The Canucks look to kick off the NHL All-Star break with a delightful six-game homestand.
Tonight, they face off against the Stockton Heat.
Er, let me rephrase, the Abbotsford Canucks begin a six-game homestand with a back-to-back against the Western Conference-leading Stockton Heat!
Fortunately, the Farm will have an influx of returning bodies to the lineup that will provide some considerable relief to their depleted roster.
One player certainly relieved by the return of Noah Juulsen and Ashton Sautner is defenceman Madison Bowey, who took up a meaty role on the blueline over Abbotsford’s last five games.
Over the canucks last four games—a run in which the team went 3-1-0-0 while outscoring opponents eleven to nine and carrying a 55.86 Corsi For%—Bowey ate up the majority of the minutes on the blueline due to several key absences.
- Ashton Sautner’s call-up
- Noah Juulsen’s call-up
- Jack Rathbone missed two games due to COVID protocol only to get injured early in the first period of the Canucks last game against the Manitoba Meese.
- Rathbone slid to block a cross-ice pass to the slot that hit him square in the jaw.
Bowey featured heavily at 5v5, often playing with a different d-partner every shift.
On the penalty kill, Bowey was frequently being double-shifted—over their last four, the Canucks spent 26 minutes shorthanded over 16 PKs, and Bowey wound up on-ice for just one powerplay goal-against.
Additionally, without Jack Rathbone, Noah Juulsen, or Jett Woo, Bowey became the de facto quarterback of PP1. Similarly, the Canucks spent 24 minutes on the man-advantage over 16 powerplay opportunities, scoring twice with Bowey on-ice.
To this point, Trent Cull had not leaned on Bowey as heavily as he did over the Canucks last four. He performed quite admirably, nearly ending up a point-per-game
Through 25 games played, Bowey has provided okay value at 5v5. At evens, the Canucks have scored at a significantly higher rate with Bowey on-ice at 5v5 despite a below-average shot-attempt rate. The team is also giving up more goals against at evens with Bowey on-ice at 5v5 despite not allowing much in the way of shot attempts. Many of the Canucks per-60 rates are owing to the Canucks piss-poor goaltending sans Spencer Martin.
TLDR; Bowey has been solid for Abbotsford, especially during their recent run with a depleted d-bench. Good for him!
Remember, all of these stats are available on our stats pages! Check them out and learn a thing, maybe even two!
Due to the ALL STAR Break, the Calgary Flames returned Byron Froese and Connor Mackey to Stockton.
- Byron Froese is fifth on the Heat in points and is in a three-way tie for fourth in goals scored.
- Connor Mackey currently leads Stockton’s defence in points with nineteen in thirty-four games.
The Canucks haven’t quite solved the Stockton riddle. Not many in the AHL have. But tonight, icing their most competitive defence since early December, the Canucks might have a chance against the top team of the West!
Despite a ridiculous number of COVID-positives, call-ups and injuries that decimated the Canucks roster, they’ve played quite well!
If the Farm can build off their recent control of play at 5v5, they stand a good chance of separating themselves from the bottom of the Pacific Division heap.
Start of a 6️⃣ game homestand 👇
➡️ Martin starts for the first time since being re-assigned by Vancouver (6-0-4 combined record this season)
➡️ Petan enters tonight with a six-game point streak
➡️ Lukosevicius returns for first game since Jan. 14#AbbyCanucks pic.twitter.com/4x3DhsVB0c
— Abbotsford Canucks (@abbycanucks) February 4, 2022
- Jarid Lukosevicius re-enters the lineup after missing the last six with injury.
Don’t feel like reading? Click here for spoilers!!
- Early puck possession for Abbotsford through the opening minute.
- Chase Wouters records the first shot on goal for Abbotsford.
- GOAL – STOCKTON – 1-0 Heat: Rough start for the home team as a point-shot from Connor Mackey deflects high off of Vinny Arseneau’s stick and over the shoulder of an unsuspecting Spencer Martin.
- Spencer Martin maintains the longstanding Canucks AHL tradition of goalies taking a shot to the mask.
- Canucks are looking a bit on their heels after the Mackey goal; Stockton is outshooting Abbotsford five to two through the opening five minutes.
- The crowd is bizarrely quiet too.
- Canucks arena staff are out on the ice fixing a broken pane; Vinny Arseneau is looking ready to kill someone.
- After all of the bounces going his way in his NHL season debut, the bounces do not appear to be on Martin’s side tonight; a deflected shot nearly finds its way around Martin’s right pad.
- Stockton generates a d-zone breakout, but Jack Rathbone (#3) quickly slides towards the center to take away space and force a dump-and-change.
- Sheldon Dries (#15) is tripped to his knees and attempts a drop-pass to Rathbone (#3) on the line, but the pass is just out of his reach. Stockton generates a two-on-one, but Rathbone races back into the zone while Matt Murphy (#77) blocks a shot from Eetu Tuulola.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 1-1 Tie: A goofy play at the Canucks d-zone blueline results in a breakaway goal for Sheldon Rempal (#56), his fifteenth of the season! Matt Murphy (#77) picks up his first point of the season with the terrific bank pass off the boards to send Rempal deep into the offensive zone.
