ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – Fort St. John Minor Hockey product Tristen Nielsen scored his first career AHL goal in a 5-4 victory against the Ontario Reign Wednesday night.
Nielsen showed off his elite speed beating a defender wide on the right wing, finishing the play off with a sharp backhand to forehand cut that beat the Reign goaltender’s outstretched pad. Nielsen crashed into the boards after losing his balance, but he got the goal that would put Abbotsford ahead 4-3 in the third period.
“The puck scrambled out, so from there I started picking up speed and [Nic Petan] skated onto the puck and put it right on my tape. I noticed I had a step on the d-man and kind of took it to the net,” said Nielsen of the play that led to the goal. “I try that move a lot in practise but our goalies usually read into it. So It was nice to finally score, especially in a game.”
The 21-year-old forward is in his first season of professional hockey after completing a 241-game Western Hockey League career, recording 175 points and 196 penalty minutes between the Calgary Hitmen and Vancouver Giants.
Nielsen has appeared in eight games for the Abbotsford Canucks, registering one goal on eight shots.
The Abbotsford Canucks will host the San Jose Barracuda on Saturday night. The Canucks have a strong 5-1-1-1 home record, but they’re having trouble winning games on the road, shown by just a single victory, two overtime losses and five regulation losses.
The Canucks sit in 23rd place in the American Hockey League.