The Pacific Division Semi-Finals shifted to the Abbotsford Centre on Wednesday night for Game 3 between the Abbotsford Canucks and the Calgary Wranglers.

Following a Matthew Phillips overtime winner in Game 2, Abbotsford came into the mid-week contest trailing 2-0 in the best-of-five series. Noah Juulsen returned to the lineup in place of Alex Kannok Leipert, while Spencer Martin took over from Arturs Silovs in net. Dustin Wolf would make his third start of the series for Calgary.

It would be the Wranglers who got out to the quicker start, as less than five minutes into the game, Jeremie Poirier would open the scoring. A bouncing puck was up for grabs in between the faceoff circles in front of Martin, as a Poirier wrist shot beat Martin, giving Calgary the early lead.

Poirier’s goal would be the difference maker for just over five minutes, as Christian Wolanin and Nils Höglander were setting up on the man advantage. Höglander threw the puck towards goal from the boards, with Linus Karlsson in front. Abbotsford’s Rookie of the Year steered the puck past Wolf from his knees to level the game at 1-1 at the midway point of the frame.

Abbotsford would see out the remaining half of the period and head into the locker room level at one. The Canucks narrowly outshot the Wranglers 12-11 in the opening 20 minutes, while going one-for-two on the man advantage.

Just as quickly as Calgary opened the scoring in the first, Abbotsford took the lead early in the second. Christian Wolanin slid the puck from the blue line towards Wolf, in search of a deflection. He would end up getting one from a stray Wranglers stick, tipping the puck over the shoulder of the unsuspecting Wolf.

Jack Rathbone thought he had doubled the Canucks’ lead on a five-on-three, but after rattling the post, he collected the puck again and wired it off the cross bar. The goal light briefly turned on, but was quickly overturned and called no-goal.

Wolanin’s go-ahead goal was the lone scoring action of the second period, setting the hosts up with a 2-1 lead after two periods of play. Outshooting Calgary 9-7 in the middle frame, Abbotsford lead the shot count 21-18 as the two sides broke for the locker rooms.

Kyle Rau would jump on the scoring train for Abbotsford, as he intercepted an stretching Wranglers pass in the neutral zone which fell to Tristen Nielsen. Nielsen brought the puck into the Calgary zone before dropping it to Rau, who fired a slapshot under the arm of Wolf. Rau’s first goal of this season’s playoffs came 1:41 into the third period, giving Abbotsford a 3-1 lead.

Similar to the second game of the series, Calgary wouldn’t roll over easily in the third period. Nick DeSimone brought the Wranglers within one with a one-time effort from the right faceoff circle, beating Martin with 11 minutes remaining in the third.

However, DeSimone’s goal would be as close as Calgary would get in this one, with the Canucks holding on and taking game three 3-2.

Kyle Rau’s sixth career AHL playoff goal would be turn out to be the game winner, while also picking up an assist. Christian Wolanin notched a goal and an assist as well, while Spencer Martin stopped 25 of the 27 Calgary shots he faced. Dustin Wolf turned aside 27 of Abbotsford’s 30 attempts on the night.

To view the full AHL box score, please click HERE.

Up next for the Canucks is another must-win game on Friday night, as Game Four between Abbotsford and Calgary gets underway at the Abbotsford Centre. With Abbotsford trailing 2-1 in the best-of-five series, should they win on Friday, will set up a winner-takes-all Game Five on Sunday in Abbotsford.

To purchase tickets to an upcoming Canucks’ game, please click HERE.