Photo Credit Mark Steffens
While the parent club failed to make post-season play their AHL franchise managed to secure home ice advantage for the first round playing host to the Bakersfield Condors.
News coming out of the Vancouver Canucks that they have signed 19-year-old Elias Pettersson to a three-entry level contract, while the “main-stay” Pettersson has yet to get resigned.
Entering the media area, which for this series has a full press box with the likes of Jay Sharrers, AHL/NHL Supervisor of Officials, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Scott Bradley, Senior Advisor to Bruins GM, Barclay Panetta, Vancouver Giants GM, Michael Dyck (Giants Head Coach) as well as other NHL Scouts.
Abbotsford finished 4th in the Pacific Division with a record of 40-24-3-4 for 87 points while the Condors season record was 37-31-2-2 for 78 points through the 72 game league schedule that saw nine returning players from Abby’s 2022 playoff lineup dressed.
After what some are calling an impressive stint with the NHL Canucks Christian Wolanin and Noah Juulsen were returned to the Abby lineup while Danila Klimovich was looking his magic with his four-game scoring.
Having made the postseason, it’s nice to see their solid fan support shown by the community while also having pre-game entertainment with a country band.
It was interesting to see Abbotsford Mayor and his daughter take part in the opening ceremonies along with Matteo Angles supplying the music with manager, game presentation and community events Jen Graham while Caroline Frolick was on the mic.
While many attending the game were Canuck fans, there were a few Bakersfield fans noting that they are the AHL farm team for the NHL Oilers.
The first goals came at 13:36 with Bakersfield putting one past Spencer Martin that went to video review that saw Abby challenge due to possible goaltender interference that saw the puck pushed under him.
The review process took a while, but from a league perspective the main goal is to get the call right and of course if you’re an Abby fan you’re hoping it was overturned, which it was.
The game remained scoreless and in watching the review it was clear that Martin had the puck covered and was forced into the net with the push of a stick.
The first was a chippy period that saw both “tenders” forced to make a couple of quality saves from various areas of the ice that saw Abby outshoot the Condors by a narrow 6-5 margin with the score remaining scoreless while Abby outshot Bakersfield by a 12-7 margin in the second.
The third continued where the second left off with Abby controlling the play in both ends of the ice playing disciplined managing to get the third goal of the game jumping out to a 3-0 lead.
The last-minute saw them ring off the post while they were looking for goal number four of the contest, which wasn’t in the cards on this night.
Abby’s Spencer Martin stopped 21 shots being named first star in his first playoff AHL home game while Bakersfield’s Calvin Pickard stopped 27 of the 30 peppered at him.
Game two has both teams hit Friday (April 21st) with the face-off at 7:00 pm that has Abby within one game of advancing to round two.
If game three is required it will be played on my Daughter’s birthday April 23rd at 7 pm in Abby.
If you are looking at catching some exciting Canuck tickets can be purchased for the upcoming games click on the link above
Patrik Allvin Vancouver Canucks GM continues to make positive changes within the coaching staff announcing that Assistant Coach Jason King will not be returning for the upcoming season.
He was first drafted in the seventh round (2001 NHL Entry Draft) and played 11 years which included 59 NHL games, dressing in 55 with Vancouver as well as 335 in the AHL and 140 DEL games.
He was Assistant Coach with the AHL affiliate for five seasons then named Assistant Coach of Vancouver in 2020.
In conversation with some last evening, many think that this could be the first of many changes in the off-season?