The Abbotsford Canucks look to extend their largest win streak in team history from three to four games straight!
A few weeks ago, against the Ontario Reign, I noticed a subtle change in how the Abbotsford Canucks attacked in the offensive zone.
Instead of working the puck low and setting up around the slot, the Canucks opted for a volume-heavy approach from everywhere around the perimeter. With it came some of the Farm’s most impressive 5v5 shot-differentials in team history! In my three seasons of tracking AHL hockey, the Comets/Canucks never came close to the kind of offensive domination displayed over their last three games combined!
Perhaps, starting an SPHL goaltender in their last two against the San Diego Gulls is what convinced the Farm to buy into the tight-checking, neutral-zone stifling defensive game that held opponents to under thirty-five shot attempts at 5v5 over their last three straight!
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the team’s commitment to volume shooting after so many seasons of run-and-gun “perfect set-play only” hockey.
The Baby Nucks have a ton of bodies returning to the lineup, and that bodes well for the team’s goals of building upon their first real win streak of the season!
Working in the Canucks favour is the depleted roster of the Manitoba Moose! In today’s lineup, the Meese will only have three of their top-ten scorers!
Transactions: #Canucks recall Noah Juulsen from Abbotsford to the Taxi Squad.
— Canucks PR (@CanucksPR) January 29, 2022
The Canucks called up Noah Juulsen, assumingly because of Tucker Poolman’s mysterious absence after Vancouver’s first period against Winnipeg.
Transaction: #Canucks assign Michael DiPietro and Sheldon Dries to Abbotsford from the Vancouver Taxi Squad.
— Canucks PR (@CanucksPR) January 28, 2022
Hot off his NHL debut, Mikey DiPietro immediately returns to AHL action! No extended layoffs. We love to see it!
First-ever 🇨🇦 opponent. Here’s how we look!
➡️ Petan enters the game on a four-game point streak (5 assists)
➡️ Rathbone and Murphy both make their return from COVID protocol
➡️ DiPietro starts for the first time since making his NHL season debut Jan. 23#AbbyCanucks pic.twitter.com/MLCKnSOo05
— Abbotsford Canucks (@abbycanucks) January 29, 2022
- Carson Focht returns to action after being on the receiving end of a brutal open-ice hit on January 6th against the Bakersfield Condors.
- Jack Rathbone’s return couldn’t have come at a better time with Ashton Sautner, and Juulsen recalled to the Canucks.
- I can only assume that Tristen Nielsen misses today’s game for injury or COVID-related reasons. He’s played incredibly strong as of late.
Don’t feel like reading? Click here for spoilers!!
- The Canucks are rocking their green third alternates! Hell yea!
- Chase Wouters throws a dump-in on Arvid Holm, and the Canucks earn an offensive-zone faceoff one minute into the period.
- Showing off his vertical, Jack Rathbone (#3) catches a deflected puck in the neutral zone and enters the Meese’s zone for a shot on Holm.
- Carson Focht (#19) takes away a centering pass in the d-zone, then bowls over Tyler Boland while the Canucks exit.
- Rathbone (#3) dishes a clean rinkwide pass to Nic Petan (#7) on the Meese’s blueline. Petan holds for Sheldon Rempal (#56) to enter the zone for a snappy shot attempt.
- John Stevens (#16) enters the offensive zone and nearly deflects Nelson Nogier’s exit-pass past Holm into the net!
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 1-0 Canucks: Vinny Arseneau (#18) collects his fifth goal of the season with a rocket from the high slot! Kudos to Will Lockwood (#10) for starting this sequence with an aggressive pursuit behind Holm’s net. Lockwood picks off Jimmy Oligny’s pass, draws in three Manitoba skaters, and carefully dishes a pass to Arseneau, the trailer, for a wicked wrist shot under Holm’s blocker side!
- Alex Kannok Leipert (#41) dumps the puck into the offensive zone, and it hops over the stick of Trent Bourque. Sheldon Dries (#15) picks up the dump-in and quickly wrists a shot into Holm’s pads.
- Arseneau (#18) sends Petan (#7) into the offensive zone, and he draws a tripping penalty against Nicholas Jones that puts the Canucks on the powerplay.
PP1: Rathbone, Rempal, Petan, Dries, Di Giuseppe
- The Meese win the faceoff, tie the puck along the half-wall, then clear the zone to force PP1 to reset from behind DiPietro’s net.
- Dries (#15) hammers Holm with a one-timer, then misses the follow-up attempt.
- Meese clear, and PP2 hops over with thirty-five seconds left.
