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Linus Karlsson straps Abbotsford Canucks onto his back in 3-2 win over Calgary

Karlsson in on all three goals including the overtime game winner to lead Abbotsford to victory
Abbotsford’s Linus Karlsson crashes the net against the Calgary Wranglers on Monday (Feb. 19). Karlsson scored the overtime winner to lead Abbotsford to a 3-2 win. (Calgary Wranglers photo)

Linus Karlsson has recently been the definition of the Grandpa Simpson walking in and walking out meme – being sent up and down from Vancouver to Abbotsford several times – but he made a big statement to have more consideration on Monday (Feb. 19).

Karlsson recorded the primary assists on Abbotsford’s first two goals and then potted the overtime winner to lead the Canucks to a 3-2 win over the Calgary Wranglers.

The Swedish forward now has 30 points in 34 games for Abbotsford, good for second on the team.

Karlsson set-up Aatu Räty to open the scoring at 17:33 and that goal stood until 13:03 of the second when Calgary’s Brett Sutter tied the game up.

Rory Kerins gave Calgary the lead at 2:10 of the third, but four and a half minutes later Karlsson carried the puck and dished a pass to Sheldon Dries who scored his 14th.

The teams headed to overtime and Tristen Nielsen managed to find a streaking Karlsson who beat Wranglers goalie Dustin Wolf 39 seconds into the extra frame.

Karlsson has appeared in four games in Vancouver this season and has recorded four shots. He’s coming off a 2022-23 season in Abbotsford that saw him collect 49 points in 72 games.

Abbotsford had a strong effort from goalie Nikita Tolopilo, who made some big saves especially in the second period to keep the game close. The Belarus product made 24 saves for his 10th win on the season. Abbotsford outshot Calgary 29-26 and Karlsson led all players with five shots on goal.

The win comes off a 2-1 loss to Calgary on Saturday (Feb. 17).

After a scoreless first period, Calgary got goals from William Stromgren in the second and Cole Schwindt in the third. The Canucks staged a late comeback with a goal from Marc Gatcomb at 15:49, but it wasn’t enough.

Arturs Silovs made 25 saves in the loss, while Wolf stopped 29 of 30. The Canucks power play went zero for seven on Saturday and struggled to generate dangerous chances.

The Canucks move to 24-17-3-2 on the season and they rank fifth in the Pacific Division. It was also a good weekend inside the Abbotsford Centre, as Saturday drew 6,465 and Monday saw a reported attendance of 6,384.

In other Canucks news, head coach Jeremy Colliton stated that it’s been great to have free agent forward Phil Kessel practicing with the club over the past week. Kessel was also spotted in the players box on both Saturday and Monday.

“It was nice to have him around,” he told Abbotsford Canucks play-by-play broadcaster Brandon Astle. “He has a ton of experience, he’s had a great career so just having him talk to the guys and even for us as coaches just to talk hockey with it’s been great.”

The Canucks next hit the road to take on the Ontario Reign on Wednesday (Feb. 21). The road trip continues with games in San Jose against the Barracuda on Friday (Feb. 23) and Saturday (Feb. 24).

The next home game for the club is on Feb. 27 when the Colorado Eagles come to town.

Ben Lypka

About the Author: Ben Lypka

I joined the Abbotsford News in 2015.
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