Bouncing back after long battle with COVID-19
By Mo Hussain, Sports Reporter
It doesn’t hurt that the win was against one of the top teams in the entire league.
The Vancouver Canucks came back with a bang Sunday afternoon as they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3 to 2 in overtime. Captain Bo Horvat finished with two goals, including the overtime game winner. Goaltender Braeden Holtby finished with 39 saves.
This was a much-needed win for the team after being out of action for over three weeks due to complications with COVID-19. It also doesn’t hurt that the win was against one of the top teams in the entire league.
“This isn’t just a regular win during the regular season,” said Canucks head coach Travis Green. “It’s a special win, we’ve gone through a lot here with our group over the last few weeks.”
The Leafs started the game with some momentum as forward William Nylander drew first blood with his 100th career goal to start the game. The Leafs then extended their lead in the second period as forward Auston Matthew’s goal gave the team a 2 to 0 lead.
However, just under two minutes after, Canucks’ captain Bo Horvat brought the Canucks to the scoresheet and cut the lead in half. The Canucks then tied the game in the third period as rookie Nils Hoglander scored his eighth goal of the season.
When asked if his goal felt extra important in this game, Hoglander said: “It was a tight game—for me and the team it was an important goal. It felt nice to get that win today.”
Both teams then went into overtime where Horvat sealed the deal for Vancouver with his 16th goal of the season.
“I couldn’t (be) prouder of our guys in that room,” said Horvat. “The way they manned up tonight and stuck with the process and willed their way to that win.”
Canucks goaltender Braden Holtby also commented on how special the win was for the team: “It was a good game. I think we battled hard—we’re just happy we pulled off a win. Winning creates some much-needed energy that I think we’re gonna have to use to push through this schedule we have ahead of us.”
Although Sunday’s win was a fantastic outcome for the team to come back to, the team needs to regroup quickly as they play the Maple Leafs again Tuesday afternoon. The Canucks are heading into Tuesday having tied their season series against the Maple Leafs, with three wins in six games.
This is the projected full schedule for the rest of the week, (potentially subject to change):
Tuesday: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Vancouver Canucks
Thursday: Ottawa Senators @ Vancouver Canucks
Saturday: Ottawa Senators @ Vancouver Canucks
Monday: Vancouver Canucks @ Ottawa Senators