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Abbotsford Canucks earn split in Seattle

Canucks win on Friday, fall on Sunday against Coachella Valley Firebirds
The Abbotsford Canucks first-ever trip to Seattle to take on the Coachella Valley Firebirds resulted in a split. (Abbotsford Canucks photo)

The Abbotsford Canucks first - and likely only - road trip to Seattle resulted in a split with the Coachella Valley Firebirds.

The Canucks made the trip south down Interstate 5 because the expansion Firebirds home arena is not ready and they decided to use the parent club in Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena for Sunday (Oct. 23). The Canucks and Firebirds met at the Kraken Community Iceplex on Friday (Oct. 21).

Abbotsford managed a 4-3 win on Friday and forward Tristan Nielsen scored the game winner.

After a scoreless first period, Firebirds forward Alexander True opened the scoring at 4:51 of the first. Abbotsford’s Carson Focht tied the game up at 10:18 with his second of the season, but six and a half minutes later the Firebird took back the lead on a goal from Jesper Froden.

The third period was all Abbotsford, with Sheldon Dries and Noah Juulsen scoring early into the frame to put the Canucks up 3-2 and Nielsen’s goal followed. True scored a late goal but four goals was enough for the win.

Dries had a three point night and Nielsen had two points in the win. Goalie Arturs Silovs made 23 saves for the win. The Abbotsford power play scored twice and head coach Jeremy Colliton said that was key to the win.

“The power play came through with a couple of big goals there, and we got some big saves from Arty [Silovs], and sometimes you have to win when it doesn’t look perfect,” he stated after the win.

Friday’s game has a reported attendance of 700 in the smaller confines of the KCI.

The two teams shifted to the CPA on Sunday and the bright lights of Seattle’s new home seemed to bring out the offence for both teams. Coachella Valley earned the 7-4 win, but the offensive fireworks started early.

Both teams scored three goals in the first period, with Yushiroh Hirano, Christian Wolanin and Danila Klimovich all scoring their first goals this season. The Firebirds responded with goals from Jimmy Schuldt, Tye Kartye and Carsen Twarnyski.

The goals continued in the second, but it was the Firebirds who maintained that torrid offensive pace. Froden scored just 40 seconds into period two and Surrey’s Michael Regush scored his first professional goal at 2:12. The Firebirds yanked their starting goalie Christoper Gibson after that fourth goal and replacement Callum Booth was perfect in relief to earn the win.

Booth stopped all 19 shots he faced in the second and third periods. Silovs struggled at times for the Canucks and allowed six goals on 27 shots. Klimovich and Nielsen led all Canucks with four shots on goal and it was the first game back for Phil Di Giuseppe - who recorded one assist and three shots on goal. Di Giuseppe was dangerous all night, but couldn’t solve Booth.

Sunday’s game saw a significant crowd of 8,724 take in the game, including a handful of Abbotsford Canucks season ticket holders who took in the game as part of a contest.

Abbotsford’s record stands at 2-2 after four games and they sit in seventh place in the 10-team Pacific Division. The club’s home opener occurs on Friday (Oct. 28) when the San Diego Gulls come to the Abbotsford Centre.

The night will feature Canuck alumni appearances, a meet and greet with Abbotsford Canucks players, performances by Greg Neufield, a special pre-game ceremony, and a free smokie courtesy of Grimms Fine Foods to the first 1,000 fans.

The Canucks and Gulls meet again on Saturday (Oct. 29) for Diwali Night. Diwali themed activations such as Henna artists, a South Asian marketplace, performances by DJ Heer, the Bhangra Dancing School, Dhol drummers, and more will be on display at the Abbotsford Centre.

For more on the team, visit

RELATED: Abbotsford Canucks post win in Bakersfield

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Ben Lypka

About the Author: Ben Lypka

I joined the Abbotsford News in 2015.
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