The Abbotsford Canucks postseason was short-lived, having been swept in two games in two nights in the best-of-three first-round Calder Cup series in Bakersfield, California.
The Vancouver Canucks AHL farm team lost a heart-breaker in overtime on Tuesday night in Game-One 2-1 before succumbing in regulation to the Condors in Game-Two by a 3-2 final.
Had the Canucks won either match, Game-3 would not have been until Monday night, again in California’s Central Valley.
Tuesday night, Vasily Podkolzin, the 20-year-old burgeoning forward who played 79 games for the Vancouver Canucks this season and was sent down over the weekend for playoff experience, scored the lone goal for Abbotsford midway through the third period and it looked like it was going to hold up.
But the Condors tallied with their net empty and an extra attacker on the ice with less than :30-seconds to play in regulation and won in OT on a power play goal by James Hamblin with Canucks defenceman Noah Juulsen in the penalty box for tripping.
Hamblin scored at 6:39 of the extra session with just a couple of ticks remaining on the man-advantage to finish off the come-from-behind victory.
The main reason the Canucks held their lead for as long as they did was the goaltending of next season’s presumed NHL back-up Spencer Martin who made 45 saves.
Martin stopped 30 of 33 shots in the second contest, this time the game winner coming from Bako’s Cooper Marody with just 1:22 remaining in the third period. Obviously the Condors have shown an early playoff knack for late-game heroics.
Bakersfield came in as the 4th-seed from the Pacific Division with ‘Abby’ being the 5th seed.
Just before dropping the final two games of the regular season, the baby-Canucks won a franchise record nine games in a row to enter the playoffs generally feeling pretty good about themselves. Apparently the Condors who won twice on the season’s final weekend to hop into the higher seed were feeling slightly more confident.
Martin played the final three games of the NHL regular season for the Vancouver Canucks and in six career games with this NHL club has yet to lose in regulation with a record of 3-0-and-3.
Sheldon Dries and Sheldon Rempal were the goal scorers for Abbotsford on Wednesday night. Podkolzin added an assist to go with his goal from the night before.
Unfortunately for the Canucks the effort to get him substantial playoff experience ends prematurely, as does the Abby Canucks Calder Cup aspirations.