The Farmies: Jett Woo picks up two points in Abbotsford Canucks third straight loss
23 days ago
Now, as Farmie-heads know, I typically save my review of my weekly predictions for the preview series.
However, I was so bang on with this week’s prediction for the Coachella Valley Firebirds game that I had to bring it up first thing.
The Coachella Valley Firebirds are, pardon the pun, firing on all cylinders. I predict the Firebirds to run up the score at home. Arshdeep Bains and Christian Wolanin’s point streaks will stay alive, but it will be the first time we see a goaltender hook this season.
Running up the score at home? Check! The Coachella Valley Firebirds outshot Abbotsford 45-26, scoring three goals in the first period against Arturs Silovs and five goals in the second against Nikita Tolopilo.
Arshdeep Bains and Christian Wolanin’s point streaks stayed alive? Check! Bains picked up secondary assists on two goals from Sheldon Dries, while Christian Wolanin picked up a primary assist on Dries’ second goal of the game.
The first time we saw a goaltender hook this season? Check! After giving up three goals on the first 15 shots of the game, Silovs got his first hook of the season. Tolopilo then faced a firing squad over the final 40 minutes, giving up five goals on 21 shots just in the second period alone.
Sadly, the bad vibes from the club’s California road swing carried over into their first of two games against the Henderson Silver Knights, as their losing streak extended to three games.
Let’s see what went right and what went wrong on Friday night!
Matt Irwin returned to the starting lineup after missing the club’s California road trip due to injury. During said road trip, the club added Chase Wouters and Aidan McDonough to the injured reserve, joining Danila Klimovich, Tristen Nielsen, and Vasily Podkolzin.
Healthy scratches for Abbotsford on Friday night included Dmitry Zlodeyev, Quinn Schmiemann, Jermaine Loewen, and Chad Nychuk.
Game # 10
Max Sasson opened the game with a shot on Henderson’s Jiri Patera within the first ten seconds of the period. The Canucks got pinned into the d-zone for a cool minute as Akito Hirose and Cole McWard struggled to connect on a clean breakout pass to their forwards. The first few minutes were defined by both team’s inability to string together a set play.
Henderson’s Jake Bischoff weaved his way around the outstretched stick of Aatu Räty and Linus Karlsson, creating the best-looking chance of the game to that point.
4:40 into the period, Arshdeep Bains drew a tripping penalty against Daniil Chayka to give Abbotsford the night’s first power play opportunity.
Jeremy Colliton rolled out a first power play unit featuring Christian Wolanin, Cole McWard, Nils Åman, Sheldon Dries, and Arshdeep Bains. Unfortunately, 21 seconds onto the power play, ex-Canuck Adam Cracknell pulled a veteran move when he drew a tripping minor against Åman to negate the man advantage.
During the 4-on-4, ex-Canuck Sheldon Rempal nearly opened the scoring for Henderson with a squeaker underneath Nikita Tolopilo’s right arm.
Off of the reset, Jett Woo sprang Arshdeep Bains into the Silver Knights’ zone with a stretch pass. After entering the zone, Bains angled out to spot his fellow leader in AHL scoring, Wolanin, with a perfect cross-ice pass for the snipe under Patera’s blocker side.
GOAL – 1-0 Abbotsford Canucks: Christian Wolanin from Arshdeep Bains and Jett Woo
Nearing the expiry of Åman’s penalty, the Silver Knights worked to even the score on their brief power play opportunity. Fortunately, Tolopilo was on his A-game early to steer the puck out of harm’s way.
Though a fairly quiet player, Filip Johansson featured in two loud defensive efforts at the conclusion of Åman’s penalty. The first saw Johansson get down into a lunge to block a cross-ice feed. The second was a zone-clearing high-flip into the neutral zone that killed the Silver Knights’ run of sustained pressure in the Canucks’ zone.
Past the midway point of the period, Henderson’s Mason Primeau capitalized on one of the weirder misplays I’ve seen to tie the game at one apiece.
GOAL – 1-1 Tie: Mason Primeau from Adam Cracknell and Grigori Denisenko
The GIF may not highlight just how bizarre this goal was. A 50/50 battle inside the neutral zone saw Henderson win out, pushing a bunched-up Wolanin and Woo into the d-zone as Woo flailed wildly at the loose puck. Adam Cracknell managed to somehow kick the puck ahead through Woo and Wolanin and out to Mason Primeau, who settled the puck quickly for a backhander over Tolopilo’s left pad.
Not long after the equalizer, Henderson’s Mason Morelli blitzed past a reaching Linus Karlsson to spring a two-on-one defended by Matt Irwin. Tolopilo left his crease to challenge Morelli at the top of his crease. The recent Calder Cup-winning forward read Tolopilo’s challenge perfectly, reaching around the sprawling Belarussian for a tap-in attempt that floated dangerously into the crease.
The Silver Knights’ began to test the Canucks with highly-specific rush plays that featured a winger cutting toward the slot after racing through the neutral zone down the left wing to get behind the Canucks’ defence for scoring chances.
When the Silver Knights did set up a cycle in the offensive zone, they were hammering Toloplio with shots from the perimeter. Lukas Cormier nearly broke the tie with a slapshot from the blue line that ricocheted off the crossbar.
In the dying minutes of the period, Cormier tested Tolopilo once more with a heater from the point.
It wasn’t all Henderson, though!
Marc Gatcomb capitalized on a brutal d-zone turnover from Sheldon Rempal for a quick shot on Patera.