- GOAL – STOCKTON – 2-1 Heat: LOL, off of an offensive zone faceoff, Walker Duehr flips the puck around Madison Bowey (#4) on the blueline and hits Luke Philp with a one-timer pass around Devante Stephens (#24) that beats Martin over his right pad. Stockton regains the lead thirty-seven seconds after Abbotsford tied the game.
- Rathbone (#3) spins in the d-zone before hitting John Stevens (#16) with a stretch pass for a breakaway chance on Adam Werner.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 2-2 Tie: More weird bounces! A shot from Nic Petan (#7) deflects high into the air off of a skate. Rempal (#56) spots the puck coming down in the slot, catches it, gloves it down, hammers a shot on Werner, and Will Lockwood (#10) knocks in the uncontrolled rebound to tie the game!
- A scrum ensues behind Martin’s net, and Ashton Sautner (#6) comes away with the lone penalty for roughing.
PK1: Stevens, Di Giuseppe, Juulsen, Bowey
- Noah Juulsen (#47) throws a weak clearing attempt towards the blueline, and it, fortunately, hops over the stick of Johannes Kinnvall. Stevens pressures Stockton deep into their zone, and the Canucks swap forwards.
PK2: Lockwood, Wouters,
PK2: Bailey, Dries, Rathbone, Stephens
- Justin Bailey (#95) leads a shorthanded rush and launches a dangerous shot on Werner after breaking Nick DeSimone’s ankles off the zone entry.
- Another bad bounce leads to a ridiculously high-danger scoring chance at the netfront, but Spencer Martin stretches to make a huge glove save on Justin Kirkland!
- Canucks kill Sautner’s penalty and manage to finish the period narrowly outshot eleven to ten after twenty minutes of very awkward hockey.
- Some sleepy neutral zone cover from the Canucks results in a dangerous breakaway chance for Jakob Pelletier.
- Rathbone (#3) smoothly moves the puck out of the d-zone and into the offensive zone for a shot attempt, then circles back to the blueline before returning for a one-timer set up by Yushiroh Hirano (#71).
- Rempal (#56) races in on another breakaway chance, then throws a pass into the slot that deflects out to Bowey (#4). Bowey takes a second to settle the puck and curls for a one-timer pass to Lockwood (#10) in the slot.
- Jack Rathbone draws a tripping penalty against Justin Kirkland to hand the Canucks their first powerplay of the night.
PP1: Rathbone, Dries, Di Giuseppe, Petan, Rempal
- Canucks looking pretty cute out there, throwing a couple of backhanders on Werner, but an errant pass from Rempal hands the Heat a shorthanded two-on-one that kills twenty seconds off the clock.
- GOAL – STOCKTON – 3-2 Heat: A big ol’ OOF from Justin Bailey as he throws away the puck in the d-zone. A comedy of errors ensues, leading to Luke Philp scoring shorthanded while Jack Rathbone (#3) stares at the puck from the goal line.
- Kirkland’s penalty expires with zero ice time in the offensive zone for the “second powerplay unit.”
- Devante Stephens (#24) loses control of the puck at center-ice while going for a dump-in, giving the Stockton Heat a quick three-on-one scoring opportunity.
- Some sustained pressure from Stockton results in a cross-checking penalty against Devante Stephens. Canucks to their second PK of the night.
PK1: Di Giuseppe, Stevens, Sautner, Juulsen
- Stockton is moving the puck effectively around the net, but a flubbed pass results in a clearance for Abbotsford.
PK2: Lockwood, Bailey, Bowey, Rathbone
- Bailey (#95) gloves down the puck in the d-zone and races end to end for a shorthanded shot attempt.
- Stockton generates a couple of late chances on the powerplay that trickle narrowly wide of the net.
- Eetu Tuulola drills Rathbone (#3) head-first into the boards with a cross-check from behind.
- Rathbone gives Tuulola a couple of checks to the chest; he mad.
PP1: Dries, Rempal, Petan, Rathbone, Di Giuseppe
- Rathbone (#3) and Petan (#7) play hot potato before Petan hammers a shot into Werner’s chest.
- Canucks lose the zone off the ensuing faceoff and struggle to re-enter.
PP2: Lockwood, Bailey, Hirano, Juulsen, Arseneau
- Justin Bailey tries to drive through all four Heat defenders but crashes into the net after being stripped of the puck.
- Tuulolal leaves the box, and the Canucks are 0/2 on the man-advantage so far tonight.
- Bailey (#95) fights off Alex Gallant with one hand on the puck and manages to set up Stephens (#24) for a one-timer on Werner.
- Canucks show some fire but are outshot twelve to eight and twenty-three to eighteen, overall, after forty minutes.
- Weird opening three minutes of the period that sees the Canucks struggling to string together a pass in the d-zone that doesn’t result in a turnover or an icing.
