Nucks News: 2024 Semi-Finals Playoff Preview

Calgary Canucks #16 Julien Gervais battles against the Grande Prairie Storm in round one of the Inter Pipeline AJHL Playoffs.Calgary Canucks #16 Julien Gervais battles against the Grande Prairie Storm in round one of the Inter Pipeline AJHL Playoffs.

Recap by Mackenzie Grafton

Round One Recap

Game One: March 15th vs Grande Prairie Storm

Trailing 1-0 to start the second period, Julien Gervais would tie the game up with the first Canucks goal of the playoffs, making it 1-1. Later in the period, the Storm took a 2-1 lead, but not for long as 15 seconds later Ty Hipkin would respond tying the game up. Near the end of the middle frame, the Storm would score shorthanded to take a 3-2 lead. In the third period, Bowden Singleton would get on the board with a powerplay goal to send this game to overtime. No time was wasted in overtime as Riley Bracko scored a big goal 2:50 into the extra frame, winning the game 4-3 for the Canucks.

Game Two: March 16th vs Grande Prairie Storm

Julien Gervais would open up the scoring in game two, with the Storm responding just over two minutes later for a tie game. Later in the first, Carter Anderson would grab a 2-1 lead for Calgary, but the Storm would once again respond shortly after, making it 2-2. Riley Bracko would score his second of the series as the Canucks ended the first period up 3-2. In the second, Matthew Paszkiewicz would double the lead, making it 4-2. 39 seconds into the final frame Grande Prairie would cut into the Canucks lead, but Calgary would hold on for a 4-3 victory and jump out to a 2-0 series lead 

Game Three: March 18th at Grande Prairie Storm

Shifting the series up to Grande Prairie, the Canucks would kick things off with a goal from Gavin Garland making it 1-0. In the second, the Storm would tie it at 1-1, but Bowden Singleton would snap the tie with his second of the playoffs shortly after making it 2-1. The Canucks would fall in the third as the Storm rallied back scoring twice en route to a 3-2 win. 

Game Four: March 19th at Grande Prairie Storm

In game four, the Storm struck first to make it 1-0 4:47 into the game. but Matthew Paszkiewicz would tie the game up ten minutes later. Cody Pisarczyk scored his first of the playoffs to put the Canucks up 2-1 to Start the second. Later, the Storm would tie the game up, but a response from Ethan Casper broke the tie, making it 3-2. Just like in game three, it was all Storm in the third period as they scored another pair of goals to win it 4-3 and tie the series at 2-2. 

Game Five: March 22nd vs Grande Prairie Storm

Heading back to Calgary with the series tied, the Canucks looked to bounce back into the win column. Returning to play was Ty Hipkin who missed the last two games, and Hipkin instantly made his presence known making it a 1-0 game in the first half of the opening period. In the second, Gavin Garland scored a powerplay goal making it 2-1, but the Storm would respond on a powerplay of their own with 1:04 to left play in the period. In the third, Julien Gervais would score the third straight powerplay goal in the game making it 3-1 for Calgary. 74 seconds later, Garland would score his second of the game as the Canucks would jump out to a 4-1 lead. For the first time in the series, we would see a win that wasn’t decided by one goal as the Canucks took it 4-1 and headed up 3-2 in the series.

Game Six: March 24th at Grande Prairie Storm

Heading back up to Grande Prairie for game six, as the Canucks would look for their first win at Bonnetts Energy Centre this season. During the first period, Gavin Garland scored a powerplay goal to put the Canucks up 1-0. To start the second period, the Storm scored twice but Julien Gervais and Riley Bracko each scored a goal, giving the Canucks a 3-2 lead. 45 seconds into the third, Garland scored his second goal of the game, putting the Canucks up 4-2 in the third. Not willing to go down easy, the Storm scored twice to tie the game 4-4 and force the second overtime of the series. Easton Hewson scored the winning goal, giving the Canucks a 5-4 victory, and sending them to the next round.

Player Spotlight – #16 Julien Gervais

Julien Gervais is tied for the team lead in playoff points with four goals, three assists and seven points. In his first year with the Canucks, Gervais finished the season with 13 goals and 51 points, good for third in team scoring.

Round Two Preview

The Canucks weathered the Storm picking up their first playoff-round win since 2017 when they beat the Drumheller Dragons three games to two. 

Now the Canucks are set to take on the Dragons in the second round of the Inter 2024 Pipeline Cup AJHL Playoffs and will be a rematch of the 2022 playoffs opening round where the Dragons took the series 4-2. 

The Dragons made quick work sweeping their first-round series four games to none against the Bonnyville Pontiacs. The Canucks and Dragons faced off four times during the regular season with Drumheller winning the regular season series three games to one. The Dragons took the first three games of the season including a shootout win at the Drumheller Memorial Arena back on February 2, 2023. 

Their final meeting of the season came back on February 16, 2023, with the Canucks picking up an overtime win at home. The series will open up in a Ken Bracko Arena on March, 29 before shifting to the Drumheller Memorial Arena for games three and four. 

Regular Season Record vs Drumheller Dragons: 1-2-1

Playoff Stats

Calgary Canucks:

Playoff Record: 4-2

Powerplay: 31.8%

Penalty Kill: 81.0%


Key Players: 

Goals: Gavin Garland – 5G

Assists: Chris Kobelka – 5A

Points: Julien Gervais, Bowden Singleton – 7P

Goaltending: Julian Molinaro – 4-2, 0.888 SV%, 2.99 GAA


Drumheller Dragons: 

Regular Season Record vs Calgary Canucks: 3-0-1

  • Playoff Record: 4-0
  • Powerplay: 14.3%
  • Penalty Kill: 93.3%


Key Players: 

  • Goals: Ayden Peters – 3G
  • Assists: Connor Poffenroth – 4A
  • Points: Ayden Peters – 6P
  • Goaltending: Sean Cootes – 4-0, 0.909 SV%, 2.99 GAA


Upcoming Home Playoff Games:

*If necessary