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Abbotsford Canucks take three of four points from San Jose

Highest offensive production ever for AHL team as they beat San Jose 7-1 on Friday
Abbotsford’s Will Lockwood carries the puck against San Jose on Friday (Nov. 12). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Diwali is known as a festival of lights, and on Friday (Nov. 12) the Abbotsford Canucks stayed true to that tradition by lighting up the San Jose Barrcudas in the team’s highest offensive output ever.

The Canucks came out red hot on Diwali Night at the Abbotsford Centre, scoring three goals in the first six minutes en route to a dominant 7-1 win.

Prior to Friday, the most goals Abbotsford had scored in a single game was three.

Sheldon Rempal (power play goal), Jett Woo and Will Lockwood all tallied in the first, with Scott Reedy scoring the Barracuda’s lone goal at 18:01 of the first. Vincent Arseneau scored on the power play in the second, while Sheldon Dries, Rempal and Adam Brubacher lit the lamp in the third.

Canucks goalie Michael DiPietro was solid, especially in the second period when San Jose was threatening to make the game interesting. He made 28 saves to collect his second win on the season.

Several Canucks stuffed the stat sheet on Friday, with Phil Di Giuseppe picking up four assists and Dries adding three assists to go with his goal. Woo also had a three-point night. Special teams were improved for Abbotsford, as the power play went two for four and the club killed off eight of nine penalties, including a two-man disadvantage to end the game.

Dries continued his torrid scoring pace for Abbotsford and leads the team with 12 points in 10 games. Rempel has collected 10 points in 10 games.

Woo told media that Diwali Night was a hit and gave the team a bit of an extra spark early.

“It was a great atmosphere, the music was awesome - I think we kind of leaned on that early,” he said.

Woo said it’s been a great week of practice and the power play especially was effective.

“We just kept it simple,” he said. “You look at the last couple of games, there was a little too much stick handling but we kept it simple and got shots on net tonight.”

He added that the penalty kill was also more focused and he was pleased with how his teammates were blocking shots and sacrificing their bodies to make DiPietro’s job a little easier. He also praised the play of Di Giuseppe and Dries who set him up perfectly on his goal.

The two teams met again on Sunday and traded goals in the second and third periods, eventually sending the game to overtime and a shootout. San Jose earned the 3-2 win after the shootout.

Abbotsford got goals from Chase Wouters and Jarid Lukosevicius. It was Wouters’ first-ever goal as a pro and he also added an assist.

It was another strong showing for DiPietro, who made 38 saves in the loss. Abbotsford was outshot 40-22 in the game. The special teams battle did not make a difference, as both teams failed to score with the man advantage. Abbotsford went zero for six and San Jose went zero for four.

A scary moment occurred in the first period when Vincent Aresneau hit Barracuda forward Joel Kellman hard with a head shot. Kellman was taken off in a stretcher, but reports after stated he was recovering. Arseneau was given a match penalty for the check to the head and was ejected from the game. He could be facing disciplinary action for the hit.

Canucks head coach Trent Cull liked the team’s effort despite the shootout loss.

“I liked how we were playing,” said Cull postgame on his team’s overall play tonight. “I liked that we were heading in 2-1 in the third. We dealt with a lot of adversity tonight with penalties and losing multiple guys out of the lineup. But overall, I’m happy with the group.”

Abbotsford’s record now sits at 4-4-2-1 and they are currently tied for fifth in the Pacific Division. The club welcomes the Bakersfield Condors to the Abbotsford Centre for the first time ever starting on Friday (Nov. 19) at 7 p.m. The teams then square off again on Sunday (Nov. 21) at 4 p.m.

RELATED: PODCAST: Abbotsford Canucks equipment manager Ramandeep ‘Chico’ Dhanjal shares his hockey journey

Canucks players Phil Di Giuseppe, Sheldon Dries and Sheldon Rempal celebrate a goal on Friday. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News) Canucks players Phil Di Giuseppe, Sheldon Dries and Sheldon Rempal celebrate a goal on Friday. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Fin shows off his Diwali gear to open the game. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Indian-born Canadian chef, cookbook author, and television personality Vikram Vij took in the game on Friday. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Ben Lypka

About the Author: Ben Lypka

I joined the Abbotsford News in 2015.
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