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 Abbotsford Canucks

The Canucks Fall 2-1 In Overtime Against The Coachella Valley Firebirds

April 7, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Abbotsford Canucks News Release


The Abbotsford Canucks continue their homestand tonight as they take on the top-seed Coachella Valley Firebirds. The stakes were high tonight as the canucks look to use their momentum to get their 6th straight win.

Birthday boy Nikita Tolopilo gets the start in net for the Canucks tonight, and he will go head-to-head against Chris Diedger of Coachella Valley. Continuing what has been working, the Canucks have once again chosen to go with an 11 and 7 formation on the ice. Regular d pairing Christian Wolanin and Jett Woo kick off the blue line, followed by Matt Irwin and Filip Johansson. Nick Cicek suits up next to Akito Hirose, and once again Elias Pettersson solidifies the back end.

Up front, Aatu Räty, Max Sasson, and Linus Karlsson continue to produce together and kick off the offense, followed by Tristen Nielsen, Sheldon Dries, and Marc Gatcomb. Arshdeep Bains returns from his stint with the Vancouver Canucks, so he and Jonathan Lekkerimäki bookended John Stevens, whereas Chase Wouters and Aidan McDonough solidify the front end.

The first period got off to a hot start when Sheldon Dries and John Hayden dropped the gloves just over a minute into the game. Both teams came into this game on winning streaks, the pressure was high. The Canucks had a couple of great chances and outshot the Firebirds 11 to 6 at the end of the period, but none were enough to get on the board.

Emotions arose and a fire was lit as the second period ensued. A bunch of penalties were called, and brawls were had, but ultimately the goaltenders stole the show stopping every shot that came their way during the second. The teams had some good looks but once again the goaltenders held on at each end.

Much of the third was left with some great chances but the Canucks, but it wasn't until just after the 4-minute mark that Jonathan Lekkerimäki ripped one from the point straight past Driedger and into the Firebirds net. Jonathan notched his first AHL goal, with assists credited to Christian Wolanin and John Stevens and the Canucks took the first lead of the game, 1-0. Nikita Tolopilo held on for the rest of the period, but with just 48 seconds left in the game, Max McCormick was able to sneak one past to tie the game up and force overtime.

Overtime began, and while the Firebirds retained possession of the puck for the beginning, Christian Wolanin came just shy of taking it home for Abbotsford. It was just after that Max McCormick caught a breakaway and was able to send it to the back of the Canucks net to win it in overtime.

The Canucks fall 2-1 in overtime against the Coachella Valley Firebirds, but they will battle back tomorrow for the final time before heading to Calgary.


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