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Abbotsford Canucks facing elimination after 4-0 loss to Ontario

Canucks have managed just one goal in first two games of series, game three set for Abbotsford
The Abbotsford Canucks are now down 2-0 to Ontario in the two teams best-of-five series after losing 4-0 on Sunday (May 5). (Ontario Reign photo)

The Abbotsford Canucks are on the brink of elimination after dropping game two of the Pacific Division semifinal best-of-five series to the Ontario Reign on Sunday (May 5).

The Canucks had no answer for Reign goalie Erik Portillo, who made 29 saves in the 4-0 win.

Abbotsford has managed just one goal in two games against Ontario and they will need to find ways to produce offence if they want to survive past game three in Abbotsford on Wednesday (May 8).

The Reign’s top players were their top players, as forwards Akil Thomas and Charles Hudon scored at 8:11 and 10:42 of the first to give the club a stranglehold after one.

The Canucks also managed to dodge a bullet when it appeared that a shot saved by Zach Sawchenko’s glove had crossed the line. A long review followed and it was determined to not be a goal.

A scoreless second followed, with Ontario adding goals from Andre Lee at 14:34 and Tyler Madden (empty net) at 16:54 in the third.

Abbotsford didn’t get a lot from its top line talent, as both Arshdeep Bains and Aatu Räty failed to generate a shot. Vasily Podkolzin and Linus Karlsson only managed one shot apiece.

Even more concerning is the team’s power play, which has been sputtering in the postseason. The Canucks went zero for three on Sunday and are just one for 13 (7.6 per cent) on the playoffs. That is the worst power play success rate for any team still alive in the playoffs.

Zach Sawchenko was solid in goal for Abbotsford and made 22 saves in the loss. Sheldon Dries, Max Sasson and Cole McWard led the team with four shots, while Tristen Nielsen was a team-worst -2 on Sunday.

Abbotsford is now in a must-win situation for the remainder of the series and a loss on Wednesday will end the team’s season. Games four and five, if necessary, will also occur at the Abbotsford Centre on May 10 and 12.

Wednesday’s game is being promoted as 1994 night, with a 30th anniversary celebration of that Vancouver Canucks team that reached the Stanley Cup Final.

Keep visiting for ongoing coverage of the team’s Calder Cup playoffs run.

Ben Lypka

About the Author: Ben Lypka

I joined the Abbotsford News in 2015.
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