Tristan Nielsen’s first career AHL hat trick helped lead the Abbotsford Canucks to victory on Wednesday (March 16). (Abbotsford Canucks photo)

Tristan Nielsen’s first career AHL hat trick helped lead the Abbotsford Canucks to victory on Wednesday (March 16). (Abbotsford Canucks photo)

Nielsen’s hat trick sparks Abbotsford Canucks to comeback win

Canucks down 4-1 midway through third period to Manitoba, earn the 5-4 overtime win

A remarkable third period comeback led to a thrilling 5-4 overtime win for the Abbotsford Canucks on Wednesday (March 16).

The Manitoba Moose visited the Abbotsford Centre for the second part of a back-to-back and Canucks forward Tristan Nielsen opened the scoring at 1:02 of the second period.

The offence for both teams exploded in the third, with the Moose scoring four goals in the first 10:06 of the third period to take a 4-1 stranglehold on the game mid-way through the final frame.

But the Canucks failed to give up and answered back with three goals in 165 seconds to lock the game up at four apiece by 15:58. Nielsen completed the hat trick, the first in his American Hockey League career, and Jack Rathbone added a goal to get the comeback going and the two teams entered overtime.

Sheldon Rempal proved to be the hero, scoring at 3:43 of the extra frame.

The Canucks outshot Manitoba 28-25 and Abbotsford goalie Spencer Martin recorded his 14th win. Rempal led all players with six shots on goal, with Nielsen and Sheldon Dries both recording five. Attendance on Wednesday was 4,121.

The win was an important one for the Canucks, as they continue to fight for playoff positioning in the AHL’s Pacific Division. Abbotsford sits in fifth place, but they now have the same amount of points as the fourth place Bakersfield Condors. Teams finishing second, third and fourth all receive home ice advantage in the best-of-three AHL opening round (the first place team receives a bye).

RELATED: Abbotsford Canucks fall 2-1 in overtime to Manitoba

The Canucks now hit the road for more crucial games, starting with a date against the aforementioned Condors on Saturday (March 19). The Canucks then take on the Ontario Reign on Sunday (March 20) and remain in California for games against the San Jose Barracuda on March 24 and the Stockton Heat on March 25.

The next home game for the team occurs on March 29 when the Toronto Marlies visit the Abbotsford Centre for the first game in a back-to-back.

In other Canucks news, both Rempal and Noah Juulsen were called up to Vancouver earlier today (March 17).

The Abbotsford Canucks also announced that they transferred goalie Arturs Silovs to the Trois-Rivieres Lions of the ECHL. Silovs has not seen game action since Jan. 30 and has rarely dressed with the team mostly using Martin and Michael DiPietro.

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