Abbotsford Canucks

Abbotsford Falls 4-2 as Firebirds Snap Canucks' Home Win Streak

December 9, 2023 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Abbotsford Canucks News Release

The Abbotsford Canucks took to the ice on Friday night at Abbotsford Centre, squaring off with the Coachella Valley Firebirds for the second time this season.

Jeremy Colliton kept two forward lines the same from Saturday's 4-3 victory, with Sheldon Dries, Jack Studnicka and Tristen Nielsen staying together. Arshdeep Bains, John Stevens and Vasily Podkolzin also stayed together, while Chase Wouters centered Aatu Räty and Marc Gatcomb. Jermaine Loewen, Aidan McDonough, and Dmitri Zlodeev rounded out the forward group, with Zlodeev making his AHL debut.

Christian Wolanin paired with Jett Woo on the blue line, while Matt Irwin and Alex Kannok Leipert, along with Chad Nychuk and Michael Joyaux, lined up on the blue line. Friday was also Joyaux's AHL debut. Artūrs Šilovs returned to the Abbotsford net, with Chris Dreidger starting in goal for the visiting Firebirds.

It took just over seven minutes into the first period for Abbotsford to open the scoring, coming from a familiar name to the score sheet, Sheldon Dries. Tristen Nielsen connected with Jack Studnicka, who threaded a pass through a pair of Firebird defenders to find Dries streaking towards goal. Dries quickly shifted the puck to his back hand and buried the puck past a sprawling Dreidger for the game's first goal.

The goal was Dries' team leading 10th goal of the season, and his sixth goal in his last nine games. His tally would be the lone goal of the first period, as Abbotsford held that 1-0 lead into the locker room through 20 minutes.

Coachella Valley would rally back with a pair of goals less than two minutes apart at the halfway mark of the period, as Cameron Hughes and Marian Studenic grabbed their fourth and seventh goals of the season respectively.

Abbotsford would claw back before the intermission, as Räty and Wolanin passed the puck back and forth at the point. Tristen Nielsen looped around, fired a one timer off a pass from Wolanin, and beat Dreidger's blocker to tie the game at two. The goal was Nielsen's sixth in just nine games, and came with three and a half minutes remaining in the second.

That 2-2 score line would hold until the intermission, with Coachella Valley narrowly outshooting Abbotsford 19-16 through 40 minutes.

The visitors grabbed the lead halfway through the third as Shane Wright converted on a five-on-three, before Tucker Roberstson grabbed an empty net goal in the final minutes. Coachella Valley walked out as 4-2 winners on the evening, snapping the Canucks' five game home win streak.

Tristen Nielsen had a multi-point night (1G,1A), and is averaging a point per game through his last three games (3G, 1A). Šilovs made 32 saves on the 35 shots he faced, while Driedger stopped 23 of Abbotsford's 25 efforts on goal.

Up next will be a rematch between the two sides, as they square off on Saturday night at Abbotsford Centre on Star Wars Night. After this weekend, the team will fly south for a three-game road trip, stopping in Coachella Valley and then Tucson for a pair of games, before their final home games of 2023 against Ontario on December 20th and 21st.

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