The Farmies: Arturs Silovs a healthy scratch ahead of Abbotsford’s 5-3 loss to Ontario

Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Cody Severtson
1 month ago
The trade deadline is less than 48 hours away.
Colorado traded away a first-round pick, Bowen Byram and Ryan Johansen for Sean Walker, Casey Mittelstadt, and a fifth-round pick.
Vegas grabbed Anthony Mantha before creating an LTIR situation, which allowed them to land Noah Hanifin with double retention at the cost of a prospect and two picks.
Of course, in Gary’s NHL, a team $16-million dollars into LTIR recapture played retention broker for the Edmonton Oilers to acquire Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick from the Anaheim Ducks—don’t get me started on the Luongo recapture penalty.
The Canucks were rumoured to be a part of a three-way trade with the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins involving Elias Lindholm, Jake DeBrusk, and Jake Guentzel.
Then, when things had finally begun to quiet down, the Abbotsford Canucks’ healthy scratched top goalie prospect Arturs Silovs ahead of a key divisional matchup against the Ontario Reign.
Wednesdays, am I right?!
Silovs’ scratch came just days after he allowed a game-winning slapshot goal from center ice to the same Reign on Sunday.
Convenient timing? A reset? Rest? Or trade considerations?
The beauty of deadline season is that every roster decision gets magnified to oblivion under the microscope.
This will be a short one, so let’s see what Abbotsford accomplished on Day 1 of an extremely spicy NHL Trade Deadline week.
Starting Lineup
Game #54
1st period
Three minutes into the game, Sheldon Dries extended his goal streak to four games with a sneaky wrister through Aaron Dell’s five-hole.
1-0 Canucks: Abbotsford Goal, Sheldon Dries from Linus Karlsson and Nick Cicek
The first ten minutes of the game were fairly uneventful, with both teams stretching the ice with long passes through the neutral zone for quick entries and snapshots from the perimeter.
Historically, the Abbotsford Canucks have struggled to deal with the rush game of the Reign, but they’ve done an admirable job this season of neutralizing their attack through strong man-to-man defensive play, a willingness to block shots, and body positioning that keeps attackers away from the middle of the ice. The Reign finished the opening frame having outshot Abbotsford 12 to 5, but the bulk of their shots were from above the dots.
Past the midway point, the Canucks established their first real cycle of the period, resulting in Filip Johansson’s fifth goal of the season and Dries’ second point of the evening.
2-0 CanucksAbbotsford Goal, Filip Johansson from Sheldon Dries
The goal saw the Canucks’ first line pressing deep, with Tristen Nielsen and Karlsson drawing two defencemen below the goal line on a puck retrieval. Collapsing down low, Dries picked up the puck in the middle of the ice and dished over to Johansson, who’d also collapsed low to support the play. The Reign’s gaffe in coverage gave Abbotsford two goals on two shots.
To steal my bit from the Stanchies: the PDO Gods hung around in California to help the Farm team while their big bro, Vancouver, travelled Eastward to Vegas following their 2-1 overtime win against Los Angeles.
Dmitri Zlodeev tripped up Jacob Doty with eight minutes remaining in the first, but the Canucks 2nd-in-the-AHL PK stood strong, conceding just a single shot to Ontario’s man advantage. It was a solid save for Tolopilo, too, who tracked the Reign’s puck movement well to eat the one-timer in the chest.
Colliton’s PK units were rolled out as follows:
  • Wouters/Stevens with Woo/Cicek
  • Dries/Bains with a double-shifted Woo/Cicek
  • Wouters/Stevens with McWard/Irwin
The remainder of the period saw Linus Karlsson triple the club’s shot total off a scramble at the front of Dell’s net. Though the shot totals weren’t kind, it was a solid, workmanlike performance from the road team. Unfortunately, the second period couldn’t have been more opposite.
2nd period
Danila Klimovich, who had been a healthy scratch for Abbotsford’s last three games, didn’t do much in his return to convince Colliton that he was wrong for doing so. Three minutes into the period, Klimovich was caught sleepwalking through the neutral zone as the Ontario Reign executed a speedy passing play to enter the zone.
