The Abbotsford Canucks are making the Abbotsford Centre a difficult place for the opposition to win this season and they continued that trend on Wednesday (Dec. 21) with a 6-3 victory over the San Jose Barracuda to sweep the fish.
Abbotsford has won seven of their last eight games at the AC and have scored 43 goals over those eight games. The team’s record at home is now 10-3-0-1 after Wednesday’s win.
But things weren’t looking great early on, as the Barracuda opened the scoring at 10:17 when Andrew Agozzino scored his 10th on the year. Abbotsford answered back at 13:27 when Phil Di Giuseppe was set up perfectly by Vasily Podkolzin at 13:27. San Jose grabbed the lead back at 16:33 when Max Veronneau made it a 2-1 game after one.
Podkolzin with a nice individual effort and then sets up Di Giuseppe to tie the game up pic.twitter.com/mwb1WhMX4l— Ben Lypka (@BenLypka) December 22, 2022
The Barracuda fired 14 shots at Canucks goalie Collin Delia in the first, which was a rare recent period that Abbotsford was outshot.
San Jose came out strong in the second and were controlling the majority of the play until Canucks head coach Jeremy Colliton called a timeout. Following the reset the Canucks juggled their lines and it paid off when Justin Dowling tied the game up at 14:22. Will Lockwood then deked through the San Jose defenceman to score a skillful goal at 15:29 and put the Canucks up 3-2 after two.
Lockwood with a very pretty goal and the Canucks are up 3-2 pic.twitter.com/lc4QyrElOB— Ben Lypka (@BenLypka) December 22, 2022
Abbotsford got a little insurance when Jack Rathbone scored on the power play at 4:36 of the third to make it a 4-2 game. The marker was Rathbone’s first AHL goal this season. Canucks captain Chase Wouters took advantage of an early San Jose empty net to put the game away at 16:15. San Jose added a late power play goal at 18:57 and then Linus Karlsson made good on another empty net opportunity to reach the 6-3 final.
Rathbone on the power play - his first in Abbotsford this season - puts the Canucks up 4-2 pic.twitter.com/2oEhduUP8B— Ben Lypka (@BenLypka) December 22, 2022
The Jack of all trades strikes again 🍀 pic.twitter.com/GeDqCXGsjC— Abbotsford Canucks (@abbycanucks) December 22, 2022
Di Giuseppe had a three-point night to lead all players, while Rathbone, Podkolzin and Karlsson all had two point nights. Nils Höglander led all Canucks with four shots on goal, but Abbotsford was outshot 34-25. Delia was solid in goal, making 31 saves for his sixth AHL win this season and his first this month.
Defenceman Christian Wolanin again found his way onto the scoresheet and now has an AHL-leading 29 assists. He sits third in the AHL with 33 points and also leads the Canucks in scoring.
That's how you close out the year at home 😎 pic.twitter.com/MRmcUO1iad— Abbotsford Canucks (@abbycanucks) December 22, 2022
The Canucks record now sits at 16-9-1-1 and they have jumped into third place in the Pacific Division. The team is now 8-2 in their last 10 games.
Abbotsford does not return to action until the end of the month when they travel to Winnipeg to take on the Manitoba Moose on Dec. 30 and 31. The Canucks then head to Calgary to play the Wranglers on Jan. 2 and 4.
The club returns home to host the Henderson Silver Knights on Jan. 6 and 7.