The Farmies: Vasily Podkolzin suffers terrifying injury in Abbotsford’s 5-2 defeat of the Colorado Eagles
1 month ago
The Abbotsford Canucks won their second straight game against the Colorado Eagles.
The only thing anyone could think about when leaving the Abbotsford Centre was the health and well-being of young Vasily Podkolzin, who needed to be stretchered off the ice and taken to hospital after a terrifying and violent collision late in the third period.
Until the incident, the Abbotsford Canucks played badly until they didn’t, were getting dominated until they weren’t, and lost until they didn’t.
It was definitely a game of hockey that is difficult to describe with the advent of hindsight.
I typically clip and recap the games as they play out in real time, so apologies for the tonal whiplash of this recap.
With that, let’s get into the good parts of the game before it stopped being about hockey at all.
As reported by CHEK TV’s Rick Dhaliwal, Danila Klimovich remained out of the lineup due to a nagging shoulder injury.
Quinn Schmiemann drew in for the first time this season, replacing veteran d-man Matt Irwin on a pairing with Filip Johansson.
Despite posting his second win while facing 35+ shots, Nikita Tolopilo took Wednesday night off in favour of Arturs Silovs between the pipes.
Game # 6
The game began exactly as Tuesday night’s game had, with Colorado recording a shot on goal in the opening 20 seconds. A poor rim around the boards by Cole McWard dropped right at the feet of Joel Kiviranta, who ripped a high shot into Silovs’ glove.
Akito Hirose, who had a quiet showing against Colorado last night, stood out early with a simple little challenge while defending the blue line, forcing the Eagles offside with a poke-check.
Colorado’s Matthew Stienburg skated full-steam into Jett Woo before turning his back to the 2018 2nd rounder to draw the cross-check and delayed penalty.
With Arvid Holm pulled for the extra attacker, the Eagles capitalized on a slapshot from the point from none other than ex-Canuck Brad Hunt, assisted by other former Canuck Tanner Kero.
GOAL – 1-0 Colorado Eagles: Brad Hunt from Tanner Kero and Jack Ahcan
Fortunately, the Canucks kept their heads on straight, equalizing minutes later off of an excellent hold at the blue line by Christian Wolanin.
GOAL – 1-1 Tie: Aidan McDonough from Chase Wouters and Christian Wolanin
The Eagles had attempted to execute a high-flip out of the d-zone to a forward sitting at the Canucks’ blue line. Wolanin picked off the flip inside the neutral zone and sent Chase Wouters weaving through centre-ice around Brock Boeser’s old Burnsville High teammate, Jack Ahcan, for the cross-ice pass to McDonough for the equalizer.
Shortly after McDonough’s equalizer, Colorado’s Ondrej Pavel flipped the puck over the glass while defending in the d-zone to hand Abbotsford the first actual power play of the game.
Colliton rolled out a first unit featuring Arshdeep Bains, Sheldon Dries, Nils Åman, Vasily Podkolzin, and Christian Wolanin, where they spent most of the 2 minutes controlling inside the offensive zone. Unfortunately, the 1st unit struggled to find shooting lanes. The best look came off a setup from Bains to Åman in the Horvat spot.
Not 25 seconds following the conclusion of Pavel’s penalty, Riley Tufte took a hooking penalty against Linus Karlsson to send Abbotsford right back to the power play.
Having worked out the kinks of running an all left-shot power play unit, the Abbotsford Canucks soon broke the tie with a power play tally from Bains.
GOAL – 2-1 Abbotsford Canucks: Arshdeep Bains from Sheldon Dries and Vasily Podkolzin
Though Abbotsford put a wet blanket on Colorado’s early offensive burst, a misplay of the puck by Cole McWard following a d-zone faceoff win prompted two extremely high-danger scoring chances from Riley Tufte, which appeared to put the Eagles back in the driver’s seat through the final 10 minutes of play.
Abbotsford finished the period having been outshot 16 to 11 across all situations and 13 to 5 at 5v5.
It was a sleepy opening for the second frame.
Until it wasn’t! Three minutes into the period, a point shot from Filip Johansson rebounded off an Eagles’ defenceman to Chase Wouters, who scored his second of the season with a backhand over a diving Arvid Holm.
GOAL – 3-1 Abbotsford Canucks: Chase Wouters from Filip Johansson and Aatu Räty
Nils Åman drew a holding minor against Colorado’s Callahan Burke to give Abbotsford their third-straight power play. Then, Nils Åman accidentally collided with Joel Kiviranta inside the neutral zone, ending Abbotsford’s power play opportunity after just 13 seconds.
While on the 4-on-4, Maple Ridge icon Brad Hunt scored his second of the night off a wraparound that put Colorado back within a goal.
GOAL – 3-2 Abbotsford Canucks: Brad Hunt (2) from Caleb Jones and Riley Tufte
If the above GIF doesn’t work, it’s because David Quadrelli deleted it from existence. Hunt’s goal was, to put it gently, a softy, not one a club like Abbotsford could afford to concede.
