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Abbotsford Canucks lose 3-2 overtime heartbreaker to Calgary Wranglers in series opener

Canucks tie the game up twice, but fall in extra frame after Jakob Pelletier beats Spencer Martin
Spencer Martin made 37 saves but it wasn’t enough as the Abbotsford Canucks lost 3-2 in overtime to the Calgary Wranglers in game one of the Pacific Division semifinal on Wednesday (April 26). (Abbotsford Canucks photo)

A small space of breathing room in overtime was enough for Calgary sniper Jakob Pelletier to win the game and put a dagger deep into the hopeful hearts of the Abbotsford Canucks in game one of the Pacific Divisions semifinal.

Pelletier jumped on a loose puck on a broken play and buried the game winning goal at 11:52 to give the Wranglers the 3-2 win on Wednesday (April 26) night.

The Canucks had every opportunity to win the game and were given a fortuitous call at 9:58 of the first period when Wranglers leading scorer Matthew Phillips was given a spearing match penalty. Phillips speared the groin of Canucks defenceman Jett Woo and the incident will now be reviewed by the league for possible further discipline.

Woo did recover and played the rest of the game, but the ensuring five-minute power play did not produce any offence for the Canucks. It was a trend that continued for Abbotsford as they went zero for three on the game and are now two for 14 in the playoffs (14 per cent).

The Wranglers got on the board at 13:19 when an unfortunate bounce led to an own goal by Abbotsford. Dryden Hunt was credited with the goal after a shot went off Christian Wolanin, then Chase Wouters and in.

A scoreless second period followed and goalie Dustin Wolf stood on his head. It felt was though Abbotsford was never going to beat him after firing 28 shots in the first two periods with nothing to show.

That drought finally ended at 1:35 of the third when Marc Gatcomb banged home his first career AHL playoff goal. Calgary’s Adam Klapka responded a little over seven minutes later by scooping up a blocked shot and beating Martin.

But the Canucks refused to go away and Aatu Räty fired a laser past Wolf at 15:10 to send the game to overtime.

Pelletier then ended the game in the extra frame. Calgary outshot Abbotsford 40-39 and both goalies were excellent. Justin Dowling led all Canucks with seven shots on goal, while Linus Karlsson and Kyle Rau both had five.

The two teams meet again on Friday at 6 p.m. Abbotsford time. Game three is set for May 3 in Abbotsford.

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Ben Lypka

About the Author: Ben Lypka

I joined the Abbotsford News in 2015.
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