ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS VS BAKERSFIELD CONDORS GAME PREVIEW
For the fourth and final time this season, the Abbotsford Canucks and Bakersfield Condors are set to square off on Wednesday night, concluding the season series which Abbotsford has dominated.
The Canucks have won all three games so far this season, starting off with a 3-2 overtime victory in Bakersfield back in October. The two sides then met for a pair of games at Abbotsford Centre in November, with Abbotsford taking both games by scores of 6-3 and 4-3. Wednesday’s contest takes place at Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield at 6:30pm pst.
The Condors enter the game in sixth place in the Pacific Division (29-27-2-2) with 62 points. Meanwhile, Abbotsford sits in third place in the Pacific Division (35-21-2-4) with 76 points. In the division, third place would host sixth place in a best-of-three playoffs series in the opening round of the Calder Cup Playoffs, so Wednesday could be a possible playoff preview between the Canucks and Condors.
Bakersfield bested Abbotsford in the opening round of the playoffs last year, sweeping the Canucks 2-0 in May 2022.
Things will certainly look a little bit different in the Condors goal on Wednesday compared to last season, with Stuart Skinner spending the season in Edmonton with the NHL Oilers. This year, it has been Calvin Pickard who has commanded the Bakersfield net, going 19-9-2 with a .912 save percentage. The second half of the goaltending tandem in Bakersfield is Olivier Rodrigue, going 10-13-1 with a .907 save percentage.
Across the ice from Pickard and Rodrigue will be either Arturs Silovs or Spencer Martin. Silovs ranks second amongst active goalies in wins with 23, as well as tied for second amongst active goalies for most shutouts with four. The two netminders have split the net evenly over the last eight games, with Martin picking up nine of a possible 12 points through his last six starts.
Offensively, Seth Griffith has lead the charge for the Condors, leading the team in assists (37) and points (54), while sitting second in goals with 17. That honour falls to Raphael Lavoie, and his 22 tallies this season. Recent addition to the Condors blueline, Cam Dineen, has put up six points (all assists) through his seven games in Bakersfield since leaving the Tucson Roadrunners.
Linus Karlsson has continued his impressive rookie campaign, registering four points in his last four games, including breaking the franchise record for rookie points scored, by surpassing Jack Rathbone’s total of 40 from 2021-22. Karlsson leads the team in goals with 20, and is tied for second for the most assists amongst active players (24) with Tristen Nielsen and Arshdeep Bains. Justin Dowling, who played in his 500th AHL game on Saturday, leads the active Abbotsford roster with 31 assists this season.
Bakersfield’s 180 goals scored this season is currently the second fewest by a team actively holding a playoff spot, with only the Hershey Bears (178) having found the back of the net less. The Condors are also the only team this season that Abbotsford hasn’t lost to so far in the season series.
Up next for the Canucks is continuing their final road trip of the regular season with a weekend series in Ontario on Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Following the series against the Reign, Abbotsford finishes their road trip with a pair of games next Thursday and Saturday in Manitoba against the Moose. The Canucks then play five games at home to wrap up the year against Ontario and Calgary. To purchase tickets to an upcoming Abbotsford Canucks game, please click HERE.