Fortunately, the Canucks rallied to stifle any momentum the Eagles may have generated by dominating them inside the offensive zone. Though shots on goal remained fairly even through the middle frame, the Canucks’ looks were far more dangerous.
Aidan McDonough settled into a groove, utilizing his frame to protect the puck before rifling a shot off the crossbar.
Wolaning sprang Josh Bloom and himself on a 2-on-1 breakaway. Though Bloom had the inside track on a scoring chance, he took the unselfish approach by handing off to the experienced veteran for the shot.
You rarely see plays where a skater should have taken the selfish approach. Bloom is still young in his pro-tenure and will learn that sometimes it’s okay to try and be the hero.
Late in the period, McDonough, Aatu Räty, and Marc Gatcomb combined for a heavy shift inside the offensive zone. While engaging on the forecheck, McDonough plagued the Eagles’ defence into attempting a quick breakout. Aatu Räty was in the high slot to pick off the Eagles’ attempted breakout pass, quickly turning toward the goalmouth to set up Marc Gatcomb for his first goal of the season.
GOAL – 4-2 Abbotsford Canucks: Marc Gatcomb from Aatu Räty
Nils Åman then drew his second penalty of the game, a slashing minor against Jack Ahcan, to give Abbotsford their fourth power play of the game.
The Canucks power play failed to capitalize but pushed their lead to three goals shortly afterward.
Two seconds after Ahcan’s penalty expired, Arturs Silovs caught the Eagles on a line change, springing Linus Karlsson into the offensive zone for his second goal of the season.
GOAL – 5-2 Abbotsford Canucks: Linus Karlsson from Arturs Silovs
Yes, you read that correctly: Arturs Silovs picked up his first assist of the season with the rinkwide feed to Karlsson.
The period concluded not long after, with Abbotsford closing the gap on shots, outshooting Colorado 11 to 8 through the middle frame, narrowly outshot 24 to 22 through 40 minutes.
Like the 2nd period before it, the 3rd period was quite dull to start. Then Max Sasson took a holding penalty while forechecking behind the Colorado goal line to give the visitors their second power play of the game.
Head coach Jeremy Colliton rolled out the following groups for his penalty kill:
- Chase Wouters and John Stevens with Jett Woo and Christian Wolanin
- Nils Åman and Arshdeep Bains with Filip Johansson and Quinn Schmiemann
- Aatu Räty and Chase Wouters with Cole McWard and Akito Hirose
- Sheldon Dries and Vasily Podkolzin to close the PK with less than 15 seconds remaining
Woo and Wolanin continued their strong 5v5 play into the penalty kill, with Woo eating a Brad Hunt slapshot off his right hand, shaking it off, and then racing to the endboards to shovel the puck around the end boards for a successful zone clearance.
With Sasson’s penalty over, the Eagles had a glorious chance to get back within arms reach of Abbotsford’s lead. With Silovs well out of position, Colorado’s Ben Meyers had a superb open-net scoring opportunity, were it not for the defensive effort of Aidan McDonough to crash down on Meyes and interrupt his shot attempt.
Podkolzin nearly picked up his 6th goal in six games, ripping a one-timer wide of Arvid Holm’s net off a nasty through-the-legs drop pass from Nils Åman.
Just past the midway point of the period, Jett Woo got into it with Matthew Stienburg, drawing offsetting roughing minors to send the game to two minutes of 4-on-4, where nothing remarkable happened.
We won’t post the video out of respect, but Vasily Podkolzin was hit hard along the endboards after racing for a puck retrieval. Picture Mike Matheson on Elias Pettersson, but slightly, with no intentional attempt at driving Podkolzin head-first to the ice. Keaton Middleton is 6’6″ and has a good 40 pounds on Podkolzin. Podkolzin landed on the ice incredibly hard and, after laying prone for several seconds, began convulsing violently, prompting both team’s skaters to scream for the medical staff.
After a few minutes, Podkolzin’s convulsions stopped and medical staff were able to get him seated in a stretcher and off into the ambulance.
Both clubs cleared the benches as Podkolzin was stretchered off the ice to pay their respects. Middleton was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct, giving Abbotsford a power play to close the game.
The energy was completely out of the building and the players themselves.
The power play rattled off a couple of shots on Holm through the final five minutes, and Abbotsford won their second straight against Colorado, but the result didn’t matter anymore. All anyone could think about was the well-being of Podkolzin.
CanucksArmy’s Three Stars
Usually, we’d dish out three stars to the Canucks best players, but it seems inappropriate, given the terrifying end to this one. All stars go to Vasily Podkolzin. We’re hoping for the best and wish him a speedy recovery.
Next Up on the Docket
The Abbotsford Canucks head south for a three-game road trip to California, where they’ll take on the San Diego Gulls and Ontario Reign on Friday/Sunday before heading to Palm Springs for a spooktacular Halloween matchup against the Coachella Valley Firebirds.
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