good, I guess.
- At evens, with Dries on the ice at 5v5, the Abbotsford Canucks have a plus+25 shot attempt differential and a goal differential of plus+3.
- Chase Wouters went 6/7 in the faceoff dot as the starting faceoff man for Abbotsford’s penalty kill. For a team run by a former NHL penalty-killing specialist, that’s incredibly high praise for the rookie centerman!
- Earlier this season, Cull cited how he was still learning to trust Wouters. Less than one month later, and it’s clear that Wouters has become a trusted player, integral to the success of Cull’s penalty kill. Not bad for a twenty-one-year-old rookie straight out of the WHL.
- Tonight was probably Rathbone’s best game of the season; two assists and four shots on goal. I loved how cool, calm, collected, and confident Rathbone looked while defending against Ontario’s speed. He didn’t ever appear out of sorts or lost. The late game-tying goal that he was on-ice for was a bit of a clusterf**k, but Rathbone was strong practically every other shift. Dominant even.
- Nic Petan played his best game as a Canuck tonight; two assists on five shots on goal and was consistently a scoring threat as the shooter and as the main distributor for his linemates. Dominant game from Petan.
- Quiet night from Jett Woo. Earlier this season, Trent Cull spoke about trying to find consistency in Woo’s game, stating that Woo’s strong performance (at the time) set a high bar of expectations for future Woo performances. Tuesday night’s performance was a high bar game. Tonight was just a performance. Not a difference-maker. Not dominant. A few bad pinches. Just a game from Woo tonight.
- Kudos to Tristen Nielsen for scoring his first goal as a professional. I thought Nielsen looked strong tonight in both ends of the ice (again, ignoring that clusterf**k of a game-tying goal).
- Wondering where this Sheldon Rempal was during Canucks preseason? Rempal with Abbotsford has been incredible. Speed, tenacity, forechecking, disruption, passing, goalscoring; the guy does it all except kill penalties. Rempal’s eleven assists lead the team.
- Will Lockwood strong again.
- Justin Bailey played infinitely better tonight than he had in Tuesday night’s showing!
- The Abbotsford Canucks have now taken eight points out of a possible twelve against the now second-best team in the Western Conference.
Cody’s Three Stars
- Sheldon Dries
- Sheldon Rempal
- Nic Petan
HM: Tristen Nielsen, Chase Wouters
Next Up on the Docket
The Abbotsford Canucks return this Saturday/Sunday when they take on the visiting San Jose Barracuda.
A Barracuda team that might feature Evander Kane…
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!