For the second time in two days, the Abbotsford Canucks lost to a team backstopped by an emergency back up goalie.
Travel issues meant that Trinity Western University Spartans goalie Talor Joseph started Wednesday’s (March 30) game for the Toronto Marlies, but the team’s other EBUG Billy Christopoulos managed to arrive to enter the game in the second period.
The Marlies opened the game’s scoring when Richard Clune scored at 4:48 of the first period, but Sheldon Dries on the power play and John Stevens shorthanded gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.
The teams traded goals in the second, with Dmitry Ovchinnikov tallying for Toronto and Sheldon Rempal scoring for Abbotsford.
Toronto’s Curtis Douglas tied the game up with the lone goal in the third and the overtime hero was Marlies forward Josh Ho-Sang as the Marlies earned the 4-3 win.
"Really proud of the team… it speaks volumes to how these guys came together."
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) March 31, 2022
Toronto out shot Abbotsford 35-31, as Christopoulos picked up his fourth career American Hockey League win. He’s mostly played with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye this season, with loans to the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, Charlotte Checkers and now the Marlies. Christopoulos played one year of junior hockey (2014-15) in the British Columbia Hockey League with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.
“I was supposed to get out here on a pretty early flight and maybe take a nap but I got some delayed flights and got stuck in customs and I ended up getting here about 7:15 – about halfway through the first period,” he said.
Abbotsford’s Michael DiPietro made 31 saves in the loss. Sheldon Dries had a two-point night for the Canucks and defenceman Madison Bowey led the team with seven shots on goal.
The Canucks now sit in fifth place in the AHL’s Pacific Division with a record of 30-21-5-1. The team next hosts the Laval Rocket on Saturday (April 2) and Sunday (April 3). Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday.