It’s been a long wait for the fans in Abbotsford and the rest of the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland, but the Canucks finally have their farm team close to home with the Abbotsford Canucks making their AHL debut this season. Last night was the first game at the Abbotsford Centre, hosting the Henderson Silver Knights (Vegas’ affiliate) and it was played to a sold out (50% capacity) crowd.
Justin Bailey got things started in the first, scoring the first Canucks home goal, the 100th of his AHL career.
The Silver Knights would tie it about ninety seconds later though, and took a 2-1 lead early in the third period before Danila Klimovich set up John Stevens with a beautiful back pass to tie it up.
It’s off to overtime, and in it was Madison Bowey who came through with the goal in the extra frame for the first home ice win in team history.
There was a lot of discontent amongst hockey fans with the way things went during the ill-fated Abbotsford Heat experience. Many felt the Calgary Flames did little to help promote the team, and they’ve been eager to have a team to support since the Heat left. If last night is any indication, the Canucks will be a massive success. From having Daniel and Henrik Sedin there for the ceremonial faceoff, to little things like using Green Day’s ‘Holiday’ as the goal song, the effort to do things right is noticeable.
It may be a rough season, as they try to develop a team that essentially had to be rebuilt after last season in Utica, but the fan support is already there. These two teams will clash again Sunday afternoon at 4pm.
And it wasn’t a good night for the Silver Knights’ parent club either. Leon Draisaitl and Zac Hyman each scored twice, and Zack Kassian had the GWG as the Oilers won their fifth straight, taking down Vegas 5-3.
Meanwhile, the San Jose Sharks continued their surprising start to the season as they rolled into Toronto and got the game winner from Jonathan Dahlen (yes, THAT Jonathan Dahlen) in a 5-3 win over the Maple Leafs.
Hakanpaa was given a 5 minute major for kneeing and a game misconduct. The Kings were able to score on that power play, but the Stars tied it in the third on a PPG of their own, and then got the OT winner from Denis Gurianov. We’ll see if DoPS has anything to say about that Hakanpaa hit. It’s a shame for the Kings, as Doughty was off to a fantastic start this season.
Lots of action coming today, including a couple early games. The New York Rangers are in Ottawa as the Senators look to move one game over .500 to start the season... The Calgary Flames are on the east coast with a 10 am start against the Washington Capitals... The Minnestota Wild are looking to keep their undefeated streak going as they host the Anaheim Ducks... Nashville and the Jets are both looking for their second win of the season as the Predators visit Winnipeg... Detroit is in Montreal as the 0-5-0 Habs look to shake this horrendous start to their season... A potential Stanley Cup Final preview as the Colorado Avalanche are in Tampa to take on the Lightning... The Devils (who have placed Jack Hughes on the IR) host the Buffalo Sabres... The 4-0-0 Florida Panthers roll into Philadelphia for a date with the Flyers... Toronto is hoping for a better result tonight in Pittsburgh as they do battle with the Penguins... The Kings will have their hands full tonight, missing Drew Doughty and facing an undefeated St Louis Blues team... The Arizona Coyotes are still looking for their first win of the season as they host the New York Islanders... And finally, the Seattle Kraken play their first home game at Climate Pledge Arena tonight hosting the Vancouver Canucks. We’ll have our game preview later today, make sure and check it out!