PP1: Klimovich, Arseneau, Stevens, Bowey, Hirano
- Danila Klimovich (#46) sets up Arseneau (#18) at the side of the net, but the Canucks can’t connect on the play for a shot on goal.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 2-0 Canucks: Sheldon Dries goes belly down to hook a loose puck around Holm’s right pad and into the net! Canucks up by two with less than seven remaining in the first period! Di Giuseppe (#34) starts the sequence with some evasive manoeuvers behind Holm’s net before hitting Devante Stephens (#24) with a pass to the blueline. Stephens’ shot deflects through traffic, and Dries jumps on it for his team-leading fifteenth of the season!
- Yushiroh Hirano (#71) nearly scores goal number three after a shot from Madison Bowey (#4) rebounds off Holm’s left pad and bounces off Hirano’s skate dangerously near the goal line.
- Canucks head to the penalty kill after Matt Alfaro draws an interference penalty against Kannok Leipert (#41).
PK1: Lockwood, Bowey, Stephens, Stevens
- Stevens wins the faceoff, and Lockwood immediately dumps the puck into the Meese’s zone.
PK2: Wouters, Dries hop on
PK3: Murphy, Di Giuseppe, Petan, Rathbone
- Manitoba loses the zone with twenty seconds left. Then Di Giuseppe clears to kill Kannok Leipert’s interference penalty.
- DiPietro looking sharp while making a one-timer save against Greg Meireles.
- Canucks outshoot Manitoba nine to seven over a pretty slow opening period.
- Manitoba is looking a little slow while the Canucks are doing well at stifling shot attempts in the d-zone.
- Manitoba gains the zone for their first bit of sustained offensive-zone time of the game. Canucks hold the Meese to zero shot attempts!
- Abbotsford is doing a decent job clogging shooting lanes and keeping sticks off the puck!
- Rempal (#56) races onto a loose puck in the offensive zone, then sauces a pass to Rathbone (#3) for a one-timer.
- Classic Canucks moment as they get caught with too many men on the ice; they head to their second PK of the game!
PK1: Stevens, Lockwood, Stephens, Bowey
- Stevens (#16) wins the faceoff, and Bowey (#4) imposes himself to break the puck out of the zone for Abbotsford!
PK1: Wouters, Di Giuseppe, Brubacher, Rathbone
- GOAL – MANITOBA – 2-1 Canucks: Mikey DiPietro bodies down a one-timer from Haralds Egle but fails to control the puck afterwards. Manitoba’s Jeff Malott hammers the loose puck into DiPietro’s pad, and it deflects out to Greg Meireles, who pounces on the loose puck to put the Meese back within one.
- Petan (#7) buttonhooks off the zone-entry and hits Rathbone (#3) with a pass. Rathbone’s shot attempt shatters Todd Burgess’s leg into a million billion pieces while the Meese generates a rush the other way.
- Petan finds Rathbone along the goal line, but Rath flubs on his sharp-angle shot attempt.
- Brandon Cutler (#48) catches a Manitoba giveaway behind Holm’s net, and he sets up Arseneau (#18) for a dangerous one-timer from the net front.
- Focht (#19) pulls the puck into his body for a shot through traffic; Manitoba is caught defending heavily to the right side, but the Canucks can’t capitalize on the open space.
- Dries (#15) enters the zone with speed and dips around Dean Stewart for a shot attempt!
- GOAL – MANITOBA – 2-2 Tie: Canucks struggle to break the puck out of the d-zone, and Jeff Malott cashes in from the doorstep with a floater past DiPietro. A string of unfortunate bounces as Haralds Egle strips the puck away from Adam Brubacher (#2) out to Greg Meireles, who quickly dishes to Malott for the goal. Tough goal to give up by DiPietro, but pretty brutal coverage from the Canucks after sending Rathbone, Brubacher, and Di Giuseppe behind the goal line.
- Canucks are on the backfoot after the Malott goal, as they struggle to move the puck out of the d-zone.
- Stevens (#16) gains the zone, draws in an attacker, then drops for Klimovich (#46) for a shot on goal.
- Trent Bourque heads to the box for interference, and the Canucks earn their second powerplay of the game!
PP1: Dries, Rempal, Petan, Di Giuseppe, Rathbone
- Wow! Arvid Holm makes an incredible save after a pass from Petan (#7) bounces over to Dries (#15) on the doorstep!
- The Meese win the ensuing faceoff, and PP1 is forced to reset from behind DiPietro’s net.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 3-2 Canucks: Some excellent puck movement by PP1 opens up the left side for Sheldon Rempal to pot his eleventh goal of the year! Canucks regain the one-goal lead with less than six minutes remaining in the second! Dries (#15) picks up his second point of the evening with the terrific cross-ice feed.
- Another Stevens-to-Klimovich setup off of the zone entry that forces Arvid Holm to make another big save for Manitoba
- The Canucks are now taking over with relentless pressure inside Manitoba’s zone!
