GAMEDAY HARVEST: The Abbotsford Canucks battle hard in an action-packed OT thriller but fall short to a Toronto EBUG …again

Oh, hi! I’m Cody Severtson!

You might remember me from such AHL Gameday Recaps as… Fantastic Five-Point Evening For Jack Rathbone and The Rowdy Road Victory on $2 Beer Night!

A lot has happened on the Farm since our last check-in, so let’s do that…

Right now!

CATCHING UP

Skaters

Abbotsford Scoring Table 03/30/2022

Since the last recap, the Junior Canucks have strung together a mighty impressive record!

Since February 16th, the Farm has gone 10-6-2-0 for a .611 points-earning percentage! While that doesn’t seem that impressive, it does when you take a look under the hood at who the team has been missing during that stretch!

  • Justin Bailey missed 18 of the last 18 GP on IR
  • Sheldon Rempal missed 6 of the last 18 GP on a Canucks call-up
  • Madison Bowey missed 8 of the last 18 GP on a Canucks call-up
  • Phil Di Giuseppe missed 5 of the last 18 GP on a Canucks call-up, and seven of the last 18 GP due to injury
  • Noah Juulsen missed 4 of the last 18 GP on a Canucks call-up
  • Ashton Sautner missed 15 of the last 18 GP on IR
  • Jett Woo missed 8 of the last 18 GP on IR
  • Guillaume Brisebois missed 14 of the last 18 on IR
  • Nic Petan missed one game on IR and the last 7 of 18 on a Canucks call-up
  • Jack Rathbone missed 8 of the last 18 GP on IR and 1 as a healthy scratch due to call-up considerations
  • Justin Dowling missed 11 of the last 18 GP on IR and one as a healthy scratch due to back-to-back considerations

For those keeping track at home, that’s six of the team’s top-ten scorers out of the lineup for a considerable run of games.

Fortunately, the Farm’s depth decided to show up on the scoresheets during these absences!

  • Devante Stephens’ 6 pts in 17 GP
  • John Stevens’ 9 pts in 18 GP
  • Chase Wouters’ 6 pts in 18 GP
  • Madison Bowey’s 9 pts in 10 GP
  • Tristen Nielsen’s 6 pts in 16 GP
  • Yushiroh Hirano’s 6 pts in 13 GP

Yes, the scoring rates don’t look all that impressive, but considering all of these players doubled their point totals during this past run of games? I’d say they deserve a bit of kudos!

Goalies

Abbotsford Canucks Goaltending (Last 18 GP)

Abbotsford’s goaltending has also been quite stellar (statistically) in my absence!

Spencer Martin was reliable, while Mikey DiPietro put in a considerable amount of work to look more like the Old Mikey than the Mikey that looked absolutely brutal to start this season.

Again, I haven’t watched much lately, so I can’t speak for the goals against, but it’s nice to see Mikey above .900 again!

Playoff Outlook

All in all, the Farm is locked into a Calder playoff spot no matter what.

There is currently an eight-point gap between second-place Ontario and third-place Colorado, meaning the Abbotsford Canucks are almost assuredly playing fourth-place Bakersfield in the opening round of the Calder Playoffs.

The remainder of the season is about consistency, staying healthy, and making sure the Canucks special teams are on point come playoffs.

Presently, the Canucks powerplay ranks third-best in the AHL, while their penalty kill sits middle-of-the-pack in sixteenth.

WHY THE ABSENCE?

Oh yeah, this is why I haven’t been doing stats tracking or hockey recapping lately.

Meet Murphmallow.

It’s been a long time since I wrote anything hockey-related, so expect a lot of egregious grammatical errors!

I guess you could say this recap might be a little … RUFF

HA

HA

HA

I’m so sorry.

STARTING ROSTER

  • Quite the rough-looking lineup as Trent Cull loads up his first line with Dries, Stevens, and Rempal while defenceman Alex Kannok Leipert subs in as a forward.

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

GAME 57:

1st period:

  • Chase Wouters redirects a shot on goal from the netfront and draws a crosschecking penalty against Teemu Kivihalme within the first twenty seconds of the first period.
    • Good start

PP1: Stevens, Lukosevicius, Dries, Rempal, Rathbone

  • Marlies force the Canucks outside, and Abbotsford struggles to re-enter from the neutral zone.
    • Sheldon Rempal enters the zone for Abbotsford but blows a tire; Marlies pick up the loose puck and clear.

PP2: Nielsen, Hirano, Bowey, Cutler, Stephens

PP1: Stevens, Lukosevicius, Dries, Rempal, Rathbone

  • Abbotsford loses the faceoff draw, and the Marlies force them out of the zone.
  • GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 1-1 TIE: Sheldon Dries (#15) picks up his third powerplay goal in two games with a late tip on a shot from John Stevens (#16)! Jack Rathbone (#3) picks up a secondary assist with the pass to Stevens, his third point in two games.

PK1: Bowey, Dries, Stevens, Stephens

  • Canucks win the faceoff and immediately clear the puck into the Marlies zone.
  • GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 2-1 Canucks: While forechecking on the PK, Sheldon Dries picks off a very questionable breakout pass by the Marlies Alex Steeves, and he sets up John Stevens with an easy tap-in goal to put the Canucks in the lead! Stevens picks up his team-leading fourth shorthanded tally of the year!

