The Farmies: Jack Studnicka plays hero in 3-2 Canucks victory over the Silver Knights

Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Dave Hall
7 months ago
After nearly a week off, the Abbotsford Canucks returned to action in Henderson to face the Silver Knights on Military Appreciation night.
Heading into the match, the two teams were separated by just one point in the Pacific Division.

Additionally, this marked the third matchup this month between the two clubs, with each splitting games at the beginning of November. It was this series where Artūrs Šilovs seemingly got his groove back, grabbing his first shutout of the season and kickstarting his recent string of excellent performances.
The atmosphere was charged with intensity right out the gate, and both teams seemed intent on making sure that this was a spirited divisional matchup. 

Roster wise, it was a significant night for the Canucks, as they welcomed back a few familiar faces.
Vasily Podkolzin saw his first action since the frightening incident which resulted in him being stretchered off on October 25th. The team also welcomed back Chase Wouters, who had missed three weeks himself, and finally, Jack Studnicka was set to make his Abbotsford debut after being sent down earlier in the week.

All in all, it was a thrilling Friday night in Nevada.

Now, let’s delve into the game and see how this one played out!

Opposing lineup

Starting lineup

Game #14

1st period

The Silver Knights applied early pressure, registering the first shot of the game and forcing Šilovs to make the game’s initial stop just 20 seconds in.
On the other end, it took a couple of minutes, but Nils Åman grabbed his first chance of the game, delivering the club’s first shot just before the two-minute mark. Initially, the lights in the arena went off, which gave most in the arena the impression that it might have been a goal. Of course, those just happened to be the arena lights and would go off several times throughout the game. 
I digress.
The best chance in the first five minutes came a minute later when the trio of Aatu Räty, Linus Karlsson, and Max Sasson nearly connected for yet another goal.
Despite a few returnees, Jeremy Colliton elected to keep this line together for the game—and why wouldn’t he? Heading into the night, the three had combined for 12 points over the last three games and had been the club’s go-to option for sustained pressure and opportunity.
As for Karlsson, he is fresh off the biggest high of his life, skating in his NHL debut just one night prior. Oh, and it happened to be his 24th birthday—not the worst gift to receive.
He skated only 11:54 in his first sniff, but it was a good showing overall and even caught some chemistry alongside Nils Höglander. He had three shots on net, and was a plus-one on the night.
There have long been questions as to whether his skating could withstand the test of NHL competition, and you know what, it did alright!
Just minutes later, the Canucks were called for too many men, leading to their first penalty kill of the night.
Penalties haven’t always been bad news for the Canucks this year, as the team currently shared the league lead for the most shorthanded goals, with four over the early part of the season.
And, well, you can probably guess what happened next…
GOAL – 1-0 Abbotsford Canucks: Sheldon Dries (unassisted)
Yes, just 13 seconds into the PK, Sheldon Dries, who already had one shorthanded goal to his name this season, hugged the boards to block the pass and kicked the puck forward. Off to the races, he made no mistake, going top shelf and delivering the pure definition of a “snipe”.
With the goal, they now share first place league-wide, alongside the Syracuse Crunch with five shorthanded goals.
GOAL – 1-1 Henderson Silver Knights: Brendan Brisson from Grigori Denisenko and Mason Morelli
The game continued with a theme of “two-minute intervals” as the Henderson Silver Knights found the back of the net. Remarkably, this was only the second goal that Šilovs had conceded in nearly 10 periods of hockey. The team will probably let it slide this time.
The remainder of the first period went back and forth, but the last few minutes were uneventful.
That was until the final six seconds.
After a chance for the Canucks, it appeared that Linus Karlsson was still buzzing from his birthday festivities, as he and a Silver Knights defender, Dysin Mayo, got involved in some pushing and shoving.
Both players were handed coincidental penalties and headed to their respective rooms before the rest of their teams.
As the teams played 4v4 for the remaining six seconds, somehow Sheldon Dries found enough time to get under the skin of Jake Bischoff, and they dropped the gloves to end a spirited period – Dries was given an additional two minutes for cross-checking.

2nd period

Starting on the 4-on-3 power play, the Silver Knights sustained obvious pressure early on. Even so, their only solid chance came on this attempt, where Šilovs turned it aside easily to keep it at one goal apiece.
Funny enough, the best chance of the power play came in favor of the Canucks, who once again went the other way for a shorthanded rush. Jack Studnicka did a good job getting his stick into a lane, although you won’t be able to see it in this clip. He chips the puck off the glass to himself and is off to the races, before delivering a cross-crease pass to Nils Åman.
Unfortunately, he is unable to jam it past goaltender Jiri Patera.

The next few minutes saw back-and-forth action.
This game felt like it had four minutes of neutral zone stalemates, with one-minute sprints of offensive zone pressure on each end. It would go from zero to one hundred in quick success.
Just under the 13-minute mark of the period, Danila Klimovich was sent down the tunnel. While it’s clear that this puck hit him in the face, it’s unclear as to how this happened. It almost appears as if he was trying to head it down the ice. Regardless, he went to the room for some touch-ups but would return for the third.
The Canucks would find themselves in some penalty troubles around the half-way point of the period.
Already down a man with Quinn Schmiemann serving two minutes for cross-checking, Matt Irwin did what any player has nightmares of doing—especially on the penalty kill.

