GAMEDAY HARVEST: Artūrs Šilovs takes his crown in shootout victory over the Reign

My reaction when I’m off work at 3 PM, and Abbotsford’s game against the Ontario Reign starts at 3 PM, not 7 PM as I had initially thought:

TLDR; though they valiantly clawed back from a three-goal deficit, the Abbotsford Canucks were dummied by San Diego on Saturday.

The Junior Canucks twelfth regulation loss dropped them to 24th in the AHL by points-earning percentage.

It’s uh, not great!

TRANSACTIONS

STARTING ROSTER

  • I’m mildly surprised that Brandon Cutler is the healthy scratch. His on-ice numbers are atrocious, but he’s been useful as a penalty-killer and PP2 role player.

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

GAME 28:

1st period:

PK1: Stephens, Juulsen, Wouters, Bailey

PK2: Stevens, Di Giuseppe, Kannok Leipert, Rathbone

PP1: Bailey, Dries, Petan, Di Giuseppe, Rathbone

PK1: Rathbone, Brubacher, Stevens, Wouters

PK2: Bailey, Di Giuseppe, Stephens, Juulsen

PK3: Lockwood, Dries (Stephens/Juulsen stay on for the final twenty seconds of the penalty)

2nd period:

PK1: Stephens, Juulsen, Bailey, Stevens

PK2: Lockwood, Wouters, Kannok Leipert, Rathbone

PP1: Petan, Dries, Bailey, Rathbone, Di Giuseppe

PP2: Stevens, Lockwood, Juulsen, Hirano, Klimovich

PP1: Petan, Dries, Bailey, Rathbone, Di Giuseppe

PP2: Lockwood, Hirano, Wouters, Juulsen, Klimovich

3rd period:

  • Canucks control possession inside the offensive zone through the opening two minutes of the third.
  • Not much is happening in the way of dangerous scoring chances, but the Canucks are pushing the pace through the first five minutes. Ontario is looking gassed.
  • Klimovich (#46) with his first real defensive backchecking effort to deny Brett Sutter on a breakaway
  • GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 1-1 TIE: The Canucks sustained offensive-zone time finally pays off as a heater from Sheldon Dries evens things up at one! A missed shot from Juulsen (#47) caroms off the endboards to Keegan Iverson, who attempts to start a breakout for Ontario. Petan (#7) lays his stick down to block Iverson’s pass and fights for the loose puck. Petan pokes the puck off the half-wall to the left circle, and Dries (#15) pounces for a one-timer over Villalta’s pads.

PK1: Stevens, Juulsen, Stephens, Bailey

PK2: Petan, Lockwood, Kannok Leipert, (Rathbone stays on)

PP1: Petan, Dries, Bailey, Rathbone, Di Giuseppe

PP1: Petan, Dries, Bailey, Rathbone, Di Giuseppe

PP1: Juulsen, Murphy, Klimovich, Stevens, Lockwood,

Overtime:

PK1: Bailey, Juulsen, Dries

PK2: Stephens, Rathbone, Stevens

  • Lockwood jumps out of the box, and the Canucks spend the final thirty seconds defending the Reign’s cycle in the d-zone.
    • Incredibly tense and close game to the bitter end. A valiant effort from Abbotsford against one of the top teams in the league.

Shootout:

RESULT:

Abbotsford Canucks def. Ontario Reign 2-1 via the shootout

SCORESHEET:

Game 28 Scoresheet versus Ontario

TAKEAWAYS:

  • Artūrs Šilovs picks up just his second victory of the season in seven starts! I don’t know what he did to deserve this, but the Abbotsford Canucks have consistently given him zero run support with him in net. The Canucks have only scored sixteen goals total in eight starts, two goals-for per game!
    • With DiPietro in net to start, the Canucks have scored 38 goals in thirteen games, 2.92 goals-for per game!
    • With Martin between the pipes, the Canucks have scored 27 goals in seven games, 3.86 goals-for per game!!!
  • While I don’t understand this Abbotsford team’s insistence on losing to beatable teams (San Diego *cough* San Jose*), they played their best game tonight against Ontario. The Reign lead the league with 110 goals for in 29 games played. The Canucks holding them to one goal and only eleven shots in the final two periods is, frankly, a miracle. I don’t know if some coaching advice came from on-high, but this team didn’t play like the Abbotsford team I’ve seen all season. They were throwing volume on goal as I’d never seen before. The Abbotsford Canucks under Trent Cull have always been opportunistic run-and-gun teams that search for the perfect set play. Because of that playstyle, they usually get crushed in shot-attempt differentials at 5v5. Tonight’s victory against the Reign bumped the Canucks up to 22nd in the league in points-earned percentage. I won’t say they’ve turned the page on their playstyle until I’ve seen this team play like tonight’s Canucks over a considerable stretch.
  • Klimovich looked gassed all game. Every shift, he looked winded after one lap around the offensive zone. Genuinely pretty funny watching him have a third period so bad that he took it out on Tyler Madden with his most bone-crushing hit of the season.
  • Chase Wouters had a hectic game, creating scoring chances at 5v5 off his forechecking pressure, taking penalties off his forechecking pressure, giving up odd-man rushes off of his forechecking pressure, dominating the PK with his forechecking pressure. It was both good and bad, messy but still a lot to appreciate! Like the movie Malignant!
  • Jack Rathbone should probably earn some NHL looks off the last few games. He doesn’t look that out of place on the penalty kill, and his giveaways on the powerplay would fit right in on the Vancouver Canucks powerplay. As you can see in most of the clips, his skating and edgework are a clear separator. Hell, throw him and Hughes (on the right side) for offensive zone faceoffs and see what they can do together. Rathbone led the team with seven shots on goal!
  • I wonder if the Canucks try to get Di Giuseppe a real look in the NHL? PDG has sixteen points in twenty games played but is point-per-game in his last ten. He has a fairly high CORSI Involvement % (36.95% – 8th highest on the team), and the team rocks a stellar +53 shot attempt differential with him on the ice at 5v5! Throw in the positive impact on the penalty kill and powerplay. Like every Canuck player in the NHL and the pipeline, he’s prone to dumb giveaways and controller disconnected moments. But give him a shot! Tyler Motte, Matthew Highmore, and Juho Lammikko aren’t going to be Canucks forever, so why not!?
    • PDG tied Sheldon Dries with six shots on goal tonight!
  • Kudos to Dries for breaking his goalscoring slump!
  • Tyler Madden is third on the Ontario Reign in points, second in goals, features on their first powerplay unit in the ‘Horvat spot,’ kills penalties, and has one year left on his ELC. Oh, and he’s right-handed! The Kings are loaded with C prospects, with Byfield, Vilardi, Turcotte, Madden, and Anderson-Dolan. Do yourself a favour, don’t look at the Canucks C depth chart on Elite Prospects. It’s BLEAK. Like, really bleak. Those ten games of Toffoli, though! Pretty cool!
  • Byfield is v good.

  • Lastly, shoutout to Madelined Craig, Adam Kierszenblat, and my CreaseCast contributor and occasional co-host, Jacob Knew, for their selection to the Botchford Project mentorship program!

Cody’s Three Stars

  1. Artūrs Šilovs
  2. Jack Rathbone
  3. Sheldon Dries

HM: Nic Petan

Next Up on the Docket

The Canucks return this weekend for a double-header at home versus the San Diego Gulls.

Plugs

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