Abbotsford Canucks forward Sheldon Dries breaks in for his eventual overtime winner during Sunday’s 5-4 win over the Colorado Eagles. (Abbotsford Canucks photo)

Abbotsford Canucks forward Sheldon Dries breaks in for his eventual overtime winner during Sunday’s 5-4 win over the Colorado Eagles. (Abbotsford Canucks photo)

Abbotsford Canucks split series with Colorado

AHL team posts overtime win on Sunday, loses 3-1 on Friday to Eagles

The Abbotsford Canucks scored a weekend split against the third place Colorado Eagles and kept pace in the quest for home ice in round one of the American Hockey League playoffs.

The Canucks welcomed the Eagles to the Abbotsford Centre for the first time ever on Friday, but dropped a 3-1 decision to the Colorado Avalanche affiliate.

The game remained scoreless through the first two periods and it was Colorado’s Dylan Sikura who tallied on the power play at 7:49 of the first period to put the Eagles up 1-0. Kiefer Sherwood made it 2-0 at 11:06, but Abbotsford’s Phil Di Giuseppe added a power play goal of his own at 17:51 to make it a one goal game late.

Colorado added an empty net goal with the Canucks pushing to earn the win.

Abbotsford did manage to out shoot the Eagles 35-22 and Di Giuseppe led all players with nine shots on goal. Spencer Martin made 19 saves in the loss.

The two teams tangled again on Sunday and the game featured a lot more firepower as the Canucks picked up a 5-4 overtime win.

Colorado scored the lone goal in the first period, but the Canucks exploded for four goals in the middle frame. Jack Rathbone, Tristan Nielsen, Yushiroh Hirano and Madison Bowey all lit the lamp, with the Eagles also adding a goal.

The third period saw Colorado battle back with a power play goal from Sikura and Martin Kaut tying the game up at 9:16.

Sheldon Dries emerged as the overtime hero, as he scored his 31st on the season at 1:42 of the extra period.

Martin made 35 saves for his 13th win this season.

The Canucks record sits at 26-19-3-1 after the pair of games and they remain in fifth place in the AHL’s Pacific Division. The second through fourth ranked teams will receive home ice advantage in the best-of-three first round playoffs (with the top team receiving a bye) and Abbotsford continues to chase the Bakersfield Condors for fourth.

The club next hosts the Manitoba Moose for games on Tuesday (March 15) and Wednesday (March 16). Both games face-off at 7 p.m.

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