GAMEDAY HARVEST: Jack Rathbone’s five-point night and Guillaume Brisebois’ Forsberg goal highlight action-packed game against the Roadrunners

We are officially past the midway point of the 2021-22 AHL season!

Thirty-four games played, 101 goals scored, 105 goals given up, and the Abbotsford Canucks are sitting 22nd out of 31 teams in league standings.

Okay, they’re sixth in the Pacific Division, so it’s not that bad!

Plus, as discussed on previous Harvests, the Calder Playoffs are extra bizarre this season, with the Pacific Division employing a seven-team playoff bracket. The first overall seed is granted a bye into the second round, while seeds two through seven pair off against each other. After the first round, teams are re-seeded by their in-season points-percentage.

2021-22 AHL Pacific Division Calder Bracket

So 22nd in the AHL looks pretty uninspiring, but you can be the third-worst team in the Pacific Division and still make the playoffs!

Adding to their favour, their opponent tonight, the seventh-place Tucson Roadrunners, are 2-8-0-0 in their last ten carrying the second-worst goals-against per game in the AHL.

  • The worst goals-against per game in the league belongs to the San Jose Barracuda, averaging 4.13 goals-against EVERY GAME!
2021-22 Abbotsford Canucks head-to-head matrix

Despite their struggles, the Roadrunners have beat the Canucks twice in regulation this season. Another loss to the Roadies wouldn’t be catastrophic. But, a regulation loss to Tucson would drop the Canucks points-percentage down to 48.57% and bump the Roadies points percentage up to 44.59%.

Not a backbreaker, but being incapable of stealing points during this final stretch of thirty-four games could be catastrophic. The Roadrunners and Gulls have played two more games than the Canucks and are only three and four points back, respectively.

The Canucks are currently .500 on the season for points. Maintaining that mediocre pace will be enough to get them into playoffs. However, a slump of any kind this late in the game could be quite bad for the debuting franchise’s playoff aspirations.

Again, not trying to doom and gloom the farm team. It would be truly impressive to fall out of sixth place and below Tucson and San Diego. Granted, they are riding a three-game losing streak despite having their healthiest roster since opening night.

THE OPPOSITION

As said above, the Roadrunners recently curbed an eight-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over the San Diego Gulls.

That’s good!

2021-22 Abbotsford Canucks head-to-head versus Tucson

The Canucks are winless against the Roadrunners while riding a three-game losing streak.

That’s bad!

That’s good!

That’s bad

Can I [read the recap] now?

STARTING ROSTER

  • Breeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezebahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh returns after a lengthy injury layoff!
  • Yushiroh Hirano, Vinny Arseneau, and Carson Focht sit out for the returning Danila Klimovich, who slides in on a line with Nicolas Guay and Brandon Cutler. Interesting decisions. Arseneau, I understand, as he hasn’t shown much in his last few starts.

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

GAME 35:

1st period:

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

PP1: Wouters, Stevens, Bowey, Stephens

  • An early shot attempt sails wide of Martin’s net as time expires.
  • Canucks up by one, having outshot the visitors thirteen to eight over twenty minutes! Not bad!

2nd period:

  • Canucks start the period with a minute and fifty-seven seconds shorthanded

PK1: Bailey, Stevens, Bowey, Stephens

PK2: Brubacher, Dries, Di Giuseppe, Rathbone,

  • Di Giuseppe generates a shorthanded chance for Abbotsford just before Brisebois’ penalty expires.
  • GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 3-1 Canucks: Wow! WOW! Will Lockwood (#10), tripped while driving towards the slot, hooks the puck back to Sheldon Rempal while prone, and Rempal quickly strikes with a shot under Korenar’s glove side. What a recovery from Lockwood to double the Canucks lead!

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

  • GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 4-1 CanucksSheldon Rempal picks up his second goal this period with a filthy powerplay tally off a toe-drag around Cameron Crotty. Tucson hooks Korenar and Ivan Prosvetov slides between the pipes in relief.
  • Brandon Cutler takes a roughing penalty during a scrum to send the Canucks to their second penalty kill of the game.

PK1: Dries, Bowey, Brisebois, Di Giuseppe

  • Canucks clear immediately off the faceoff; Tucson is forced to reset from behind Prosvetov’s net.
  • A shot from Michael Carcone sails wide of the net and caroms out of the zone Canucks swap forwards.

PK2: Bailey, Stevens

PK1: Bowey, Dries, Di Giuseppe

  • GOAL – TUCSON – 4-2 CanucksSeconds after Rathbone leaves the box, Spencer Martin loses his stick, leading to a wraparound goal from Jan Jenik. Bit of a dumb move from Spencer Martin to go for his stick at the side of his net, despite the Canucks not having possession of the puck. Total freebie for Jenik on the wraparound.
  • GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 5-2 CanucksWe love to see it, folks. Jack Rathbone (#3) dusts off a classic with the fake clapper to shake his check at the Tucson blueline before slapping a pass to Petan (#7) on the doorstep. Petan scores his first of the night while Rathbone picks up points number three!