- Ashton Sautner heads to the box for cross-checking to send the Canucks to their third PK of the game.
PK1: Stevens, Bowey, Lockwood, Juulsen
- A shot attempt goes wide of Martin’s net, and carom’s out of the zone.
- GOAL – STOCKTON – 4-2 Heat: The rookie, Jakob Pelletier, scores his thirteenth goal of the season with a slick move through Martin’s five-hole. Martin Pospisil starts the play with a steal along the d-zone half-wall moments after Noah Juulsen (#47) commits to leaving the net front. Juulsen absolutely drills Pelletier with a check after the goal, haha.
- OOF, Sheldon Rempal takes a needless hooking penalty on the next shift, and the Canucks are back onto the PK.
- GOAL – STOCKTON – 5-3 Heat: Wellp, time to beat traffic! Matthew Philips gains inside position on Ashton Sautner (#6) and easily tips in a slap pass from Jakob Pelletier for his fifteenth of the year.
- Phil Di Giuseppe (#34) races into the offensive zone and shakes a check before throwing a backhander on Werner.
- Sheldon Dries (#15) throws a puck towards Adam Werner that is deflected by Stockton defenceman Kevin Gravel, that nearly trickles through Werner’s pads and into the net!
- Canucks fourth line generates a scoring chance; Adam Werner shoves Jarid Lukosevicius’ (#14) face down into the ice, which seems less-than-nice.
- Canucks draw a penalty against Nick DeSimone for holding; Abbotsford to their third powerplay of the night.
PP1: Dries, Di Giuseppe, Petan, Rempal, Rathbone
- Rathbone (#3) drives behind the net and centers for Di Giuseppe (#34) at the net front.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 5-3 Heat: Yushiroh Hirano scores his third goal in five games with a high wrister over Werner’s glove! Justin Bailey (#95) with a terrific cross-ice pass to Hirano (#71), who wires his shot around Lockwood (#10) at the net front. Canucks claw back within two with less than six minutes remaining in the third.
- Spencer Martin throws the puck onto Rathbone’s backhand. Rathbone, under pressure, nearly scores an own-goal while trying to regain possession.
- Less than four minutes to go, and the Canucks pull Martin for the extra attacker.
- GOAL – STOCKTON – 6-3 Heat: RIP. A rough giveaway from Hirano (#71) results in a clearance picked up by a racing Matthew Phillips, who beats out Rempal (#56) for the empty netter.
- Alex Gallant heads to the box for high-sticking; Canucks to the powerplay with two minutes left in the game.
- DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?
- GOAL – STOCKTON – 7-3 Heat: Double RIP. A brutal giveaway from Jack Rathbone off the faceoff gives Matthew Phillips the hat-trick empty-netter.
- Martin with a breakaway save with twenty-five seconds left in the period. No clip, because who cares?
- Carson Focht (#19) throws a shot on Werner well after the whistle that sparks a massive scrum. Kind of a dink move, but whatever.
Stockton Heat def. Abbotsford Canucks 7-3
- Uh, it was certainly a hockey game!
- Tonight’s game against Stockton was pretty weird. The Canucks simultaneously looked competitive but also very out of it. Simply put, the passing was atrocious, the d-zone breakouts struggled against the heavy press style of the Heat, and numerous giveaways and turnovers sunk the Canucks at every turn. This game had a “one step forward, two steps back” type of rhythm for Abbotsford. For every really good thing they did, they’d almost immediately shoot themselves in the foot on the next shift.
- I don’t think any player looked outrageously awful. Players were trying to make stuff happen, but much of the Canucks work resulted in punishable mistakes-against instead of scoring chances-for. Stockton is a top team in the West for a reason; they punish you when gifted the opportunity, and unfortunately, the Canucks unforced errors per-60 were through the roof tonight. RIP.
- Trent Cull said of the team’s struggle to break the puck out of the d-zone that “the [Heat] did a good job on the forecheck. They’re a pretty quick team. We had a plan coming in on how we wanted to break the puck out that we’ve been working on the last couple of days, trying to get everybody on the same page, but we could certainly be more efficient with that.”
- Cull thought the team played quite well through the first two periods, attributing the team’s struggles to the number of bodies coming into the lineup who looked rusty.
- He really didn’t like the lack of penalty discipline, though, haha.
- Jack Rathbone does a lot of good stuff, especially with shot attempts, controlled exits and zone entries, but his puckhandling under pressure can be a little sus at times. Or, it’s at least looked sus in his games with Abbotsford this year.
- Yushiroh Hirano scored, which is nice. Too bad he had that brutal giveaway on the first empty-netter that sunk the Canucks comeback attempt.
- Cull had no timeline on Jett Woo, who’s missed the last five games due to injury.
Cody’s Three Stars
- The fans who stayed until the final horn
- Chris Faber for watching the game and joining the post-game scrum despite being in Edmonton for a work retreat
- Phil Di Giuseppe for having the least amount of egregious puckhandling errors
Next Up on the Docket
Unfortunately, the Canucks return tomorrow night for the rematch.
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