Abbotsford Canucks postgame: Arshdeep Bains dominates with a 4-point game and Vasily Podkolzin scores 2 goals in 7-4 win
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Faber1 month ago
The Abbotsford Canucks kicked off the 2023-24 AHL regular season with a trip out east to face the Laval Rocket in a sold-out barn.
There’s a lot of talent on this Canucks team and the lines represented that.
Don’t get too worried about Aatu Räty lining up on the fourth line. Räty saw a lot of ice time in the game and was featured early and often on the penalty kill.
Let’s get into a bunch of clips and then we will wrap things up with three takeaways from Abbotsford’s big win.
Arturs Silovs got the start for the Abbotsford Canucks and you can expect to see a lot of Silovs starts this season for the farm team.
The rocket opened the scoring early when Joel Armia fired a shot through Arturs Silovs. The puck trickled through the crease as Arturs Silovs got a big piece of it but couldn’t quite squeeze it enough.
We want to see Vasily Podkolzin have a lot of success in the AHL and he saw an early dose of it. Podkolzin was featured on the first power play unit and scored with a shot off the post and in from the bumper position. Arshdeep Bains and Christian Wolanin picked up assists on the power play goal.
Here’s what the power play units looked like in the game:
Laval got their lead back quickly when Joshua Roy scored his first goal as a professional. Roy got around Danila Klimovich and then fired a shot where Silovs once again got a good piece of the shot but had to watch the puck trickle across the goal line to make it 2-1.
After some good back-and-forth action, Nils Åman found the back of the net on the back of another pretty passing play from Bains and Wolanin.
Bains had primary assists on each of the Canucks’ two goals in the period while Wolanin picked up secondary assists on each of the goals. The two playmakers were off to a hot start for the AHL club. It was good to see the power play click early but also nice that they were able to find some offence at five-on-five.
After 20 minutes, the big takeaway was that the team clearly moved the puck well and the downside was that Silovs wasn’t able to get enough on the two shots that beat him.
Shots were 11-8 in favour of the Laval Rocket.
The period began without much excitement but things ramped up quickly around the halfway point.
Danila Klimovich took another hooking penalty early in the frame and Silovs looked like he began to settle in — stopping each of the seven shots he faced in the period.
Now, let’s get to the goals.
The prettiest goal of the period was from Jack Rathbone, who absolutely hammered a slap shot into the top corner as Bains picked up his third primary assist of the game.
From there, the Canucks took over the game in the next five minutes…
The Rocket looked sloppy later in the period and had a few giveaways that led to scoring chances or goals for the Canucks.
This one was too easy for Max Sasson and Linus Karlsson.
Tristen Nielsen then found a loose puck and broke into the Rocket’s end before finding Podkolzin for his second goal of the game.
Shots were 9-7 for Abbotsford in the second period and the Canucks stayed perfect on the penalty kill through 40 minutes — killing off two penalties.
Laval came out with the fire in the third period and picked up a quick goal to get the game within two goals at 5-3.
Chase Wouters helped send a message that this was Abbotsford’s game later in the period when he threw a huge hit in the corner and then went on to drop the gloves with Logan Mailloux.
Wouters’ fight may have sparked the Canucks and it was the local kid once again, en route to his fourth point of the night, Arshdeep Bains broke in and went five-hole to restore the Canucks’ three-goal lead.
Down by three, the Laval Rocket pulled their goalie with 7:29 remaining in the game when they went to the power play and decided that six-on-four was better than a single man-advantage. It worked well for the Rocket as they were able to find twine and cut the lead back down to two goals.
The Canucks buckled in and held on to the two-goal lead even with Matt Irwin taking a double minor later in the game.
John Stevens added an empty net goal and that brought us to our final score.
Abbotsford won their opener by a score of 7-4.
Arshdeep Bains was dominant
We loved his play throughout the preseason and Bains kept his momentum going in the AHL season opener.
Bains finished the game with four points — one goal and three primary assists.
He looks like he can get away from AHL defenders now and that was something that we didn’t see last season. Bains has clearly added a step and his hands can easily keep up with his improved feet which led to one hell of a debut for the Surrey kid.
Arturs Silovs was a bit shaky but held it together for the win
The first two goals against looked like one that Silovs would have liked to have. He got a piece on both of the first two goals against but just couldn’t do enough on those shots to keep them from finding the back of the net.
Even though Silovs only faced seven shots in the second period, he was able to calm his game and looked good over the final 40 minutes.
Silovs finished the night with 27 saves on 31 shots.
Vasily Podkolzin had to gain confidence from this outing
Scoring two goals in your season opener is great and that’s exactly what Vasily Podkolzin did on Friday night.
Podkolzin was physical throughout the game and seemed to play much more loose than we saw in the preseason. He was letting it go early in the game and was committed to delivering a hit on every shift. His linemates Sheldon Dries and Tristen Nielsen helped become a tremendously annoying trio to play against.
We hope to see Podkolzin continue to play loose and have some offence help build his confidence up in a hurry.
After a strong showing in their season opener, the Abbotsford Canucks won’t have to wait long to get back after it. They play the same Laval Rocket at noon on Saturday afternoon before returning home to host the Calgary Wranglers next Friday.
Will we have a Farmies for tomorrow’s Abbotsford game? Only time will tell…
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