Abby Canucks in shortage in Vegas
Las Vegas, NV – Despite playing with just five defenders for the second night in a row, Abbotsford Canucks (10-9-2-1) put in a full effort for 60 minutes before falling 3-1 to Henderson Silver Knights (12-7-2-1) Sunday at the Orleans Arena.
John Stevens scored the first goal in franchise history in the loss, with the Canucks penalty kick 6-7 in the game.
Canucks goalkeeper Michael DiPietro made 30 saves in the game. It was the DiPietro team’s 11th start of the season, as his personal record moved to 3-5-2.
Abbotsford forward Nic Petan received his 100th career AHL assist in the loss, as the Delta, BC native is now fourth on the scoring team with 15 points (5-10-15) over 14 battle.
The Canucks appeared to have started from victory in extra time Saturday night, managing five shots in the first five minutes to keep the Silver Knights in the lead. Midway through the first half, Abbotsford ran into trouble with a penalty as John Stevens and Sheldon Dries took small penalties 16 seconds apart.
The Canucks pulled off a strong first kill, before Stevens came out of the box and was hit by a breakthrough with a lead pass from Petan. The 27-year-old Stevens wasted no time with the opportunity, scoring a backhand for his third goal of the season and Abbotsford’s first short goal in franchise history to make it 1-0. .
Seven minutes later, Henderson’s Jonas Rondbjerg equalized 1-1 after knocking out Will Lockwood and unleashing a wrist shot in the gap past DiPietro, 3:53 on goal.
The Silver Knights opened the second half with a 12-1 lead in the first 10 minutes, but DiPietro stood firm to keep the game going for 40 minutes.
Henderson took the lead from 1:56 into the third half, when Paul Cotter converted Henderson’s sixth power play opportunity to take a 2-1 lead.
Despite some late chances, the Canucks were unable to score the equalizer. Henderson’s Ben Jones will score into an empty net with 28 seconds left to close the game 3-1, as the Silver Knights improve to 5-1-1 in their last seven games.
With the loss, Abbotsford Canucks’ all-time record against Henderson changed to 3-1-0-0. It is the last game of the season where the two teams will face each other. Petan joins Abbotsford defender Cameron Schilling (48-166-214) as the only two active skaters on the American Hockey League’s 100+ assists team. It was the second straight game Abbotsford played with just five defenders, after the Vancouver Canucks recalled D Madison Bowey (December 17), D Guillaume Brisebois (December 16) and D Noah Juulsen (December 9).
- Jonas Rondbjerg (1-0-1)
- Logan Thompson (1 GA, 29 SV)
- Brayden Pachal (0-0-0)
Canucks forward Will Lockwood was hit by a Henderson Silver Knights defender in the Canucks attack area.
The Canucks (10-9-2-1) return to Abbotsford for their final home series of the calendar year when they host the Tucson Roadrunners (10-9-2-0) Wednesday (7pm) and Thursday (3pm) at Abbotsford Centre. Wednesday’s match will be played with the backing of the Abbotsford Boot Foundation, while Thursday, the Canucks partnered with the BC Dairy Association to support the Dairy industry.
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