Abbotsford knocked out of playoffs after 3-2 loss to Bakersfield

And just like that, the Vancouver Canucks and Abbotsford Canucks are out of the playoffs.

The team kicked off its Calder Cup pursuit on Tuesday night, taking on the Bakersfield Condors in a best-of-three series.

Both clubs fared quite well during the regular season, finishing with 84 points each. However, Bakersfield recorded two more regulation wins than Abbotsford, securing the home ice advantage for the entire series.

It was all Bakersfield that kicked off Tuesday night’s game, registering 20 shots in the first period alone. Luckily for Abbotsford, they were saved by the return of Spencer Martin who, alongside Nic Petan and Sheldon Dries, was reassigned to the AHL after his brief late-season stint with Vancouver.

Martin continued his heroics in the second period, turning aside 11 more shots as his teammates were close to collecting just six.

Despite being outshot by a wide 31-13 margin after 40 minutes, Abbotsford managed to find a way to open the scoring midway through the final period, thanks to Vasily Podkolzin’s opening goal in the AHL. Podkolzin was also reassigned to Abbotsford following the end of the NHL season.

Unfortunately, Abbotsford were unable to hold the lead for the entire period, eventually giving up the equalizer with just 30 seconds left to send the game into extra time.

Bakersfield continued their momentum in the extra frame, firing a triggering penalty against Noah Juulsen before James Hambin netted the game-winning goal on the power play. Former Canuck Tim Schaller also recorded the first assist.

With just 24 hours between games, Abbotsford dressed the same roster for Game 2 on Wednesday night, including Martin between the posts for the second night in a row.

Luckily for Martin, his teammates were able to get off to a much better start than the day before, with Team MVP Dries opening the scoring in the opening minutes.

Abbotsford held the one-goal lead for much of the second period before Adam Cracknell tied the game with just under two minutes left in the second period.

Just like the day before, Bakersfield continued their momentum in the third period, establishing their first lead of the game in the first minutes, thanks to a goal from captain Brad Malone.

With their season on the line, Abbotsford continued to defend, with Sheldon Rempal bringing the contest back to level midway through the third period. Podkolzin also recorded the assist on the play, scoring his second career AHL point.

Unfortunately, Abbotsford was unable to complete the comeback, ultimately giving up the series-winning goal to Cooper Marody, who sent the puck past a slumped Martin with just minutes remaining on the clock.

Martin finished the night with 30 saves, bringing his tally to 75 in two games. Podkolzin and Rempal lead the team in scoring with 2 points each.

With the series win, Bakersfield will now advance to the semifinals, while Abbotsford, like its NHL counterpart, will only have to wait until next year to reignite its playoff push.

What do you think of the Abbotsford/Bakersfield series? Let us know in the comments!