The Abbotsford Canucks squared off with the Bakersfield Condors on Wednesday night, where the Canucks could clinch a playoff spot in the 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs.

An Abbotsford victory wouldn’t be enough to secure it on Wednesday, as the Canucks would need a victory from the Colorado Eagles as well against the 8th place San Jose Barracuda.

From Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield, California, Arsh Bains and Aatu Räty both entered the game averaging a point-per-game over their last eight and seven games respectively. Spencer Martin took over from Arturs Silovs after Saturday’s victory against Ontario, with Martin having gone 4-1-1 over his last six starts, including one shutout.

In the Condors net, Olivier Rodrigue made just his second appearance of the season against Abbotsford, having not faced the Canucks since November 30th, where Abbotsford defeated the Condors 4-3.

The Condors were not messing around early on, as they searched for their first win of the season series (0-2-1-0). It would take 15 seconds until the contest had it’s first goal. Former Canuck, Justin Bailey, snapped home his 16th of the season from the top of the circles.

After the first 15 seconds, the Condors would then go 16:50 without recording another shot on goal against Spencer Martin.

As early into the game that Bakersfield scored Abbotsford would then find an equalizer with even less time remaining in the period.

Linus Karlsson brought the puck forward with Arsh Bains into the Condors’ zone, when Karlsson backhanded the puck towards goal with Bains in front. The puck would take a high, looping deflection off of a Condors stick, when Bains jumped up and batted the puck down with his hand out of the air.

He dropped the puck to his feet and jammed the puck past Rodrigue for his 10th of the season with just 11 seconds remaining in the frame.

After the opening 20 minutes, the two teams were tied at 1-1, with the Canucks leading the shot count 7-4.

Bakersfield would jump back out in front early in the second, when Seth Griffith carried the puck through the neutral zone, before springing Raphael Lavoie and James Hamblin in front. A quick nudge over to Hamblin before a snapshot past Martin gave Bakersfield the 2-1 lead four minutes into the second.

Abbotsford would kill a late Chase Wouters double minor call for high sticking, only surrendering one shot through four minutes. However the period would come to an end with the Condors leading 2-1, while Abbotsford lead the shot count 16-15. The Canucks would keep pushing for the goal that, with the help of a Colorado Eagles victory against San Jose, would punch Abbotsford’s ticket to the playoffs.

The third period saw the continuation of an evenly fought battle. Phil Kemp did his part to keep the Condors in front in the dying minutes, clearing the puck off of the line on a Canucks’ powerplay with three minutes left.

That scramble around Rodrigue would be as close as it would come for the Canucks to booking their place in the post season on Wednesday, as Justin Bailey finished off the game with an empty net goal in the final minute to secure a 3-1 win for the Condors.

Arsh Bains picked up his ninth point in his last nine games, while Justin Bailey notched his third multi-goal game of the season. Martin stopped 19 of the 21 shots he saw, with the 22nd being the empty net tally, while Rodrigue made 29 saves on 30 Abbotsford efforts.

For the full AHL box score, please click HERE.

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.