GAMEDAY RECAP: Up until they lost the game, the Abbotsford Canucks were winning!

Well, it can’t be worse than yesterday, right?

Right?

RIGHT!?

TRANSACTIONS

In the lede burial of the century, the Abbotsford Canucks announced the signing of forward Nicolas Guay from the USports’ University of New Brunswick.

Casually slipped into the replies of that signing was the news that the team had mutually agreed to terminate the contract of Cameron Schilling!

The good-guy Canucks released Schilling from his contract to sign with Djurgardens IF of the SHL.

Djurgardens IF is presently the worst team in the SHL, with a whopping five victories in thirty games. Still, tough to pass up the opportunity of playing for a top-tier league again.

Cam Schilling 2021-22 Production Chart

Schilling was quite critical to the Abbotsford Canucks. His thirteen points in nineteen games place him first among Canucks defencemen scoring.

2021-22 Player Summary: Cameron Schilling

The shot control numbers at 5v5 weren’t too great with Schilling on-ice, but goals were scored quite frequently.

Schilling’s absence was most apparent on the Canucks powerplay last night against Bakersfield. Through nine minutes of powerplay time, the Canucks failed to generate any meaningful looks or set plays. At one point, through two powerplay opportunities, the Canucks registered zero shots on goal while giving up one shorthanded.

Replacing Schilling on the Canucks powerplay won’t be easy, especially with Jack Rathbone out with injury.

Trent Cull spoke about Schilling post-game, saying, “Cam Schilling, came here, had a good year for us. We played him in all situations. I liked his game for us, and obviously, someone else liked it as well.”

Trent Cull has tried Jett Woo and Adam Brubacher on the team’s powerplay units, but neither has looked capable of holding down the position.

With only ten forwards and five defencemen at his disposal, powerplay options will be the least of Trent Cull’s concerns in tonight’s game. Every player is bound to get a look on special teams tonight!

THE OPPOSITION

Haha, uh oh!

STARTING ROSTER

  • Brandon Cutler slides into the second-line center role in his second AHL game. Oh, dear…
  • With a full complement of players, this Canucks team got sparked 6-2 by the Bakersfield Condors.

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

GAME 24:

1st period:

  • They should’ve dressed Silovs as a defenceman to try and get the kid some game-action!
  • Early DUB for the Abby Canucks as they control the puck for the first thirty seconds!
  • Luke Esposito draws a cross-checking penalty against Ashton Sautner to put the Canucks on an early penalty kill.
    • This is the second penalty drawn by Esposito in two games; Sautner is a major player for the Canucks PK. This will be a crucial kill for Abbotsford.

PK1: Stevens, Bowey, Juulsen, Bailey

  • GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 1-0 Canucks: LMAO, of course! Justin Bailey (#95) pounces on a flubbed pass and races end-to-end with John Stevens (#16). Philip Broberg loses his footing on the retreat, and Bailey sets up Stevens for the net-front redirect past Stuart Skinner. This is the second game in a row where the Canucks have scored a shorthanded goal!
  • Sheldon Rempal and Brandon Cutler replace Stevens and Bailey for the neutral zone faceoff.

PK2: Nielsen, Lukosevicius, Stephens, Kannok Leipert

PP1: Stevens, Rempal, Arseneau, Bailey, Bowey

PP2: Cutler, Juulsen, Klimovich, Lukosevicius, Sautner

PP2: Klimovich, Sautner, Juulsen, Cutler, Lukosevicius

  • Another early clear for Bakersfield forces the Canucks to reset from the d-zone.
  • PP2 loses the zone after re-entry, and PP1 hops over the boards.

PP1: Stevens, Rempal, Arseneau, Bailey, Bowey

2nd period:

PK1: Stevens, Bailey, Sautner, Juulsen

  • Bailey with an early clearance for Abbotsford
    • Rempal and Nielsen hop on for Bailey/Stevens, and Remapl clears once more for Abbotsford.

PK2: Bowey, Stephens, Lukosevicius, Rempal

  • A wrist-shot from Bakersfield sails wide of Martin’s net and out of the zone
  • Oh dear, Bowey heads to the box for high-sticking. Bakersfield with a considerable 5-on-3 powerplay opportunity.

PK1: Sautner, Juulsen, Stevens

PP1: Stevens, Rempal, Arseneau, Bailey, Bowey

  • Rempal whips a cross-ice pass out of Bailey’s reach, forcing the Canucks to reset from the neutral zone.
  • Another pass is intercepted by Cooper Marody, again forcing the Canucks to reset from the neutral zone.

PP2: Sautner, Cutler, Lukosevicius swap for Arseneau/Stevens/Bailey

PK1: Stevens, Sautner, Juulsen, Bailey

PK2: Bowey, Stephens, Cutler, Rempal

PP2: Sautner, Cutler, Nielsen, Juulsen, Lukosevicius

  • Cull is switching things up on his powerplay after going 0/6 against Bakersfield these past two nights.
  • Lukosevicius attempts to tip a shot from Juulsen on Skinner but can’t get the angle.
  • The buzzer sounds on the middle frame; Canucks outshot seven to five, fifteen to thirteen after forty minutes of play.

