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Abbotsford Canucks

Abbotsford Canucks

Home Sweet Home as Abbotsford Wins in Overtime

Home Sweet Home as Abbotsford Wins in Overtime

VANCOUVER, BC – There’s something to be said about playing in your home barn. The Abbotsford Canucks, after starting on the road for the first three games of their existence, finally played their home opener against the Henderson Silver Knights on Friday at Abbotsford Centre, winning 3-2 in overtime.  

With a capacity crowd on hand, the building was rocking before puck drop. Player introductions were had and some Canuck royalty also made an appearance. Raucous cheers greeted Henrik and Daniel Sedin as they took in the action live. 

Energized by the crowd, it was the Canucks that got off on the front foot. Though they took a penalty merely seconds in, the men in blue-and-green went on the offensive, peppering Logan Thompson with shots. Former Canuck and Silver Knight Sven Baertschi had himself a partial break, but was turned aside by Michael DiPietro

The Canucks got themselves a powerplay later in the frame, but couldn’t get much going on it. Just a couple of moments later though, Justin Bailey made history for the Abbotsford Canucks, scoring a goal. 

 

Merely a minute later, Pavel Dorofeyev capitalized on a turnover as he slotted the equalizer past DiPietro at the 5:29 mark of the first. All of a sudden, the game was all knotted up. The Canucks would generate late pressure but would head into the intermission all tied up, though they were outshooting the Silver Knights 12-9. 

The second period saw the Canucks open with a flurry of chances and not bury a single one of them. The momentum swung between both teams as it became a heavy, energized battle. Both teams got into each other’s faces, finishing their checks and doing plenty after whistles. Feeding off the energy from the crowd, the Abbotsford Canucks were ramping up the intensity, getting better and better each moment. In Henderson and Abbotsford’s cases, their powerplays really couldn’t generate anything at all, and the period came to a close with neither team getting anything on the board despite many chances. 

With the game to play for, the third period was fast and entertaining. About four minutes in, Carson Focht had a glorious chance off a 3-on-2 rush, the Vancouver draft pick rifling a shot that beat Thompson, but not the pipe. 

Disaster struck on an Abbotsford powerplay. Ben Jones turned on the jets to chase an errant pass, beating his man to the outside and rifling a short-handed goal past DiPietro. All of a sudden, the energy was sucked out of the Canucks. 

A couple of rough sequences followed where the team looked tepid and lifeless, turning the puck over with passes that lacked purpose. The spark that reignited them was the sensational Danila Klimovich. All throughout the night the Belarusian was buzzing, and he was the one that drove through neutral ice. Getting the zone, he got in behind the net and centered to a wide-open John Stevens, who buried the one-timer to tie the game up at 2-2. 

Abbotsford ramped up the play towards the end of regulation, wanting to send the crowd home happy. It was the best period they had ever played together so far and were hungrier and faster than the Silver Knights. As the buzzer sounded on regulation, overtime would be needed to solve this contest. 

And in overtime, the Canucks would get the fairy tale ending their home opener deserved. After controlling the possession and the pace, Justin Bailey would wrap up a two-point night by driving the play, dishing it off in front where Madison Bowey made no mistake.

With this win, the Canucks push their record on the season to 2-1-1, winning their first-ever game at home. The loud cheers echoed long into the night as Abbotsford started a new chapter in British Columbian Hockey.

Takeaways

Abbotsford returns to action tomorrow as they take on the Silver Knights again at home. Puck drop slated for 4:00 PM.

Download the Field Pass Hockey app from the iTunes or Google Play stores or follow @FieldPassHockey on Twitter for the latest news on the AHL, ECHL, and SPHL throughout the 2022 season!

    Michael Liu covers the Abbotsford Canucks for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHCanucks.

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