San Jose’s Kyle Criscuolo fires a shot on Abbotsford’s Jake Kupsky at Tech CU Arena on Friday FEB 3, 2022. (San Jose Barracuda)
by Marko Ukalovic
The Abbotsford Canucks scored two goals in the third period for a 3-2 comeback victory over the San Jose Barracuda on Friday evening at Tech CU Arena.
San Jose has won two out of its past three games/have lost three out of its last four games. Abbotsford has lost four out of its last five games/have won two in a row after losing three games a in a row.
San Jose (18-22-0-3) drew first blood early in the first period with an even strength goal. Martin Kaut sent a rink wide pass from along the left boards over to an unmarked Andrew Agozzino who one-timed the puck past Canuck’s goalie Jake Kupsky for his 15th goal of the season at the 6:24 mark.
Kaut, who was acquired by the San Jose Sharks back on January 25th from the Colorado Avalanche, has three points in his three games with the ‘Cuda.
The former 2018 first round draft pick said he is glad to have a fresh start with a clean slate in San Jose after five tumultuous years in the Rocky Mountains.
“Honestly it’s been my dream to play for the Sharks. “I have to play every game good, play hard. Hopefully the chance will come soon, if not..I believe it will come if I play the way I am able to,” Kaut said.
Abbotsford (24-15-2-2) answered back with an even strength goal just under three minutes later. Nils Hoglander found a trailing Christian Wolanin who deposited the puck into an open net for his fifth goal of the season at the 9:18 mark.
Wolanin has scored in back-to-back games after not scoring in 24 consecutive games.
It didn’t take long for the Barracuda to regain the lead thanks to its fourth line. Jeffery Viel led a rush up the ice and found Adam Raska on the left wing. Raska beat Kupsky with a wrist shot to the far side for his third goal of the season at the 11:03 mark. ‘Cuda goalie Aaron Dell received the secondary assist, his first point of the season.
Raska has three goals in his last two games. However, Raska did not finish the game as he left due to an illness.
Kupsky suffered an apparent lower body injury at the 6:07 mark of the second period when he awkwardly fell inside his crease and injured himself. He was replaced by Arturs Silovs. Kupsky finished with 17 saves on 19 shots.
Abbotsford dominated the rest of the game from the halfway point of the middle frame till the end as they capitalized on San Jose’s mistakes.
“We gave it away, we gave it away,” said ‘Cuda head coach John McCarthy on how disappointed he was with his team’s performance. “Turnovers. I didn’t like our start. They (Abbotsford) took it to us probably the first six or seven minutes (of the game). In the second, I think we generated some momentum, played pretty well. Then it in the third, (it was the) same old story. Penalties, not hard enough on loose pucks. We gave two points away.”
Abbotsford scored the equalizer early in the third period. Nils Aman received a pass up in the neutral zone from Noah Juulsen. Aman skated in a roofed a backhander over the shoulder of Dell and off the crossbar for his fourth goal of the season at the 5:15 mark.
The Canucks earned its first lead with a power play goal late in the third period. With Luke Johnson in the sinbin for tripping, Hoglander redirected a shot from the point by Wolanin past Dell for his sixth goal of the season at the 14:24 mark.
Silovs was a perfect 12-for-12 coming in relief to earn the victory. Dell made 22 saves on 25 shots in the losing effort.
GAME NOTES: San Jose finished 0-for-3 on the power play. Abbotsford went 1-for-3.
The Canucks are 4-1 vs Cuda this season. They scored a power play goal in every game against San Jose this season.
The Three Stars of the Game were: 1) Wolanin 2) Hoglander 3) Agozzino
UP NEXT: San Jose and Abbotsford conclude their two-game series on Saturday 2/4 at 2:00pm at Tech CU Arena.