3rd period:

  • GOAL – BAKERSFIELD – 3-2 Canucks: With one minute left in the game, Bakersfield puts themselves immediately back within one! Canucks lose a d-zone faceoff then fumble assignments as three Canucks skaters choke up the slot with no one applying pressure down low. Bakersfield repeats the evening’s opening goal with the net-front redirect tap-in.
  • GOAL – BAKERSFIELD – 3-3 TIE: L M F A O. The improbable has not been done yet. With TWO SECONDS LEFT, James Hamblin ties the game at three! Fantastic comeback effort from Bakersfield.

OVERTIME

 

RESULT:

Bakersfield Condors def. Abbotsford Canucks 4-3 in Overtime

SCORESHEET:

Game 24 Scoresheet versus Bakersfield

TAKEAWAYS:

  • Okay, it was a better performance than yesterday. But, somehow, a more deflating loss.
  • It’s always been interesting how a little desperation and a short bench can spark life in a struggling team. See tonight’s effort against Bakersfield. See the Canucks COVID return versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.
  • Trent Cull spoke highly of his team’s effort tonight, “we asked them to play a certain game plan tonight, and I thought for the most part they were really good. They worked so hard for each other. For us. For me. Of course, three-one game with a minute-something left, we’ve got to put that away. That being said, I understand the fatigue. I understand the mistakes that guys make at that point because there’s just not much left in the tank. But the guys really played hard and I really appreciated it; proud of them, for sure.”
  • The Canucks saw plenty of action from three PTOs in Brandon Cutler, Nicolas Guay, and Yushiroh Hirano. At a certain point in the third, Hirano, Cutler, and Nielsen were seeing more ice time than Lukoseivicius and Klimovich.
  • Brandon Cutler, for my money, has been the best of the PTO’s picked up this year. Though his conditioning is better suited for a sprint than a marathon, his skating looks okay. He’s tenacious, aggressive in 50/50 puck battles, and has proven quite adept at forcing turnovers along the blueline. Cull liked what he saw in Cutler’s game. We saw Cutler rotating in on lines with John Stevens, Sheldon Rempal, and Justin Bailey at multiple points tonight. Cutler even earned looks on the powerplay and penalty kill. Yes, the bench was short, but that’s a pretty big leash for an unproven PTO!

“Cutler has been good, he’s been solid, he’s got some good details to his game. He just looks like he kind of belongs.” – Trent Cull

  • Nicolas Guay flashed some good speed and had a couple of decent heads-up plays for his first pro game!
  • Hirano saw plenty of ice-time, but I didn’t think he had particularly good speed. However, despite his skating deficiencies, I thought he provided the 3rd/4th line with multiple quality scoring chances with crafty passing plays along the boards. Several times in tonight’s game, Hirano prevented easy board-and-out clearances and turned them into sustained offensive-zone time for Abbotsford or outright scoring chances.

“Yush was good, he’s a big guy, he’s got a good shot, and thought he did some good wall-plays for us. But, yeah, I thought the three of them contributed to what we wanted to achieve.”

  • I asked Trent about the struggling powerplay, and he laughed, citing how he’d love to have Jack (Rathbone) back for his powerplay alongside Nic Petan as both are key contributors.
  • Tristen Nielsen, Sheldon Rempal, and Brandon Cutler rotated heavily on the Canucks PK and performed admirably! Through four opportunities, including a brief 5-on-3, the Canucks held Bakersfield to just three shots on goal while scoring a shorty to start the game.
  • I asked Trent about the PK variety we’d seen lately in Abbotsford and the game plan moving forward.

“With only ten forwards, we’re trying to see what the right guys are for the right fit for our kill. There’s some guys that just aren’t comfortable and it’s not an easy thing to do. Sometimes you actually have to block a shot, etc. I think the guys that are having that opportunity did a good job for us tonight. Even our penalty kill last night, we had a tip go off a guy’s chin, or something, and the other one was just bad circumstances. So, our penalty kills been good, but it’s good to have other guys come in, and good for us to entertain other guys and see if they can gel.”

  • The Canucks have Saturday off but return Sunday and Monday for the re-re-rematch and the re-re-re-rematch against Bakersfield. No timeline on any player’s return currently. We could see more PTO’s added tomorrow, so the team has enough bodies available.

  • In a game where you only have ten forwards, I’d say it’s a pretty bold move to bench one of your skaters. Klimovich wasn’t all that great tonight, but not so bad that Hirano or Guay outplayed him for ice time. Bizarre move.
  • Play Arturs Silovs now. Or, at the very least, play DiPietro Sunday and let Silovs play the Monday game. The kid needs reps. Spencer Martin doesn’t.

Cody’s Three Stars

  1. Justin Bailey
  2. Every Abbotsford Canuck not named Justin Bailey
  3. The guy in the crowd chanting SKINNER like The Simpsons’ Superintendent Chalmers

Next Up on the Docket

January 6th, 2022 vs. Bakersfield

January 7th, 2022 vs. Bakersfield

January 9th, 2022 vs. Bakersfield

January 10th, 2022 vs. Bakersfield

Plugs

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2 thoughts on “GAMEDAY RECAP: Up until they lost the game, the Abbotsford Canucks were winning!

  1. Great recap! The team just looked tired and frayed at the end. Glad they got a point!
    Also – If you follow the graph; going from a 6-2 loss to a 4-3 loss – That suggests Abby should have a 4-2 win next game!

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