One point, one measly point - that’s all the Abbotsford Canucks needed to get in the final two games of the regular season against the Manitoba Moose to guarantee home ice in round one of the American Hockey League playoffs.
Instead they lost both games by a combined 13-1 score.
The Canucks lost 7-1 on Thursday (April 28) and then lost 6-0 today (Saturday) to leave their final fate in the hands of the Bakersfield Condors.
Abbotsford will host the best-of-three first round series if the Condors lose tonight’s game against the Stockton Heat, but if Bakersfield wins then Abbotsford heads south for round one.
Defensive gaffes plagued the Canucks early as Moose forward Haralds Egle was left all alone in front of the net and he ripped a shot past Canucks goalie Michael DiPietro at 3:57 of the first. Manitoba’s Mikey Eyssimont added a power play goal at 17:30 to put the Moose up 2-0 after 20 minutes. Abbotsford managed just four shots in the opening frame.
Three Canucks down low and no one covering Egle in front of the net. 1-0 Manitoba early pic.twitter.com/XTC2qtP9U9— Ben Lypka (@BenLypka) April 30, 2022
Abbotsford came out with more urgency in the second period, but couldn’t capitalize on a two-man advantage early on. DiPietro then badly misplayed a puck that led to a Moose goal from Nicholas Jonas at 7:17. Eyssimont scored his second of the game at 10:31 and the Moose led 4-0 after two. Abbotsford did outshoot Manitoba 10-6 in the second.
Manitoba added two more goals in the third, including another misplay by DiPietro that led to a goal. Eyssimont and Kristian Vesalainen (shorthanded) both added goals. Abbotsford was outshot 9-6 in the final frame.
Moose goalie Mikhail Berdin recorded his third shutout and made 19 saves, while DiPietro had one of his roughest outing this season and allowed six goals on 26 shots.
Abbotsford will now await the result of tonight’s Bakersfield game to see where they go in round one.