It was a fairly even opening 20 minutes, but Henderson controlled the run of scoring chances by a considerable margin, outshooting Abbotsford 13-11, including a shot off the post.
Max Sasson pulled the ol’ rinse-and-repeat, kickstarting the second period with a scoring chance in the opening 30 seconds, jamming the puck toward Jiri’s Pateras.
We’re guessing Jeremy Colliton begged his team to come out firing to start the middle frame. Aatu Räty capitalized on a fortunate bounce inside the offensive zone, stretching the ice with a pass to Jett Woo down the right wing, who went cross-ice to Linus Karlsson for a dangerous chance on Patera.
After rattling off five shots on goal through the opening three minutes, the Silver Knights retaliated, drawing a terrific sprawling save from Toloplio on Mason Primeau.
After seven minutes of (mostly) Canucks-dominated action, the recently acquired Ty Glover drew an interference minor against Lukas Cormier while attempting a chip-and-chase, giving Abbotsford their second power play of the game.
The first power play unit attempted to score early with a jam-play down low off a pass from Bains to Sheldon Dries.
After 1:30 of peppering Patera with shots, Colliton rolled out a 2nd power play unit featuring Linus Karlsson, Max Sasson, Filip Johansson, Akito Hirose, and Aatu Räty.
Not long after the conclusion of Cormier’s penalty, Glover drew his second penalty of the period to give the Canucks a third power play opportunity.
The second man advantage of the middle frame was significantly less dominant than the first. The most notable GIF-worthy moment came from a misplay at the blueline from Cole McWard, in which he gifted the Silver Knights a clearance.
Past the midway point of the period, Bains nearly picked up his second primary assist of the game with a filthy no-look pass to the slot for a Sheldon Dries one-timer on Patera.
Sure, the setup only worked because of a fortunate redirect from a Henderson defenceman’s skate that Bains surely didn’t account for when he made the pass. But it would’ve been sick if Dries scored.
The Canucks were all over Henderson in the second period.
Seemingly, every line of Abbotsford’s was pinning Henderson in their end, hammering Patera with shots.
After 18 minutes, the Canucks had outshot Henderson 13-2. Only when Ty Glover took his first penalty of the game did the Silver Knights put a stop to the Canucks prolonged string of domination and turn the momentum in their favour.
First, on Henderson’s man advantage, Sheldon Rempal doubled the Silver Knights’ total shots from two to four!
Then, with 19 seconds left in the period, John Stevens clipped the hands of Mason Morelli with his stick while defending a zone entry, gifting Henderson a 5-on-3 opportunity to close the period.
With time winding down, the Silver Knights broke the stalemate with a slapshot from Daniel D’Amato from the point through Tolopilo’s five-hole.
GOAL – 2-1 Henderson Silver Knights: Daniel D’Amato from Mason Morelli and Jake Bischoff
It was a brutal close to a period in which Abbotsford had dominated puck possession, controlled shot attempts, and outshot their opponent by a wide margin. Two undisciplined penalties were all it took, and the club found itself in a hole heading into the final frame.
You know that part in The Waterboy when Bobby Boucher meets Coach Klein for the first time? The bit where Henry Wrinkler is watching game tape alone in a dilapidated classroom, providing a cynical narration of his football team’s absolutely atrocious play? That scene?
Yeah, that’s how I felt watching the 3rd period unfold, at least until my internet went out. Then I felt like Bobby Boucher when his own teammates told him that water sucks.
They did their best to rally from that crushing blow in the second period. Unfortunately, they’re just missing too much talent from the roster; the kind of talent that makes mounting a 3rd-period comeback much easier to accomplish!
Two goals from Byron Froese and Sheldon Rempal, 36 seconds apart, four minutes into the final period, put a nail in the Canucks’ comeback hopes. Jett Woo scored a goal off an offensive-zone faceoff win to put the Canucks within arms reach, but finding another goal over the final ten minutes proved tall a hurdle to overcome.
The Canucks finished the game having outshot Henderson 22-10 over the final 40 minutes. But the team’s overall lack of experience, ability to win crucial 50/50 puck battles, and finer defensive coverage details got them for the third straight game. It was a better effort than it was against Coachella, but it’s a worrying trend heading into Saturday night’s rematch.
Henderson Silver Knights defeat the Abbotsford Canucks 5-2
CanucksArmy’s Three Stars
Our first star belongs to Jett Woo, who finished the night with a goal and an assist, and the team lead in shots on net with four total. Yes, the misplay on the equalizer goal in the first period wasn’t great, but the team wouldn’t have gotten out to an early lead without his play to reset inside the d-zone before stretching the ice with a rink-wide pass to Bains for the zone entry.
Though he dropped a sub-0.900 save percentage, giving up 4 goals on 22 shots faced, I do think Nikita Tolopilo is worthy of our second star. The Silver Knights were all over him in the first period, and he stood on his head facing rush chance after rush chance. Even the lone goal against in the opening frame was a tough one resulting from poor physicality from Wolanin and Woo to force Cracknell and Primeau off the puck. The second goal resulted from an undisciplined (albeit soft) slashing minor against John Stevens that gave Henderson’s 12th-ranked power play in the league all the momentum in the dying seconds of the middle frame.
The third star belongs to Arshdeep Bains, who showed well and kept his position at the top of the AHL scoring chart with his primary assist on the opening goal.
Next Up on the Docket
The Abbotsford Canucks are back at it tonight against the Henderson Silver Knights at 7 PM.
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