3rd period:

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

  • GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 6-2 Canucks: Nic Petan, Sheldon Rempal, and Jack Rathbone play a little tic-tac-toe for another powerplay tally! Rempal picks up his fifth point, Rathbone picks up his fourth, and Petan picks up his third on the play!
  • Me re-reading the above goal description:

  • Adam Brubacher heads to the box for holding, and the Canucks are back on the PK!
  • GOAL – TUCSON – 7-3 CanucksThe comeback begins for Tucson! Sheldon Dries (#15) lays down the stick to block a cross-ice pass and accidentally redirects the puck onto Martin. Martin can’t control the rebound, and Hudson Fasching scores to put the Roadrunners back within five!
  • Oh my god, another penalty. This time Boko Imama heads to the box for charging. Canucks back to the powerplay!

PP2: Bailey, Brisebois, Klimovich, Bowey, Stevens

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

  • GOAL – TUCSON – 8-4 Canucks: Adam Brubacher (#2) loses an edge, Danila Klimovich (#46) loses Travis Barron, and the Roadrunners are back within four with less than seven minutes to go.
  • Justin Bailey heads to the box for roughing, and the Roadrunners earn a late powerplay.
  • GOAL – TUCSON – 8-5 Canucks: oof, Spencer lets in a softie. Tucson back within three off an unscreened wrister from the point. Yikes.
  • After a scrum ensues in neutral territory, Chase Wouters draws a roughing minor against Ben McCartney.
  • More scrums as the buzzer sounds; Prosvetov skates to center ice, but sadly we do not get a goalie fight 🙁
  • GG close – Abbotsford, probably

RESULT:

Abbotsford Canucks def. Tucson Roadrunners 8-5

SCORESHEET:

Game 35 Scoresheet versus Tucson

TAKEAWAYS:

  • A badly needed win from the Abbotsford Canucks. That felt way closer than it should’ve been due to some pretty rough goaltending. Martin was okay on some shots, but some of those goals-against were ugly.

  • That Brisebois goal lives in my head rent-free. His Forsberg goal is only his second goal since the 2019-20 season! His last goal didn’t even happen in a Canucks affiliated jersey! It came while on loan with the Laval Rocket during the taxi-squad year! How insane is that? Kid comes off IR and does that in his first game back? Unreal. Good for him!
  • In the post-game media availability, I asked Jack Rathbone about the defensive contributions tonight—defencemen contributed seven shots, two goals, and four assists—yes, they were essentially all of Jacks, but whatever! I asked him, “having seen Brisebois’ beauty, whether he’d be attempting the Forsberg anytime in the near future?” Jack laughed, would not confirm, but expanded on his happiness in seeing Brisebois return after a long stint on IR and score such a beauty in his first game back.

  • Speaking of sequences living rent-free in someone’s head! Let’s talk about Danila Klimovich’s unlucky night! Klimovich played mostly with Brandon Cutler and Nicolas Guay at 5v5, recording three shots on goal, while Guay and Cutler combined for one. Despite having the fourth-most individual shot attempts, he is currently rocking one of the lowest individual shooting percentages on the team @ 5.9%. He’s been spectacularly unlucky. That broken stick on the wide-open tap-in will haunt him tonight. Hopefully, he channels that frustration in Wednesday’s game when the Canucks run it back one last time against the Roadrunners this season.
  • I MEAN THE FUCKING PETER. FORSBERG!? FROM GUILLAUME BRISEBOIS!?
  • I don’t remember if Jim Benning likened Brisebois’ play to Peter Forsberg, but it would be pretty funny now if he did.
  • Tonight’s eight-goal victory dethroned the team’s 7-1 victory over the San Jose Barracuda as the highest-scoring game in Abbotsford Canucks history. FUN!
  • Sheldon Rempal closed out the post-game media availability acknowledging the team’s poor positioning in the standings and the work ahead of the team to improve their placement down the stretch. It’s almost like he knew what my preamble was about!

Cody’s Three Stars

  1. Jack Rathbone
  2. Sheldon Rempal
  3. Nic Petan

Next up on the docket

The Canucks close their season series against the Roadrunners this Wednesday at 7 PM!

Plugs

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2 thoughts on “GAMEDAY HARVEST: Jack Rathbone’s five-point night and Guillaume Brisebois’ Forsberg goal highlight action-packed game against the Roadrunners

  1. Good work, just stumbled across your Twitter and didn’t realize you did all this. Keep up the good work!

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