The Farmies: Elias Pettersson tallies first AHL point and Aatu Räty stays hot as Abby Canucks extend their winning streak to five games

Photo credit:X/@abbycanucks
Dave Hall
24 days ago
Fresh off clinching their second consecutive playoff berth, the Abbotsford Canucks were back in action to host the Manitoba Moose for their fourth and final meeting of the season.
Clinched spot or not, there is still business to be done as the club searches for home-ice advantage in the postseason.
With a win, and a little help from the other teams, they could leapfrog up to fourth place in the Pacific Division.
While the Canucks’ top producers stepped up to chip in toward extending the team’s win streak to five games in this one, they did not get much help from the rest of the league’s slate.
Even with the win, they remain in the bottom half of the home advantage bracket.
They do manage to take four crucial points, however, as they prepare to face the division’s top team in a two-game series this weekend.
Let’s check in on the action.
Opening lineup
Head Coach Jeremy Colliton went with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” mantra, and rolled over his same roster as Tuesday night.
The one change came between the pipes as Zach Sawchenko saw his third start of the season. He came in sporting a solid 1.67 goals against average and a .938 save percentage.
1st period
It took the Abbotsford Canucks less than a minute to see the game’s first high-danger chance, thanks to a slick dipsy doodle and give-and-go from Tristen Nielsen and Sheldon Dries.
The play all started thanks to a solid check in his own end by Marc Gatcomb to kick-start the play the other way.
The game saw some back-and-fourth neutral zone play before Jett Woo took the game’s first penalty by getting his stick caught in the legs of Kyle Capobianco.
The ol’ can-opener job.
PK1 John Stevens, Sheldon Dries, Matt Irwin and Nick Cicek
PK2Chase Wouters, Marc Gatcomb, Christian Wolanin and Akito Hirose
After three consecutive games of conceding a shorthanded goal, it was the Canucks turn to get on the board while down a man.
1–0 Canucks: Abbotsford goal, Sheldon Dries from Nick Cicek (shorthanded)
Sheldon Dries turned on the jets to win the foot race against the flat-footed defender before opening up and sliding the puck past his former teammate, Colin Delia.
Typically, it had been their opponents to come out the gate strong, but last night, it was all Canucks early.
Elias Pettersson began what would be a very strong opening period himself with a big hit, closing the gap and throwing his body to shut down the play quickly.
Midway through the period, the Moose were sent to their second power play of the game, thanks to a hooking call courtesy of Chase Wouters.
Once again, the league’s fourth-best penalty kill was perfect, allowing just two shots on net.
2–0 Canucks: Abbotsford goal, Tristen Nielsen from Elias Pettersson and Linus Karlsson
With Wouters fresh out of the penalty box, the puck found its way to the blueline, where Elias Pettersson acted quickly to feed it through to Tristen Nielsen, who rocketed a one-timer for his 13th of the season.
It was an impressive keep from Elias Pettersson, who picked up his first career AHL point with the perfectly placed pass. For Karlsson, that’s his seventh point in three games.
Nearing the two-minute warning, Max Sasson went to work, sifting through Manitoba’s defenders before creating the best chance of the period to NOT beat the goalie.
Sheldon Dries was stoned by a sliding Delia.
As is typically the case in hockey, when one team gets a primed opportunity, it’s going to go the other way. And that’s exactly what happened.
2–1 Canucks: Manitoba goal, Tyler Bauer from Daniel Torgersson
And it was a greasy one.
The puck found its way through the five-hole of Sawchenko off an innocent floater from the mid-circle.
With this one exception, Sawchenko looked strong all period long, stopping seven of eight shots in the opening frame.
2nd period
It took all of 19 seconds for the Canucks to find their first chance at a power play, as the Manitoba goalscorer took down Filip Johansson for an easy clutch and grab call.
PP1Linus Karlsson, Aatu Räty, Tristen Nielsen, Sheldon Dries and Jett Woo
PP2Jonathan Lekkerimäki, Max Sasson, Christian Wolanin
3–1 Canucks: Abbotsford goal, Sheldon Dries from Aatu Räty and Jett Woo
The team’s top unit capitalized quickly, with Sheldon Dries redirecting a perfectly placed Aatu Räty feed for his second goal of the game and 27th of the season.
