Recap by Mackenzie Grafton
The Canucks continue into October with a record of 5-1-1 and are currently on a five-game win streak. “We’re excited. There’s a buzz on the team this year,” says Assistant Coach Jamie Henry.
“We’re really happy with our group. Off the ice with the room and the culture, and on the ice with the skill that we have this year. The chemistry that these guys are starting to develop and will continue to develop, we’re excited about what the direction that the Canucks are headed.”
The Canucks joined an elite group winning both their games at the 2023 AJHL Showcase, a group that includes the 2023 Centennial Cup winners Brook Bandits, along with the Grande Prairie Storm, Blackfalds Bulldogs, and the Sherwood Park Crusaders. “It’s been an amazing event. Credit to the Canucks organization and volunteers for being here for four days, Delivering on what was promised and have gone beyond expectations,” says AJHL Commissioner Ryan Bartoshyk. “A big thank you from myself and the rest of the league to the organization for this week and our athletes, it has been an unbelievable experience.”
Player Spotlight – #14 Sam Lozinski
Sam Lozinski picked up four goals and one assist in the first month of his second season with the Canucks. His hard work has paid off as he scored a hat trick under the spotlight at the 2023 AJHL Showcase and currently leads the team with two powerplay goals.
September 15th @ Lloydminster Bobcats
The Canucks hit the road to start the season with a matchup against the Bobcats. Lloydminster would strike first 1:03 into the game to make it 1-0, where it would stand a 1-goal contest until the third period. With 4:55 remaining in the game, Conner Frost tied it up with a goal that would send it to overtime. Canucks would walk away with a point as Lloydminster would win in overtime.
September 16th @ Bonnyville Pontiacs
Before heading back to Calgary for the home opener, The next and final stop on the quick road trip was in Bonnyville. After a scoreless first period, it was all Pontiacs as they would win it 5-0. Despite the outcome, Calgary had a strong showing on the penalty kill, shutting down all four powerplay chances for Bonnyville.
September 23rd vs. Camrose Kodiaks
Returning back to Ken Bracko Arena for the home opener, the Canucks were looking for their first win of the season. With the Canucks and Kodiaks scoreless after 20 minutes, Calgary would strike with a couple of firsts. Billy Hooson scored his first AJHL goal, and Captain Bowden Singleton’s first goal of the season would make it 2-0. In the third, Ty Hipkin would also grab his first goal of the year to make it 3-0. With under five to play, Myles Gauld would spoil the shutout, but the Canucks would hold on to win it 3-1.
September 24th vs. Canmore Eagles
The Canucks would return to work the next night with another home game against the Canmore Eagles. The Canucks would take control of the game in the first period. Ty Hipkin, Sam Lozinki with his first of the season, Nolan Paquette with his first AJHL goal, and Bowden Singleton each scored a goal to make it 4-0. In the second, the Canucks and Eagles would trade four goals, making it a 6-2 game for the Canucks. Dylan Bidyk and Gavin Schmidt each scored their first goal of the season. It was a quiet third period in goal with only a lone goal from Canmore. But not so much in penalties as the two teams were handed out 28 minutes in penalties as things got heated in the final frame. The Canucks would grab their second straight and second win of the season with a 6-3 victory over the Eagles.
September 27th vs. Canmore Eagles – AJHL Showcase
The Canucks put on an explosive performance in their first game as the host of the 2023 AJHL showcase. Ty Hipkin would get the scoring going in the first period for the Canucks and never looked back. Gavin Schmidt and Sam Lozinski would add two more for a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. In the second, Dylan Bidyk would score five minutes into the period, while Lozinki would score his second of the night with under five minutes to play in the middle frame. Leading 5-0 heading into the second, Hipkin would grab his second of the game 40 seconds before Lozinski scored a hat trick goal. Gavin Garland would score the final goal for the Canucks, making it 8-0. In the final minute, the Eagles would spoil the shutout making it 8-1, but the Canucks would still pick up their third straight win.
September 29th vs. Drayton Valley Thunder – AJHL Showcase
In the Canucks second game of the showcase, Sam Callahan started the scoring during the first period, with his first of the year. In the second, Gavin Garland snagged an early goal to jump to a 2-0 lead. In the final frame, the Canucks would score three more times, Ethan Casper and Riley Bracko would each grab their first as a Canuck 14 seconds, and Bowden Singleton would score another goal for Calgary. The Canucks would win the game 5-0, while Julian Molinaro picked up his first shutout win as a Canuck.
October 1st vs Camrose Kodiaks
After hosting the 2023 AJHL Showcase, the Canucks returned to work with a match-up against the Camrose Kodiaks. Calgary jumped out too early 1-0 from Kenny
Sutton’s first goal as a Canuck, followed by Gavin Garland making it a 2-0 moments later on the powerplay. The Kodiaks would also grab a powerplay goal, cutting the deficit to one. In the second, the Canucks would hold three more goals making it 5-1. Jackson Bessette with his first AJHL Career goal, Garland with his second of the game, and Riley Hearn with his first of the season. Camrose still had some fight left as they crawled back to make it a one-goal game, with two more goals in the second and another in the third. But that push would fall short for the Kodiaks as the Canucks would hold on for a 5-4 win, picking up their fifth straight win.