2-1 Canucks: Ontario Goal, Jacob Hodgson from Jacob Doty and Francesco Pinelli
Last season, Klimovich had a remarkable turnaround in his two-way play 15 games into the season. He went from a disengaged offence-only forward to one of the club’s best two-way forecheckers. The Canucks’ goal differential at 5-on-5 with Klim on the ice was one of the best on the team, and he was one of the leaders in 5v5 points for a decent stretch relative to his linemates.
Injuries have obviously been an issue this season. Between injury, inconsistent play, and healthy scratches, it’s been impossible for Klimovich to find the form he had seemingly found last season. Playing with ECHLer Ty Glover and rookie to North American pro hockey, Dmitri Zlodeev, aren’t exactly elite linemates to help Klim find his game. Still, as the senior statesman on his line, he should know that moving his feet isn’t going above and beyond but a basic necessity and requirement of the job. The anti-effort in the neutral zone to take the puck away from Hodgson was surely noticed by the coaching staff. We won’t be shocked if more healthy scratches are in order for the young Belarussian.
Following the goal, Pinelli threw a check into Karlsson before the centre-ice face off, earning himself a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and giving the Canucks a power play right after Hodgson’s goal.
Abbotsford’s power play woes continued, but they managed to double Ontario’s number of power play shots (two to one). The Canucks’ best chance came from Karlsson, who caught Aatu Räty’s rebound at the side of Dell’s left pad, then sent his attempt off Dell’s stick and over the net.
Midway through the period, Kevin Connauton took a tripping penalty to send Abbotsford back to the power play, where they again struggled to convert.
Unlike their first power play opportunity, both PP units got a chance to work on the man advantage.
  • PP1: Dries, Nielsen, Karlsson, Räty, Johansson
  • PP2: Stevens, Bains, Wouters, Hirose, Woo
Hirose on the second power play unit was fascinating, considering his lack of points and overall offence this season. His one touch on the power play saw him miss a dump-in shot from the point, giving Charles Hudon a shorthanded rush chance.
The Reign came alive following the Canucks failed power play and equalized off a gorgeous through-the-legs goal from T.J. Tynan.
2-2 Tie: Ontario Goal, T.J. Tynan from Samuel Fagemo and Hayden Hodgson
It was an unfortunate sequence for Matt Irwin, who’d fallen at the foot of Tolopilo’s crease. Tolopilo couldn’t spot the loose puck, and with no other Canucks skater near the net to challenge Tynan, he scored.
Hirose’s night seemed to get worse with each passing minute of the second period. While fetching a loose puck behind Tolopilo’s net, Hirose tried to play the puck along the boards but again missed it with his stick, giving way to a glorious one-timer chance for Taylor Ward.
With three minutes left, Cole McWard took a penalty for holding the stick, giving Ontario a late power play opportunity.
With Dell pulled for the extra attacker on the delayed penalty, the Canucks stopped skating entirely, giving way to a two-on-one chance for Connauton and Tyler Madden.
Then, while on the PK, John Stevens broke his stick and lost a glove off the d-zone faceoff. Chase Wouters did his best to compensate for what was effectively a two-man advantage for Ontario but accidentally deflected Pinelli’s centring pass through Tolopilo’s five-hole.
3-2 Reign: Ontario Goal, Francesco Pinelli from Tyler Madden
Having given up three straight, the Canucks woke up long enough for Arshdeep Bains to lead a rush chance alongside Stevens that ended with a fantastic pad save from Dell.
The Reign finished having outshot Abbotsford 13 to 9 through the middle frame and 25 to 14 through 40 minutes. It was a sloppy run of hockey for Abbotsford, but they came out swinging to start the third.
3rd period
Just over a minute into the final period, the Canucks equalized, thanks to some of the worst defensive coverage I’ve ever seen.
At the end of a shift, Aidan McDonough turned to fire the puck toward the net, where Bains was parked at the front of Dell’s crease with about fifty feet of space between him and the nearest Ontario defenceman.
