It was quite an introduction for the San Jose Barracuda meeting the Abbotsford Canucks for the first time on Fri Nov 12, 2021 at Abbotsford Centre as goaltender Alexi Melnichuk was later pulled for Zachary Emond (35) (photo by sjbarracuda.com)
by Marko Ukalovic
ABBOTSFORD, British Colombia—The Abbotsford Canucks had their way with the San Jose Barracuda in a 7-1 victory on Friday evening at Abbotsford Centre in the first ever meeting between the two clubs.
The Vancouver Canucks moved their AHL team from Utica, New York to Abbotsford, British Colombia for the 2021-22 season. Abbotsford is right on the Canadian-US border, south of Vancouver.
Abbotsford took control of the game with three unanswered goals in the first period.
Sheldon Rampal opened the scoring with a power play goal just under two minutes into the first period. Nic Petan and Phil Di Giuseppe set up Rampal’s second goal of the season at the 1:57 mark.
It didn’t take long for the Canucks to double its lead. 64 seconds later Jet Woo scored his first goal of the season at the 3:01 mark. Di Giuseppe earned his second point in three minutes with his primary assist on Woo’s goal.
Abbotsford (4-4-2-0) scored their third unanswered goal of the period exactly three minutes later when Woo set up Will Lockwood who beat ‘Cuda goalie Alexei Melnichuk with a shot for his first goal of the season at the 6:01 mark.
San Jose (3-4-1-0) scored its only goal of the game on the power play late in the opening frame on the power play. Jayden Halbgewachs set up Scott Reedy who beat Canuck’s goalie Michael DiPierto with a shot for his fourth goal of the season at the 18:13 mark.
Abottsford scored the lone goal of the second period with its second power play goal late in the second period. Woo set up Vincent Arseneau who put the puck past Melnichuk for his first goal of the season at the 18:23 mark.
Despite outshooting the Canucks 10-6 in the middle frame, the Barracuda were down three goals entering the third period.
The Canucks made the game a laugher in the third period with three more goals to seal the game.
Zachary Emond replaced Melnichuk to start the third period. Melnichuk finished 17 saves on 21 shots as ‘Cuda head coach Roy Sommer looked to change things up in the final frame.
Sheldon Dries, who finished with four points in the game, scored an unassisted goal at the 1:08 mark for his sixth goal of the season.
Just over four minutes later, Rampal scored his second goal of the contest and third of the season at the 5:13 mark.
Adam Brubacher closed out the scoring for Abbotsford with his first goal of the season at the 14:40 mark.
Di Giuseppe finished with four assists on the night and Woo had a three-point night with one goal and two assists.
Di Pierto finished the evening stopping 28 of the 29 shots he faced to earn his fourth victory of the season. Emond made two saves on five shots in mop up duty for the ‘Cuda.
GAME NOTES: San Jose finished 1-for-9 on the power play. Abbotsford was 2-for-4.
UP NEXT: San Jose concludes its two-game series with Abbotsford on Sunday 11/14 at 4:00pm at Abbotsford Centre.