Abbotsford Canucks Sweep Bakersfield with 4-3 Comeback Victory
The Abbotsford Canucks squared off with the Bakersfield Condors for the second time in as many nights on Wednesday, facing off from the Abbotsford Centre for the final time this season.
Off the back of a hectic 6-3 victory, the Canucks looked to sweep the Condors and exact revenge from their playoff series defeat in May. Phil Di Giuseppe was one of those who tasted defeat in the playoffs, making his return to the lineup following a stint in Vancouver.
Christian Wolanin entered Wednesday's game tied for the longest point-streak in franchise history, matching Sheldon Rempal's total of nine games on Tuesday with a pair of assists. Another Canuck on a hot streak was Lane Pederson, having scored eight times in his last eight games, leading the team with nine tallies on the year.
Collin Delia would get the nod from Jeremy Colliton to start in net, having won four of his last six. It would be Olivier Rodrigue commanding the Condors crease, sitting with a 4-4-0-0 record through eight starts this year.
Bakersfield would get off to a hot start, with Ty Tullio opening the scoring with less than three minutes gone in the game. A breakaway chance would give his third of the year and second against Abbotsford this week.
Yet Christian Wolanin would steal all the headlines from the opening frame as he pulled the Canucks level at the midway point. Receiving a no-look pass from Arsh Bains in front of goal, Wolanin tucked home his fourth of the year, setting history in the process.
Wolanin's goal set the franchise record for consecutive games with a point, and pulled the Canucks level midway through the frame. Despite dominating the shot count 13-8, including starting the game at 11-2, the score finished at 1-1 through the opening 20 minutes.
It would take until the final seven minutes of the second for there to be another score, this time coming from the white hot Abbotsford powerplay. Christian Wolanin let fly a shot from the point with traffic in front. The puck didn't make it all the way through, falling at the feet of Will Lockwood.
Lockwood took quick action in swiping home his seventh of the season, putting Abbotsford ahead.
The lead wouldn't last until the second intermission, with Dino Kambeitz pulling even with a scramble in front of Delia. Kambeitz's second of the year would be quickly followed by another Condors goal, this time from Xavier Bourgault. A shot from the point squeezed through the pads of Delia, barely crossing the goal line.
Regardless, Bakersfield had reclaimed the lead and took that 3-2 score line with them into the dressing room after forty minutes.
It wouldn't stay that way for much longer, this time it would be Abbotsford's penalty killers to get the job done. Jett Woo broke up the play and sprung John Stevens through the Condors defence.
With an opponent on his back, Stevens shrugged off the challenger, quickly shifted the puck to his back hand and roofed it over the glove of Rodrigue. Stevens' short-handed marker was his fifth goal of the season, and also tied the game back up at three.
Up stepped local boy Michael Regush. With seven minutes remaining in the third, Vincent Arseneau threw the puck from the boards into the slot where Regush buried home his second of the year. The score was his first goal on home soil, just a mere 40 minutes from his hometown of Surrey.
Moments later, Collin Delia stepped up in a flurry in front of his goal, making a sprawling save with his helmet. A number of other goaltending heroics followed by the Canucks netminder, protecting the 4-3 Abbotsford lead.
A Condors' shot off the crossbar in the final thirty seconds, and another striking the post in the final 10, would be as close as the Condors would get to drawing even. The Abbotsford Canucks would hold on to the 4-3 victory at home, sweeping a back-to-back for the first time this season.
Collin Delia would finish the game with 16 saves on 19 shots, earning him his fifth win of the year. Christian Wolanin set the record with his goal, but recorded two points in back to back games against these Condors.
Next up for Abbotsford is a pair of games against the Laval Rocket on December 3rd and 4th. Saturday's matchup will also be the Canucks' Teddy Bear Toss, one of the biggest nights of the Canucks calendar.
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