The wait is over and for those who have been “locked up’” with Covid-19 for the past while, there’s no feeling like being able to return to the rink and take in Canada’s National Winter Sport – HOCKEY!!!
Last season was what many call a write-off for players, fans and those connected with your community and there is no better way to start the “new season” off other than by recognizing National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in their first preseason game at the new home of their AHL farm team the Abbotsford Canucks.
The opening game of the pre-season saw the Canucks travel to Spokane to play the NHL’s newest expansion team the Seattle Kraken leaving with a 6-5 loss.
Vancouver returned to host the Calgary Flames the following night at the Abbotsford Centre recognizing the Front Line Workers who have worked tireless hours over the past while in a show of professionalism.
The Canucks started Windsor’s Michael DiPietro, while the Flames started Mariestad, Sweden’s Adam Werner who played two games in the 2019-20 season with Colorado.
The return for hockey to the Abbotsford Centre comes after the departure of the Abbotsford Heat who managed to seat 7,046 that for whatever reason failed to garner support from the community.
The Heat played five seasons in Abbotsford when their contract was terminated that saw the AHL’s Board of Governors approve the relocation May 5th, 2014 to Glens Falls New York.
That saw the Adirondack Flames replace the Adirondack Phantoms who were the farm team for the Flyers.
Ironic, only because the players then were elevated to play for the Flames since then and become a valuable part of their franchise.
Training camp this year was what some might call unorthodox, but the shortened camp gave the coaching staff enough time to assess the talent they have in the system, which is closer this season than Utica.
Those attending the game were entertained with a fast paced game with each team getting various chances testing both “tenders” from various areas of the ice.
Following the game Canuck Head Coach Travis Green mentioned in the media “It was a good first period, I thought offensively we got a little loose. When I say that I think we defended well in the 2nd, but I thought we weren’t as direct in the second period with some shots from the outside, no one at the net, and I thought we got back to it in the third.”
Canucks first-round 5th overall pick Olli Juolevi, the Canucks first-rounder, 5th-overall in 2016, has not been as effective while Phil Di Giuseppe has been consistent in his play both at camp as well as his play in Spokane.
Former Coyote players Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland played well, having a solid game, while Garland got the Canucks on the board at 2:38 in the opening period.
Dipietro faced 28 shots stopping 26 through the 60 minutes with a couple of game saves near the end of the third with the Flames pulling their “tender” for the extra attacker.
Expect some roster changes in the next 36-48 hours.
Thoughts to ponder:
Vancouver it’ll be easier for them to call-up players given the fact that their farm team is located a short distance down the highway and are known as the Abbotsford Canucks.
They are scheduled to play their first game against the Bakersfield Condors on Oct. 16th.
The pre-game ceremony marked the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation which is being recognized for the first time on Thursday.
Feel free to visit my YouTube Channel for hockey video games.
About Steve Erickson