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Canucks Ilya Mikheyev Leaves Game in 2nd Period, VAN Loses OT



Forward Ilya Mikheyev, one of the Canucks key signees this summer, to the tune of $4.75-million per year for four seasons, got hit hard in his own end by Calgary’s Adam Ruzicka along the far boards, skated slowly across to the bench and made his way to the Canucks dressing room. The hit game early in the second period and Miheyev appeared to fall hard on his right arm and wrist. Number-65 did not return.

“I can’t tell you anything because I haven’t talked to the doctor yet,” head coach Bruce Boudreau said postgame. “I’ll know more tomorrow.”

That would be the biggest piece of news coming out of the game. The Canucks lost the preseason match to the Flames in overtime 3-2 on a Michael Stone power play goal.

Conor Garland scored as the extra attacker with 91-seconds remaining in the game to tie it at two.

Mikheyev’s countryman and fellow summer acquisition Andrei Kuzmenko was a player to watch in this one. He played a part in Vancouver’s top power play unit creating some nifty chances, although they failed to click. The preseason timing and finish was just a bit off. The group consisting of Kuzmenko, Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat, Garland and Jack Rathbone was fun to watch.

Pettersson and Kuzmenko did end up with the assists on Garland’s late goal.

As for Rathbone, the 23-year-old lefty D-man expected to take the next step this season, as in AHL to NHL regular, gradually improved as the game went on. Late in the second period he snuck in on the weak side and stepped into a glorious scoring opportunity from the top of the left circle. Flames goalie Dustin Wolf was up to the task.

By the way, Wolf is a future NHLer to watch. Just 21-years-of-age and weighing in at a whopping 155-pounds, the reigning American Hockey League goalie-of-the-year has a bright future. The Canucks also saw him last week in Penticton at the Young Stars Classic. He was the Western League goalie of the year in 2020 for Everett.

Meanwhile, Spencer Martin at the other end, the Canucks presumed back-up to Thatcher Demko this season, had an oopsy-daisy allowing the Flames to score their second goal. Scrambling back into position next to his right post, Martin lost his footing and the post, allowing Ben Jones to bank a shot in off the goalie’s right pad at 18:41 of the 2nd.

28-year-old journeyman AHL’er Mitchell McLain scored the earlier Flames goal on a backhander, in alone on Martin at the 12:40 mark of the 1st period.

Arturs Silovs took over for Martin and played a stellar third period.


Veteran defenceman Danny Dekeyser, a pro try-out invitee, saw plenty of ice time. He played an entire penalty kill at one point and about six minutes short-handed.

Dekeyser actually won a puck battle along the end boards in his own end that started the break-out that led to Vasily Podkolzin’s third period goal.

The D-man took an interference penalty mid-3rd period.

Fight = Momentum

Vince Arseneau had been physical all game long and tied up with some of the Flames big boys, even chirping and grasping Milan Lucic at one point in the second period while taking a double-minor for cross-checking and roughing. In the third, Arseneau had a chance to drop the gloves and he won a fight against Calgary’s monster winger Adam Klapka.

The two went toe-to-toe at centre ice for a lengthy tilt, Arseneau once dropping Klapka to the ice with a right hand. Pretty impressive effort considering the Canucks forward was giving up six inches and twenty pounds to the 6-foot-8 inch Czech. The Canucks scored their first goal shortly after.

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