Will Lockwood and the Abbotsford Canucks earned a 5-4 win over the San Diego Gulls in California on Wednesday (Dec. 14). (Abbotsford Canucks photo)

Will Lockwood and the Abbotsford Canucks earned a 5-4 win over the San Diego Gulls in California on Wednesday (Dec. 14). (Abbotsford Canucks photo)

Abbotsford Canucks edge San Diego Gulls 5-4

Canucks open up a 4-1 lead in the first period, hang on for one-goal win

The Abbotsford Canucks feasted on a goalie making his first American Hockey League start this season and rode that early offensive frenzy to a 5-4 win over the San Diego Gulls on Wednesday (Dec. 14).

The Canucks scored three goals in the game’s first 4:56 and bounced Daniel Mannella from the Gulls net.

Abbotsford led 4-2 after 20 minutes and forward Lane Pederson continued his strong play with a hat trick in the opening frame. Arshdeep Bains tallied the Canucks other goal in the first. San Diego replied with a goal from Rocco Grimaldi at 1:29 of the first and one from David Cotton at 18:44.

The Canucks completely dominated play in the first period and outshot San Diego 22-10. Those 22 shots were tied for the most shots the Gulls have allowed in one period in franchise history.

Gulls goalie Garrett Metcalf entered the game in relief and kept San Diego in the game, making a number of key saves in the first two periods. San Diego’s Evan Weinger scored the lone goal of the second period and suddenly it was a one-goal game despite Abbotsford’s excellent play in the first.

The third period saw Abbotsford make a push and draw a number of penalties, but fail to capitalize with the man advantage. Sophomore winger Danila Klimovich, streaking down the wing, accepted a perfect pass from Pederson and beat Metcalf for the eventual game winner. The Gulls added a late power play goal, but the Canucks hung on for the win.

Pederson was the story of the game and collected four points. He’s now scored 24 points in 18 games with Abbotsford and his 17 goals rank second in the AHL. Christian Wolanin recorded three assists and he leads the Canucks with 28 points in 24 games. Wolanin sites tied for seventh in scoring in the AHL and is second amongst all defenceman.

Defenceman Noah Juulsen also had a pair of assists. Forward Phil Di Giuseppe led all Canucks with six shots on goal.

The penalty kill remains a concern for Abbotsford, as the team allowed two power play goals on two times shorthanded. They also went one for seven themselves on the power play.

Canucks goalie Arturs Silovs looked shaky at times, but made 19 saves for his eighth win this season. Abbotsford now ranks fifth in the Pacific Division with a record of 13-8-1-1. The Canucks are now 7-2-1-0 in their last 10 games.

The Canucks remain on the road and next travel east to Nevada to take on the Henderson Silver Knights for games on Friday (Dec. 16) and Saturday (Dec. 17). The next home game occurs on Tuesday (Dec. 20) when the San Jose Barracuda come to the Abbotsford Centre.

RELATED: Abbotsford Canucks split weekend with Manitoba Moose

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