PP1: Stevens, Lukosevicius, Dries, Rempal, Rathbone

PP1: Rempal, Dries, Lukosevicius, Hirano, Rathbone

PP2: Nielsen, Stevens, Cutler, Stephens, Bowey

2nd period:

PK1: Brisebois, Stevens, Juulsen, Dries

PK2: Bowey, Alfaro, Wouters, Stephens

  • A hand pass draws a whistle and a neutral zone faceoff with less than thirty seconds remaining on the PK.

PK3: Cutler, Bowey, Rempal, Stephens

  • Philippe Myers heads to the box for roughing with less than six minutes remaining in the middle frame!

PP1: Rempal, Dries, Lukosevicius, Stevens, Rathbone

PK1: Brisebois, Bowey, Wouters, Alfaro,

  • Wouters wins the draw to Brisebois, who immediately clears the puck into the Marlies zone.
  • A point shot trickles towards DiPietro, who jumps on it to earn the Canucks a full line change.

PK2: Bowey, Stevens, Juulsen, Dries

3rd period:

  • Rough luck as Chase Wouters takes a slashing penalty two minutes into the finale twenty.

PK1: Bowey, Stephens, Dries, Alfaro

  • Devante Stephens blocks a shot high and the Canucks first PK group clears for a full change

PK2: Brisebois, Juulsen, Stevens, Rempal

PP1: Rempal, Dries, Lukosevicius, Stevens, Rathbone

PP2: Bowey, Stephens, Cutler, Nielsen, Hirano

PP1: Rempal, Dries, Lukosevicius, Stevens, Rathbone

  • Curtis Douglas picks up a blocked shot and ties up the puck behind DiPietro’s net, leaving less than twenty seconds on the clock before Abbotsford regains possession.
  • Time winds down on the third with the Canucks and Marlies going even on shots on goal with ten apiece.

Overtime:

RESULT:

Toronto Marlies def. Abbotsford Canucks 4-3 in Overtime

SCORESHEET:

Game 57 Scoresheet vs. Toronto

TAKEAWAYS:

  • So the Abbotsford Canucks lost to a Trinity Western University EBUG on Wednesday night, then allowed a comeback victory from a team icing both a USports EBUG and an ECHL tendy the next… good stuff!
  • The Marlies’ speed was giving the Canucks defence fits all night. But, the Canucks cycle pressure in the offensive zone was oppressive. Marlies had no answer for the Canucks setup. Shame they hit so many posts. Rempal, Nielsen, Hirano, and Juulsen all finished the game with scoring chances that narrowly deflected off posts.

Look, I have to be up in seven hours to take Murphy to my work for the day, so I can’t stay up too late analyzing a pretty embarrassing home loss. So I’ll be quick, and I’ll throw some hot takes in here since the Vancouver Canucks are pretty much toast for playoffs to add to the doom and gloom!

  • Jett Woo: unnoticeable. He doesn’t push the needle when he’s on the ice. At least Guillaume Brisebois can find a shooting lane. I don’t see any value here.
  • Danila Klimovich: uh, really ugly game from him. A lot of coasting on his edges, reaching with his stick to “engage,” and puck watching…my god, the puck watching. His penalty that he took tonight was born out of a poor shift that saw him miss three passes and lose sight of the puck twice while attempting a breakout. He clearly possesses an NHL quality shot, but the kid needs to up his engagement level, or he isn’t going to amount to much.
  • Jack Rathbone: was trying to do way too much out there tonight. His aggressive neutral zone pinches prompted several odd-man rushes for the Marlies. When his aggression works, it almost always results in scoring chances. But, when it doesn’t, the optics are always worse because of how plodding his d-partners are. Bowey, Juulsen, and Woo don’t have the skating or the reaction time to read when one of Rathbone’s pinches is about to fail. I think Boudreau would be able to find a place for Rathbone’s playstyle, but the Canucks right-side is just as bad at skating as Abbotsford’s.
  • Carson Focht: yep.
  • Michael DiPietro: playstyle looked like his first year’s form. He abandoned the Curtis Sanford/Ian Clark “shuffle” tight-to-the-post system tonight. Flopping like a fish on almost every save tonight. He settled down in the third, but he was all over the place through the opening forty minutes. The kid is athletic as hell and resets pretty well, but the swimming approach usually results in him being down too early. Tonight, that approach handed Curtis Douglas the game-tying goal.
  •  Tristen Nielsen is arguably the most interesting forward prospect the Canucks have in the AHL. Great skating, energy, engagement, and vision. He was constantly threatening on his shifts. I’d like to see him get some PK reps, especially with Bailey, PDG, Petan, and Lockwood out long term. I think he has the speed and the IQ to excel in that role.
  • Alex Kannok Leipert: looked pretty good as a forward! Not sure what that means!?

The not-prospects

  • Sheldon Dries: pretty good
  • John Stevens really earning that NHL two-way deal with his production this year
  • Sheldon Rempal: pretty good
  • Noah Juulsen: good physicality, and I appreciate Guillaume Brisebois for dishing him as many slapshot opportunities as he does.

Cody’s Three Stars

  1. John Stevens
  2. Sheldon Dries
  3. Tristen Nielsen

Next Up on the Docket

The Canucks return this weekend for a double-header against the visiting Laval Rocket!

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!

If you don’t care for my hockey content and are now primarily interested in Murphmallow content, check out his IG page. Yes, a Dogstagram is where my priorities are right now.

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