- Klimovich (#46) with a smooth entry and slip in the offensive zone to hold possession for Abbotsford; Lockwood (#10) sauces a pass to Kannok Leipert (#41) on the blue line for a shot on goal.
- A chance for Di Giuseppe (#34) after another faceoff win for Abbotsford
- Canucks with a dominant second period despite giving up two goals early; Canucks outshoot the Meese fourteen to nine and prevent them from registering any shots on goal over the final eight minutes!
- More of the same from the Canucks early. Suffocating cycle pressure in the offensive zone through the opening minute.
- Focht (#19) crashes on a loose puck for a glorious scoring chance after Lockwood’s (#10) dump-in deflects into the slot uncontested.
- A tired Canucks group faces their first bit of sustained pressure from the Moose; some brutal coverage below the dots leads to a dangerous scoring opportunity for Nicholas Jones. Fortunately, Sheldon Rempal drives low to break up Jones’ wraparound attempt.
- GOAL – MANITOBA – 3-3 Tie: Off a d-zone faceoff, the Manitoba Moose work the puck back to the point to Simon Lundmark, who fires a shot over DiPietro’s left pad. No tip on the play. Rough one to give up.
- DiPietro hugs the left post to stop Cole Maier’s attempt from behind the goal line.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 4-3 Canucks: Goodness, gracious! Seconds after teeing up a one-timer off Holm’s pad, Sheldon Rempal receives a pass from Petan (#7), then dekes forehand backhand over Holm for his second of the game.
- Some sleepy back and forth action through the middle chunk of the final frame. Canucks are spending most of the period in the d-zone but are valiantly turning away the Meese’s shot attempts.
- Vinny Arseneau (#18) nearly makes it five for the Canucks after Arvid Holm loses the puck in his skates behind his net!
- Evan Polei runs into Devante Stephens in the neutral zone, and the Canucks head to the PK with less than four minutes remaining in the game.
PK1: Bowey, Lockwood, Stevens, Rathbone
- Stevens (#16) loses the faceoff but deflects a shot to Bowey, who sends Stevens and Lockwood (#10) up ice on a shorthanded breakaway chance!
- Lockwood races back into the neutral zone and flattens Haralds Egle with a hit!
PK2: Di Giuseppe, Wouters,
- Bowey picks off a pass and clears the zone for Abbotsford.
- Arvid Holm misplays the puck, allowing Di Giuseppe (#34) to set up Chase Wouters (#21) for a shorthanded scoring chance!
- A fantastic PK or Abbotsford as they outshoot Manitoba two-zip on that kill
- It do be like that. Dean Stewart attempts a board-and-out, but it deflects off the ref to a wide-open Di Giuseppe (#34), who hammers a one-timer into the chest of Holm.
- Manitoba breaks the puck out of their end and pull Holm for the extra attacker.
- DiPietro with a post-integration save that would make David Quadrelli weep as he denies Cole Maier with less than a minute to go in regulation!
- Evan Polei misses the puck on the blue line, and the Canucks tie up the puck to kill the final fifteen seconds.
- Manitoba and Abbotsford combine for just six shots on goal over the final ten minutes. Another tight shut’er down performance from the Farm team as they extend the win streak to four!
Abbotsford Canucks defeat Manitoba Moose 4-3
- Kind of a snoozer game despite the scoreline. Canucks probably shouldn’t be giving up three goals against a roster as depleted as Manitoba’s, but they shut the game down when it mattered most.
- For the fourth straight game, the Canucks have outshot their opponents by a considerable margin. Canucks outshot the Moose thirty-one to twenty-three after sixty minutes of play, including six minutes spent shorthanded!
- Quiet game for pretty much everyone not named Petan, Dries, Rempal, Di Giuseppe, or Lockwood.
- A lot of great looks for Danila Klimovich alongside John Stevens, but he’s been quite snakebitten as of late. Klimovich is currently rocking a shooting percentage of 6.3 despite his 116 individual shot attempts across all situations. Sheldon Rempal leads the team with 140 individual shot attempts while Klimo and PDG tie with 116.
- Jack Rathbone looked decent enough in the offensive zone and held his own around the net front. Rathbone didn’t play too much today, as he spent most of his 5v5 ice time with PTO Matt Murphy but ended up leading defencemen with four shots on goal. Hopefully, the Farm can get Rathbone up to speed and in the NHL playing for Boudreau soon!
- That third goal allowed by DiPietro was not good. Some good post-hugging saves to keep the game tight late, but oof, that third goal made this game tighter than it should’ve been.
Cody’s Three Stars
- Sheldon Rempal
- Sheldon Dries
- Phil Di Giuseppe
Next Up on the Docket
The Canucks return tomorrow afternoon for the Meese rematch!
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