3-3 Tie: Abbotsford Goal, Arshdeep Bains from Aidan McDonough and John Stevens
You won’t see opportunities as gift-wrapped as that one. It was sorely needed, though.
McDonough, who had been battling with Ty Glover for the second-line spot next to Bains and Stevens during the first and second periods, followed up his assist on the Bains equalizer with a fantastic shooting chance from a sharp angle.
The Canucks played noticeably better through the final 20 minutes. They played as they had in the first period, stretching the ice, forechecking low, and moving their feet on the retreat.
Cole McWard had a noticeable moment in the third when he skated through the d-zone to strip Wyatt Wyllie of the puck before leading an entry alongside Aatu Räty and Marc Gatcomb. McWard finished the strong sequence with a cross-ice pass to Räty, who then set up Gatcomb with a tap-in chance at the front of Dell’s crease.
After holding Ontario to zero shots through the first ten minutes of the final period, Aidan McDonough spiced things up with a breakout pass out of McWard’s reach, allowing Taylor Ward to crash down on the loose puck for a shot attempt from the left circle.
Aaron Dell nearly gave the Canucks the lead with a brutal giveaway behind the net to Linus Karlsson. Karlsson quickly turned the puck to the slot for Dries’ one-timer, but Dell recovered to make the save.
Then, the PDO Gods abandoned Abbotsford when Ontario broke the 3-3 stalemate with their first and second shot of the third period.
Dries, who nearly played hero for Abbotsford off Dell’s giveaway, accidentally gloved the puck down to Tynan while attempting to clear the d-zone. Tynan settled the puck and set Samuel Fagemo up for a monstrous one-timer under Tolopilo’s blocker side.
4-3 Reign: Ontario goal, Samuel Fagemo from T.J. Tynan and Martin Chromiak
Such is AHL hockey; brutal defensive efforts and misplays can result in glorious highlight-reel saves, and tremendous attempts at defensive hockey and wise plays can result in glorious highlight-reel goals.
The late nature of the goal meant Colliton shortening his bench to search for another equalizer.
While defending a shorthanded entry, the Canucks got caught with too many men on the ice, gifting Ontario a power play opportunity with less than two minutes remaining in the period. The Reign were content to play the puck around the perimeter to kill as much time off the clock as possible.
With Tolopilo pulled for the extra attacker, Bains raced into the zone, searching for an equalizer. Unfortunately, Bains didn’t have many options on his route, leading him to skate into three Ontario skaters stacked up along the blue line. Lost possession later, and Samuel Fagemo scored his 31st goal of the season to secure the Reign’s victory.
5-3 Reign: Ontario Goal Samuel Fagemo from Bains [kidding]
Overall, it was a frustrating loss for Abbotsford, who sandwiched one unforgivably bad period with two strong two-way efforts on the road. The tiebreaker from Fagemo off Dries’ hand pass was a tough break, but it resulted from a player committing to engaged d-zone play. Two of the three goals in the second period resulted from nonexistent skating efforts and sloppy d-zone engagement. Frustrating, to say the least.
Between Silovs’ scratch, McDonough competing with an ECHLer for second-line reps, and Klimovich’s single shift through the final 37 minutes of play, Wednesday night’s result raised more questions about the Canucks’ prospect pipeline than answers.
Final score
Ontario Reign defeat Abbotsford 5-3
CanucksArmy’s Three Stars
The first star belongs to Sheldon Dries, who played a boatload of minutes for Abbotsford while racking up eight shots on net. In his ten games since returning from a lengthy stint on IR, Dries picked up his 20th goal of the season and his 12th point (5G + 7A).
The second star belongs to Filip Johansson, who played one of the more consistent games for Abbotsford’s blue line. He led the defence in shots on goal (3) and picked up his fifth of the season.
The third star belongs to Zach Sawchenko, who dressed for a game for the first time all season as Nikita Tolopilo’s backup. Regardless of the reasoning, I can’t imagine it was easy sitting in the press box for almost 75% of the regular season without even getting a sniff of game time. Good for him!
Next up on the Docket
The Abbotsford Canucks join Vancouver in Nevada, playing the Henderson Silver Knights in a Friday/Saturday back-to-back.

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