Räty’s helper marks his 13th point in the last seven games, while Jett Woo extended his current hot streak to six points over his last four games.
The team’s top players have been producing at an extraordinary clip in recent outings.
This goal sparked a dominant stretch for Abby, generating five shots in less than five minutes.
However, despite their efforts, Johansson’s penalty handed Manitoba their third power play opportunity of the game, killing any and all momentum.
Moments later, on a power play of their own, Sheldon Dries had a golden opportunity to complete his hat-trick but could not beat the blocker of Delia.
Seconds later, off a tough Manitoba line change, Jonathan Lekkerimäki nearly earned his first AHL point with a soft saucer pass to Max Sasson, who nearly snuck the puck through the netminder’s wickets.
A pointless Sasson was in jeopardy of closing the league’s longest active point streak (nine games).
The Moose received their second piece of luck in the game, this time at the hands of a poorly judged call by the referees.
3–2 Canucks: Manitoba goal, Jeffrey Viel from Jeff Malott and Dominic Toninato
After pushing past the Canuck defence, Jeff Malott crashed toward the net, before Jeffrey Viel cashed in on the rebound with Sawchenko down on the ice.
The call brought a several-moment stall, as the referees held a prolonged conference before calling it a “good goal”. Understandably, this led to the Canucks bench fuming, while the Abbotsford Centre echoed the building with their “boo’s”.
We have yet to receive a proper explanation, but trying to pinpoint what goalie interference is these days is a loss cause. We can only assume it was due to the initial rusher being pushed in.
4–2 Canucks: Abbotsford goal, Aatu Räty from Chase Wouters and Marc Gatcomb
The Canucks wasted no time in responding, as Räty dropped to a knee to unleash a blistering shot from distance to double the team’s lead once again.
The Canucks capped off a 13-shot middle frame, and for the second night in a row would head into the tunnel with a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes.
3rd period
It was Manitoba’s turn to come out skating, dropping five shots on Sawchenko in quick succession to start the final frame.
It wasn’t always pretty, though.
After being hemmed in for a good stretch of initial minutes, Karlsson took an unquestionable tripping call to bring them to their fifth PK of the game and ninth of the two-game series.
It’s a good thing that their penalty kill is so strong this season, but their inability to stay out of the box raises tons of eyebrows.
It was at the tail end of the kill where their netminder made his best save of the night, dropping the glove to provide his best ‘Patrick Roy’ impression.
We continue our push to show you each and every Jonathan Lekkerimäki opportunity. This time, he nearly deposits the puck in tight, but just can’t get good wood it.
The point is coming, folks. It’s coming.
5–2 Canucks: Abbotsford goal, Linus Karlsson from John Stevens and Matt Irwin
With less than five minutes to go, Linus Karlsson wrapped this game up by showcasing his perfect batting average, batting home his 20th goal of the season. That’s consecutive 20-goal seasons in North America for the 24-year-old Swede.
The Canucks wrapped the game up without allowing any further, taking the season series 3-1.
Zach Sawchenko played a strong making, making 24 saves to stay perfect on his season (3-0-0).
If there were any negatives, it’s Max Sasson, who had his nine-game point streak cut to an end.
That’s five straight, folks.
Final score
The Abbotsford Canucks defeat the Manitoba Moose 5-2.
CanucksArmy three stars
Sheldon Dries got this game going, scoring just under the five-minute mark. He added another one, and nearly cashed in for his hat-trick on several occasions. Last night’s first star led the game with seven shots and continues to lead the charge with 27 goals.
Aatu Räty not only picked up two points but scored his 18th goal of the season in style. He’s now firing at a two-point pace over his last seven games and has been rocketing up the points chart.
Linus Karlsson, who also picked up a goal and assist, picks up last night’s third star. He also gets brownie points for scoring while playing two separate sports, batting in his 20th goal of the season.
Next on the docket
The Canucks continue their four-game home stand this weekend, as they host the Pacific Division powerhouse, Coachella Valley Firebirds for a weekend doubleheader. Puck drop is Friday at 7:00 PM Pacific time.

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