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Abbotsford Canucks clinch playoff berth

Team now fighting to earn home ice advantage in round one
The Abbotsford Canucks have clinched a playoff spot. (Abbotsford Canucks photo)

For the second straight season, the Abbotsford Canucks are heading to the American Hockey League playoffs.

Abbotsford clinched a spot on Sunday (March 26) after the Bakersfield Condors’ 4-1 win over the San Jose Barracuda.

The Canucks are the seventh team in the AHL to clinch a spot this season.

Abbotsford is currently sits in third place in the Pacific Division with a 35-23-3-4 record and 77 points, tied with the Colorado Eagles and six points up on the fifth place Ontario Reign.

The Canucks are in the midst of a road trip and have lost three straight. The club fell 4-1 to the Ontario Reign on Friday (March 24) and then lost 3-2 in overtime to the Reign on Sunday.

The Canucks have seven regular season games remaining, including five home games.

The teams placing second, third, and fourth in the Pacific Division all receive home ice advantage in the opening round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. If the Abbotsford Canucks secure home ice advantage, the entire best-of-three first round series of the Calder Cup Playoffs is expected to take place on April 19, 21, and 23, at the Abbotsford Centre all at 7:00 p.m.

Abbotsford closes out the road trip with games in Winnipeg against the Manitoba Moose on Thursday (March 30) and Sunday (April 1).

They return home for the final five games of the season, with games on April 7 and 8 against the Reign and then three games against the Calgary Wranglers on April 12, 14 and 15.

In other Abbotsford Canucks news, defenceman Jack Rathbone was called up to Vancouver on the weekend and scored his first NHL goal this season against the Dallas Stars on Saturday (March 25).

The club also announced the signing of forward Max Sasson on a two-year, entry-level contract. He will report to the Abbotsford on an amateur tryout agreement.

Sasson recently concluded his sophomore college season with the Western Michigan University Broncos, recording 42 points and 18 penalty minutes in 38 games.

The 6-1, 185-pound centreman spent three full seasons in the United States Hockey League with the Waterloo Black Hawks and Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.

“We are very pleased to have agreed to terms with Max today and we are excited to have him join Abbotsford in time for their playoff push,” stated Vancouver Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin. “He is coming off a very strong year with Western Michigan and has shown continual improvement in his game each of the last few seasons. We look forward to watching him develop at the professional level with our staff in Vancouver and Abbotsford.”

Ben Lypka

About the Author: Ben Lypka

I joined the Abbotsford News in 2015.
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