The Abbotsford Canucks took a 3-1 lead into the third period and completed a Calgary collapse, falling 4-3 in overtime to the Wranglers on Friday (April 28).
Calgary now has a stranglehold 2-0 lead on the best-of-five series, but the one tiny glimmering ray of hope is that the rest of the series occurs in the Abbotsford Centre.
Phillips with the OT winner on the power play. Calgary was the better team today. They lead the series 2-0 pic.twitter.com/6wecoelKPc— Ben Lypka (@BenLypka) April 29, 2023
Nils Höglander took a high sticking penalty in the last minute of the third period, which Abbotsford killed off. He then took a tripping penalty in overtime and Calgary’s Matthew Phillips did not miss to earn the Wranglers the win.
Calgary got on the board first, when Clark Bishop scored at 9:54. But then Arshdeep Bains took the game over and scored two shorthanded goals in 55 seconds. Bains potted goals at 18:30 and 19:25 to give Abbotsford the 2-1 lead after one.
Rooney walks in, blows by Woo and Bishop grabs the rebound. 1-0 Calgary pic.twitter.com/Q6et3Mnf3Z— Ben Lypka (@BenLypka) April 29, 2023
Massive shorthanded goal by Bains, tie game pic.twitter.com/lCzDwOkoKf— Ben Lypka (@BenLypka) April 29, 2023
Good god, Bains is on FIRE. Second shorthanded goal in a minute. 2-1 Abbotsford pic.twitter.com/W41JFr6VK7— Ben Lypka (@BenLypka) April 29, 2023
The second period saw Canucks goalie Arturs Silovs stand on his head to keep Abbotsford in front and his strong play was rewarded when Tristen Nielsen scored on a breakaway goal at 16:22 to give the Canucks the 3-1 lead after two.
Nielsen was dumped behind the play and then ends up with a breakaway and he buries it. Huge goal pic.twitter.com/C03j7r7ujE— Ben Lypka (@BenLypka) April 29, 2023
The third period was all Calgary and Ben Jones made it a one-goal game just 37 seconds into the period. Dryden Hunt then connected on the power play at 5:48 to tie the game. The Wranglers dominated the rest of the period, outshooting Abbotsford 17-6 but again Silovs dragged the Canucks kicking and screaming into overtime.
Bad bounce and it's a one-goal game again pic.twitter.com/Bk4nS6P1K0— Ben Lypka (@BenLypka) April 29, 2023
Calgary outshot Abbotsford 42-27 and the Canucks power play failures are looming large in the series. Abbotsford went zero for seven on Friday and are now zero for 10 against Calgary this series. For the playoffs the Canucks are two for 21 (9.5 per cent) – by far the worst of any team still alive in the playoffs.
One positive for the game was the steady play of defenceman Filip Johansson, who was making his AHL debut. He consistently made smart plays and fit in seamlessly on the back end. Johansson was slotted in for Noah Juulsen who may be hurt after game one. Forward Aatu Räty was also scratched but it was not revealed the reason why.
Heading home pic.twitter.com/HfTSAF9Umq— X - Abbotsford Canucks (@abbycanucks) April 29, 2023
Silovs also had a strong game, making 38 saves. It’s anyone’s guess who will be in goal for game three, as head coach Jeremy Colliton has been going back and forth with a starting goalie.
Game three is now a must-win situation for the Canucks. Game four, if necessary, will occur on May 5. Game five, if necessary, is set for May 7.