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The Farmies: Abbotsford Canucks jump into home ice advantage playoff spot with win over Calgary

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Photo credit:X/@abbycanucks
Dave Hall
1 month ago
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The Abbotsford Canucks entered their final road game of the 2023-24 season with an impressive 7-2-1-0 record over their last 10 games.
Well, you can put another two points on the board, as they take home a sleepy, but effective 3-1 decision in Calgary to sweep the two-game series.
With the win, they overtook the Colorado Eagles to claim fourth place in the Pacific Division with 83 points.
However, their advantage does come with the caveat of having played three or four more games than those directly under them.
Oh well, that’s a matter for tomorrow. Today, they celebrate a spot with home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Let’s dive in to see how it unfolded.
Starting Lineup
The lineup remained unchanged from Thursday night’s match, except for a swap between Sawyer Mynio and Elias Pettersson. Although, EP26 saw very little, if any, ice time in the game.
Mynio, 18, made his professional debut in last night’s game, adding to the list of young players making their first appearance for Abby. For a shift by shift look at his performance, check out last night’s Farmies, where Cody Severtson dissected his game.
In goal, Zach Sawchenko made his fifth start of the season.
Game #70
1st period
The game kicked off with a quick call, with Nick Cicek on the receiving end of a healthy hack to the hands of Wrangler forward Jakob Pelletier.
Jeremy Colliton deployed their usual power play lineup as follows:
  • PP1 – Aatu Räty, Tristen Nielsen, Linus Karlsson, Sheldon Dries, and Filip Johansson
  • PP2 – Max Sasson, Arshdeep Bains, Aidan McDonough, Chase Wouters, and Christian Wolanin
The top unit came out flat, failing to muster up any momentum, but the second group generated several strong scoring chances, putting pressure on Oscar Dansk early in the game.
The action began with Max Sasson, who gained steam circling from his own end, carrying the puck coast-to-coast to beat the defender wide and get the game’s first good look.
We’ve said it before, but it’s worth reiterating: Sasson’s speed is something else.
Following that, the Canucks displayed smooth puck movement, connecting with four players in rapid succession before Sasson came close to scoring from the bumper spot.
Despite not converting, it wouldn’t take long for them to get another opportunity, as the Wranglers committed their second offensive zone penalty within the first five minutes of the game.
Once again, it was the second unit that provided the spark. Sasson entered the zone and fired a hard pass toward the net, which Chase Wouters deflected. Initially, many believed Abbotsford had opened the scoring.
However, after a brief review, it was revealed that Dansk made an incredible save, denying not only Wouters but also Arshdeep Bains on the rebound.
Persistence pays off, they say, and just as the penalty was about to expire, the Canucks got a stroke of luck with a Wrangler own goal.
1–0 Canucks: Abbotsford goal, Ty Glover from Marc Gatcomb and Christian Wolanin
Ty Glover, who had been on the receiving end of a questionable call late in the third period the previous night, capitalized on a wild rebound, which was then deflected by a Calgary defender and slowly slid into the net.
Midway through the period, the teams exchanged penalties, with the Wranglers taking yet another offensive zone penalty. Not even 10 minutes into the game, the Canucks had already enjoyed three man advantages.
This time, however, it was the Wranglers who had the best chance. After a Canucks defender sent in an easy flip, Dansk caught the puck and delivered a heads-up hail mary feed to Jacob Pelletier, who took a low-danger chance to the far pad.
It wasn’t much, but it was the best look.
Around this time, the Wranglers began to throw their bodies around. The first victim was Arshdeep Bains, who was caught with a thunderous hit by Calgary’s newest addition.
The game went slightly dormant until the final minute, where Sawchenko was forced to make his best save off a deflected puck.
In an attempt to clear the puck out of harm’s way, Matt Irwin made a poor decision, batting the puck to the corner. The issue? His stick was about three feet over the crossbar, which led him to clear the puck directly over the glass for a delay of game penalty.
Nothing came of the power play, and the Canucks headed into the intermission with a 1-0 lead and a whopping 15-6 shot advantage.
2nd period
Although shorthanded, the Canucks wasted no time picking up where they left off in the opening frame, creating a deadly chance to double their lead.
John Stevens, resembling a heavier-framed Pavel Datsyuk, stripped Jordan Oesterle of the puck before driving to the net for a backhand shot. Chase Wouters followed up on the rebound, but somehow failed to jam it past the sprawling Dansk before Calgary managed to clear it.
After an offensive first period, the second didn’t offer much excitement in the initial five minutes.
In fact, one of the few highlights during that time was a Wrangler forward losing his balance after losing his skate blade.
Funny stuff.
However, the game picked up, but not for the team you are rooting for, and the Wranglers managed to tie the game. Sawchenko made the initial save on the one-timer, but the puck trickled past the line.
1-1 tie: Calgary goal, Rory Kerins from Jordan Oesterle and Adam Klapka
This goal was a result of a strong push from Calgary, who were outshooting the Canucks 7-4 midway through the period.
Cue the string of Wrangler chances.
With a 1-1 tie heading into the final frame, the game was evenly poised for an exciting finish.
3rd period
Frequent stoppages and interruptions, with little sustained action, were the theme for the period’s first nine minutes. Whether it was an icing call, hand pass or goalie stoppage, the whistle was working overtime early. This led to a slow flow, and ultimately, a quiet building.
Abbotsford finally gained an advantage with a power play opportunity just before the 10-minute mark, courtesy of a hit on Matt Irwin by Calgary’s Matthew Wedman.
After going scoreless in their first three attempts, all in the first period, the Canucks finally capitalized.
2–1 Canucks: Abbotsford goal, Tristen Nielsen from Sheldon Dries and Linus Karlsson
After Filip Johansson thwarted a shorthanded odd-man rush, Nielsen rushed up the wing before unleashing a short-side shot for his 15th goal of the season.
By the six minute mark of the final frame, Zach Sawchenko had seen 29 shots against. However, the Canucks had done a solid job at keeping their opponents to the outside, and many of the netmidner stops were textbook stops from the perimeter.
In the final minutes of the period, Karlsson came close to extending the Canucks’ lead with a dipsy doodle, but wasn’t able to bank it behind Dansk.
3–1 Canucks: Abbotsford goal, Linus Karlsson
He did manage to score into the empty net, though. Just under the two-minute warning, the Swede grabbed the puck from behind his own blueline and deposited the puck directly into the centre of the open cage.
The game may not have been the most entertaining, but you cannot deny the result. The Canucks have caught fire at the right time and have jumped up the standings admirably over their last 10 games.
Final score
Abbotsford Canucks defeat the Calgary Wranglers 3-1.
CanucksArmy’s Three Stars
Zach Sawchenko faced 29 shots from the Wranglers but remained composed and made textbook saves throughout the game. While many of them were textbook, easy-to-read stops, he was still cool, calm and collected between the pipes throughout. He takes home our first star of the night.
Linus Karlsson emerged with a goal and an assist in the third period to secure the win for the Canucks. His offensive contributions were pivotal, and he tied with Max Sasson for the second-highest number of shots on goal.
Max Sasson, despite not registering any points, displayed a strong offensive presence throughout the game. He generated several scoring opportunities and was buzzing around the ice for much of the game. He’s our third star of the game.
Next up on the Docket
These two teams will square off for a two-game rematch at the Abbotsford Centre to close out the 2023-24 regular season. Game one is scheduled for Friday at 7:00 PM PST.
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