That’s right, he cleared the puck out of the rink and served time for delay of game. Oooof.
Well, it did not take long for the Silver Knights to sniff out blood, capitalizing just seconds into the ensuing 5-on-3 power play.
GOAL – 2-1 Henderson Silver Knights: Brendan Brisson from Kaedan Korczak and Grigori Denisenko
Brisson collected his second of the game, off yet another slick one-timer just seconds into the second penalty. Double oooof.
These two—Brisson and Denisenko—have been red-hot as of late, combining for a whopping 13 points between them in three games.
While Brisson is still a young player hoping to earn a spot on the Golden Knights roster sooner rather than later, Denisenko has struggled to find an identity over the last few seasons.
After being claimed off waivers earlier in the year from the Florida Panthers, it appears like he may have found that home. He is on pace to shatter his previous career AHL highs (36 points) and is projected to hit 87, should he keep this up.
Quite the turnaround.
The Canucks would go on one final power play to close out the second. However, after an uneventful two minutes, the Knights grabbed the best chance, finding an odd-man rush immediately following the penalty.
Thankfully, the Knights couldn’t find the puck, and the Canucks were able to clear the puck but found themselves down by a goal heading into the final frame.

3rd period

I will tell you this now…this period was all Abbotsford from start to finish.
GOAL – 2-2 Abbotsford Canucks: Nils Åman from Danila Klimovich
Just two minutes in, Nils Åman entered the zone after a neutral zone turnover – thanks to Danila Klimovich – and snuck a floater off a stick past Patera.
Åman has been on a little streak of his own as of late, with points in seven of the last eight games and 10 points during that span. With injuries plaguing the team early this season, he has found himself moved around a lot, but he seems to be coping just fine.
It was at this moment that things started to get spicy for the Canucks, as the Knights got themselves into some serious penalty trouble for, what felt like, the remainder of the period.
While they did not score on this sequence, the power play was extremely effective, passing the puck with precision. We even saw countless—and I mean, countless—Vasily Podkolzin one-timer attempts. Which we love to see.
Check out the movement.
Immediately following the penalty kill, the Silver Knights got their best—and what felt like their only—chance of the night, as Gage Quinney was sprung for a breakaway. As he has for the last four games, Šilovs stood tall, making one of his 29 saves on the night.
This next sequence is all Jack Studnicka.
After getting a prime opportunity off the cross-ice feed, he managed to grab a penalty just seconds after the ensuing face-off.
The Canucks squeezed away with the kill, and here, you will see Studnicka leave the box to get sprung on a breakaway for yet another chance. Studnicka finished the game with seven shots and was a threat all through the night.
He just could not find one, despite getting multiple attempts.
Just wait…
With just over half of the period over, the Canucks get handed a gift in the form of not one, not two, but THREE additional power plays, with an overlapping 5-on-3 of nearly a minute and a half.
Here, we will just let a few of the chances play. Note the good movement and also, more Podkolzin clap-bombs.
That’s right. Despite all that pressure, they couldn’t find a goal in that span, ending the night 0-for-6 on the man advantage and letting multiple prime opportunities slip through their fingers.
We’re off to overtime!
It didn’t last long, folks.
GOAL – 3-2 Abbotsford Canucks: Jack Studnicka from Filip Johansson
Just under a minute into the extra frame, Studnicka curls and collects the pass from Johansson before going hard down the ice to beat out the defender before tucking the puck upstairs past Patera to seal the game and score in his AHL season debut.
Finally, I might add.

Final score

Abbotsford Canucks defeat the Henderson Silver Knights 3-2 in overtime

CanucksArmy’s Three Stars
Our third star will go to Artūrs Šilovs , who was terrific for the fourth consecutive game. Not only did he make 29 saves on the night, but stopped several high-danger chances, including a breakaway and several Silver Knights power plays. He has stopped 91 of 94 shots over his last four starts and now shares the lead for AHL wins, with seven.
Our second star goes to Nils Åman, who was a waterbug for the entire game. Not only did he score the game-tying goal early in the third period to give the team some life, but he was also making opportunities happen all night long and causing a headache for his opposition. He finished the game with a goal and six shots on the net.
Finally, our first star goes to the hero of the night, Jack Studnicka. He played the game as you would expect from a player who has seen most of his time at the NHL level, as of late. He was fast, he was feisty and he contributed seven shots to go along with his overtime game-clinching goal. Since training camp, he has stood out as someone who had obviously put in the work over the off-season, and while he’s not getting the reps he’d hope at the NHL level, it’s nice to see him flourish with contributions down in the farm.

Next up on the Docket

The Abbotsford Canucks don’t get much rest, as they are set to face these Henderson Silver Knights for a rematch at 3 PM PST.

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