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Stockton Heat earn sweep in Abbotsford

Canucks fall on Thursday and Friday to Abbotsford Centre’s former tenant
Abbotsford’s Sheldon Dries throws a punch at Stockton’s Byron Froese during a scrum at Friday’s (Feb. 4) game. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

The Stockton Heat threw it back to 2014 and owned the Abbotsford Centre on Thursday (Feb. 3) and Friday (Feb. 4), sweeping the Abbotsford Canucks.

Friday’s game saw Heat goalie Justin Wolf stand on his head for nearly the entire game and earning a 2-1 win.

Wolf has a sparkling record of 19-2-3-0, leads the league in save percentage (.934) and is second in the American Hockey League in goals against average (2.01).

His stats didn’t lie on Friday, as he made 36 saves and he excelled especially when challenged in the second and third periods.

Stockton jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first period, with Jakob Pelletier and Matthew Phillips (power play) lighting the lamp. The second period was scoreless, but Abbotsford poured on the shots and fired 14 at Wolf with Stockton only recording five shots.

Abbotsford finally got on the board at 17:08 of the third when Sheldon Rempal scored his 16th after connecting on the power play. Jack Rathbone and Sheldon Dries drew the assists. The Canucks did have some chances late, but again Wolf stood tall.

Canucks head coach Trent Cull said he liked his team’s effort after a 7-3 loss on Thursday to the Heat.

“I thought we responded really well,” he said. “I was really happy with our battle and compete. We had a little bit of a slow start but after that I thought we were fine.”

Cull added that he liked the play of starting goalie Michael DiPietro, who made 18 saves in a losing cause.

Abbotsford was playing without forwards Justin Bailey and Vincent Arseneau, who Cull said both suffered injuries in Thursday’s game. The team also did not dress forward Danila Klimovich and defenceman Jett Woo, who both are also out with injuries.

Dries, Rempal and Phil Di Giuseppe led the Canucks with five shots apiece, while Rathbone added four.

Stockton remains atop the Pacific Division with a record of 26-7-3-1, while Abbotsford sits in sixth at 15-15-3-1.

The Canucks return to action on Monday (Feb. 7) when the Tucson Roadrunners come to the Abbotsford Centre for the first time. The teams also meet on Wednesday (Feb. 9). Both games get going at 7 p.m.

RELATED: Heat return to Abbotsford with 7-3 win over Canucks

Abbotsford’s Nic Petan fights for ice during Friday’s game. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Stockton goalie Justin Wolf was nearly unstoppable on Friday. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Ben Lypka

About the Author: Ben Lypka

I joined the Abbotsford News in 2015.
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