GAMEDAY HARVEST: Yushiroh Hirano makes history in the Canucks back-to-back dubs versus the Gulls

THE OPPOSITION

Abbotsford Canucks head-to-head record versus the San Diego Gulls

The Abbotsford Canucks have consistently had the Gulls number this season.

Last night, the Farm defeated the Gulls five to three, starting with Yushiroh Hirano’s first AHL goal just ten seconds into the game! Hirano’s goal made him the first Japanese-born and Japanese-trained player to score in the AHL!

Today, the Canucks run it back against the Gulls, with Joe Murdaca making his second consecutive start between the pipes.

Murdaca has spent time floating around the ECHL as a backup through most of the 2021-22 season. Last season, Murdaca played four games for the Knoxville Ice Bears out of the SPHL.

Artūrs Šilovs acted as the Canucks back up on Saturday, presumably to give the team a better shot of winning in the Sunday game. However, Vancouver’s goalie situation necessitated Šilovs’ call-up. Unfortunately, Šilovs tested posted for COVID! So now the Canucks are expected to start Michael DiPietro with EBUG, Rylan Toth on backup duty!

Two difficult situations for both Canucks teams this Sunday. The Farm battled hard for Murdaca his first AHL victory on Saturday. Can they repeat the effort despite the quick turnaround?

Let’s find out in today’s VERY hung-over edition of the Harvest!

STARTING ROSTER

  • As stated, Murdaca starts again while Trinity Western ATO Talor Joseph provides backup duty.
  • Nicolas Guay slides in for Keltie Jeri-Leon.
  • Don’t look now, but Noah Juulsen is currently on pace to have the best production in his pro career. His eight points in twenty-four games eclipse his previous high-water mark of six points in thirty-one AHL games in 2017-18! Good for him!

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

GAME 30:

1st period:

 

PK1: Sautner, Juulsen, Di Giuseppe, Stevens

PK2: Stephens, Bowey, Lockwood, Wouters

2nd period:

PP1: Petan, Lockwood, Rempal, Di Giuseppe, Bowey

  • PP1 loses the zone early and is forced to reset multiple times.
  • Gulls wrestle control of the puck in the neutral zone and chew tonnes of time off the clock. Brutal powerplay for Abbotsford.

PP2: Klimovich, Hirano, Stevens, Arseneau, Juulsen

PP2: Klimovich, Hirano, Stevens, Arseneau, Juulsen

  • GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 2-2 Tie: Six seconds was all the Canucks need this time as Stevens (#16) wins the puck back to Juulsen (#47) on the line for a shot on Marotte. Arseneau (#18) tips Juulsen’s shot at the netfront, and we have a tie game! A great goal for Arseneau, who returned this weekend after being sidelined with COVID last week.

 

  • GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 3-2 Canucks: Forty seconds later, and the Canucks have their first lead of the game! Yushiroh Hirano (#71) scores his second in as many games after picking up Rempal’s (#56) wraparound attempt at the side of the net and batting it past Marotte’s right skate.

PK1: Sautner, Juulsen, Stevens, Di Giuseppe

PK1: Lockwood, Stephens, Bowey, Stevens swaps for Wouters

  • Canucks kill the penalty, and as Kannok Leipert leaves the box, Lockwood draws a tripping penalty against Jack Badini. Canucks head to the powerplay!

PP2: Juulsen, Stevens, Arseneau, Hirano, Klimovich

PP1: Petan, Lockwood, Rempal, Di Giuseppe, Bowey

 

  • Canucks thoroughly dominate the second period; three straight goals to put them up by two while having outshot the Gulls TWENTY-FIVE TO EIGHT! Not a typo!

3rd period:

PK1: Wouters, Lockwood, Sautner, Juulsen

PK2: Petan, Stevens, Bowey, Stephens

PK1: Sautner, Petan, Juulsen, Stevens

PK1: Sautner, Bowey, Stevens

PK2: Wouters, Lockwood, Stephens

RESULT:

Abbotsford Canucks def. San Diego Gulls 4-2

SCORESHEET:

Game 30 Scoresheet versus San Diego

TAKEAWAYS:

  • Massive props to the Abbotsford Canucks for their clinical “shut’er down” effort in the third period. The Gulls didn’t have too many scoring chances, but when they did, the Canucks skaters were constantly getting sticks and bodies in the way to limit the amount of danger heading Murdaca’s way.
  • I thought tonight was one of Chase Wouters’ better games! Good speed, great in the dot, and decent offensive IQ.
  • Noah Juulsen and Ashton Sautner casually end their weekend with five points and four points, respectively. Not bad for two defencemen not known for offence!

Let’s talk about Yushiroh Hirano! I don’t think enough noise has been made about what a unicorn he is! Hirano started out in Shirakaba Gakuen High before moving to Sweden to play for Tingrsyds AIF in the J20 SuperElit league as a nineteen-year-old. Hirano moved stateside to play for the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL before two years with the Tohoku Free Blades of the Asia League. Hirano returned to Sweden to play for Kalmar HC in Division 2. After helping promote Kalmar HC into Division 1, Hirano was signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins affiliated Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL. *Cough* Jim Rutherford *cough*. This season, he signed with the Cincinnati Cyclones, leading the team with 29 points in 25 games. Since he was sixteen, Hirano has been featured on every National team for Japan, except for the 2017-18 season. Hirano’s journey is quite incredible. A monument to perseverance in the face of adversity. My favourite part about Hirano is the fact that he’s been BLOGGING ABOUT HIS JOURNEY THE ENTIRE TIME! There’s some great stuff in his writing (albeit a little janky due to Google translate, but he shares an inspiring message!) I love this bit from the blog bio:

Bringing Japan up to the world standard
I believe that playing in a league as high as the ECHL, AHL, and NHL, and delivering that experience to the children of Japan, and having them be moved and encouraged by it, will lead to their own dreams. Just as there were pioneers in baseball who challenged the MLB, I would like to accomplish the same thing in the ice hockey world. That is why I will cherish my “time”, my “life”, and push forward towards the top.

Hirano is a long shot at making the NHL, but I’ve been thoroughly impressed by his vision, reads, and playmaking. If the Canucks are interested in Hirano as a potential AHL feature, they should hook him up with a strength and conditioning coach or a power skating coach. The IQ is clearly there, and his success alongside Petan and Rempal is proof of concept that he can be an effective player at the AHL level against top competition!

While the hockey world reels in the wake of the two racist incidents against Boko Imama and Jordan Subban, I urge you all to read this blog piece from Hirano.

The piece was written after the Wheeling Nailers Pearl Harbour memorial night game back in 2018. In the write-up, Hirano details some of the racist behaviour directed towards him by his teammates!

The piece isn’t necessarily about the racism he was subjected to. Instead, Hirano’s write-up focuses entirely on Pearl Harbour’s impact and how he can be a better, more thoughtful, caring, and considerate person moving forward.

The hockey world has a long way to go if it truly intends to be “for everyone.” The hockey world needs more thoughtfulness. Dare I say it, more perspective and outlook from the Yushiroh Hirano’s of the hockey world.

 

Yeah, the AHL Nucks Harvest has found its boy for the season.

For me, a “dream” is life itself. I believe that my value is to become a person who can definitely produce results and have a positive impact on Japan in the near future.

-Yushiroh Hirano

Cody’s Three Stars

  1. Nic Petan
  2. Yushiroh Hirano
  3. Noah Juulsen and Ashton Sautner

HM: These fans

Next Up on the Docket

The Farm returns next Saturday and Sunday for a double-header versus the Manitoba Meese.

Plugs

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!

Leave a Reply