Abbotsford Canucks vs Bakersfield Condors Game 1 Preview

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Tickets: Game 1 Tickets

The Abbotsford Canucks begin their quest for the Calder Cup on Wednesday night, kicking off their best of three series with the Bakersfield Condors at 7:00pm from Abbotsford Centre. In a rematch of last year’s first round playoff series, the Canucks will look to best their Californian rivals on home ice this time around.

Abbotsford is the fourth seed in the Pacific Division this year, finishing with a 40-25-3-4 record and 87 points. Bakersfield wound up in fifth place in the division, holding a 37-31-2-2 record with 78 points.

In a short four game season series, the Canucks took three out of four games. It has been some time since the Condors visited Abbotsford Centre, with their lone visit taking place in a pair of Canucks’ victories on November 29th and 30th 2022.

The Canucks’ took the first match up with a 3-2 comeback Overtime victory thanks to Linus Karlsson grabbing his first AHL goal to secure the full two points back on October 15th in Bakersfield. Abbotsford followed that performance up with a pair of 6-3 and 4-3 wins featuring four assists by Christian Wolanin and three points by Kyle Rau, in a mid-week series in November. Finally, Bakersfield grabbed their lone win over Abbotsford on March 22nd in a 3-1 performance in California.

Bakersfield wrapped up the regular season with the fifth best record in the final 10 games of the season across the AHL, going 7-3-0-0. Since that game in Bakersfield, the Canucks went 5-3-1 including three single goal losses. The team wrapped up with an impressive showing in a three-game series against the league leading Calgary Wranglers, where the Wranglers dropped consecutive games in regulation for the first time in almost two months.

Raphael Lavoie leads the Condors in goals with 25, six more than second place Noah Philp and former Abbotsford Canuck Justin Bailey. Seth Griffith’s 43 assists and 60 points is also a team lead, while newly acquired Cam Dineen has put up 12 points in his 19 games as a Condor from the blue line.

Calvin Pickard and Olivier Rodrigue will be the Condors goaltending duo, with the pair playing in 67 of the Condors 72 games this regular season. The two netminders have a combined record of 37-26-3, and an average save percentage of 0.912.

For the Canucks, Christian Wolanin tops the roster in terms of assists (49) and points (55). His 49 helpers is the fifth most in the AHL and most by a defenceman, as well as the AHL lead in points amongst blueliners. Rookie Linus Karlsson was the lone Canuck to play in all 72 regular season games, and lead the squad in goals with 24.

Arturs Silovs and Spencer Martin will lead the charge in net for Abbotsford, with the two featuring in 60 games this season. The pair have 33 combined wins, with an average save percentage of 0.913 and goals against average of 2.43.

There are a total of nine players who featured in last season’s playoff clash for Abbotsford are expected to be on the playoff roster for 2022/23 (Jack Rathbone, John Stevens, Vincent Arseneau, Chase Wouters, Jett Woo, Matt Alfaro, Noah Juulsen, Justin Dowling and Spencer Martin).

Special Teams:

Power Play %

ABB: 18.1%, ONT: 17.3%

Power Play Goals For

ABB: 52, ONT: 45

Penalty Kill %

ABB: 79.9%, ONT: 82.7%

Fast Facts:

Vancouver reassigned Noah Juulsen and Christian Wolanin last week, and are yet to play a game since their reassignment.

On Tuesday, Christian Wolanin won the Eddie Shore Award for The AHL’s Most Outstanding Defenceman.

On Saturday, the Abbotsford Canucks announced the winners of their fan voted player awards. Arturs Silovs won Most Valuable Player, Jack Rathbone won Fan Favourite, Jett Woo won Unsung Hero, Linus Karlsson won Rookie of the Year, and Chase Wouters won Man of the Year.

Bakersfield has received help on the blue line, with Ryan Murray and Jason Demers both being returned on loan by Edmonton.

Danila Klimovich enters the series on a four game goal streak to end the regular season, while Nils Höglander is on a three game assist streak.

The dates for Round 1 are April 19th, 21st and 23rd from the Abbotsford Centre. The puck drops at 7:00pm for every game.