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Aatu Räty records second four-point game in a week, while Zach Sawchenko secures first win as Abbotsford Canucks defeat the Moose 5-2

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Photo credit:Abbotsford Canucks/ Instagram
Dave Hall
24 days ago
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What more can be said? This narrative is simply getting ridiculous.
After suffering their 14th loss in series-opening matches since January 1st on Saturday, where they managed two goals on just 12 shots, the team rebounded strongly to secure a decisive 5-2 victory on Sunday in Manitoba.
This pattern of dropping the first game just to dominate the second has become all too familiar. Since January 1st, their record in doubleheaders tells the whole story:
Game one: 1-14-0
Game two: 12-2-1
This trend is no secret to the team, either. Head Coach Jeremy Colliton is fully aware of the inconsistent starts and has alluded to them in the past, but has struggled to find a solution to ignite the team’s energy from the outset of a series.
Well, today, Aatu Räty ignited the action early by unleashing a powerful wrist shot that found the back of the net, beating former Canucks’ goaltender Colin Delia cleanly on the low glove side.
This goal marked the beginning of what would be the 21-year-old’s second standout performance within a week – adding to what is now a very strong three-game run. We’ll touch on that shortly.
Later in the period, Christian Wolanin, who returned to the lineup after missing 26 games due to a wrist injury, earned his first point since January 16th. Following a penalty kill, the puck was turned over in the neutral zone, allowing Arshdeep Bains to collect a well-placed bank pass and breakaway.
Although initially stopped on his shot, Bains stuck with it to jam home his own rebound for his 14th goal of the season. The goal chased Delia, who allowed two goals on seven shots.
With 49 points on the season, the 23-year-old is now just one point shy of the 50-point plateau, a feat achieved by only 15 AHL players thus far in the year.
This was not the last fans would see of Wolanin, as he wasn’t satisfied with his assist in the first period. Just minutes into the second period, following sustained pressure in the offensive zone, Räty passed the puck back to the defenceman, who unleashed a floating snapshot after an effective stutter step. The shot found the back of the net clean for his fourth goal of the season.
With the secondary assist, Max Sasson extended his personal point streak to six games, tallying seven points during that span.
On the powerplay midway through the period, Tristen Nielsen won a puck battle off his own entry. He then squeaked it through to Räty, who fed Sheldon Dries. He fired a shot which missed the net but rebounded directly to Nielsen, who capitalized for his 12th goal of the season to double the Canucks’ lead.
Minutes later, Räty contributed another point, intercepting the puck in the offensive zone and setting up Marc Gatcomb for a goal.
That’s all the Canucks would need as they’d push toward a 5-2 victory.
Zach Sawchenko, making his first start in an Abbotsford Canucks uniform, stopped 34 of 36 shots to earn his first win of the season. With Arturs Silovs still with the big club and several back-to-back series coming up in the next few weeks, perhaps Sawchenko’s strong performance may earn him additional playing time as the team vastly approaches the playoffs.
Earning the game’s first star for the second consecutive Sunday was Aatu Räty, who posted four-point efforts in each game. He’s currently riding a three-game point streak, firing at a three-point pace with three goals and nine points during that stretch.
With 46 points on the year, Räty now ranks third on the team and fifth among all U22 AHL skaters in points.
The Canucks now head to Colorado to continue their road trip on Friday, where they’ll face the Eagles. So far this season, they’ve only managed to win two out of their six games against them.

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