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Abbotsford Canucks clinch playoff berth with 4-3 win over Manitoba

Canucks improve to sixth in the Pacific Division with crucial win
Linus Karlsson celebrates a goal during the Abbotsford Canucks 4-3 win over the Manitoba Moose on Tuesday (April 2). The win clinched a playoff berth for the Canucks. (Abbotsford Canucks photo)

For the third consecutive season the Abbotsford Canucks have qualified for the American Hockey League playoffs.

The Canucks punched their ticket for the postseason with a 4-3 win over the Manitoba Moose in Abbotsford on Tuesday (April 2).

The win also leapfrogged the Canucks into sixth in the Pacific Division. The top-four teams will all have home ice advantage for at least one round.

Tuesday’s win also marked the fourth win in a row for the Canucks, who seem to be gathering momentum as the playoffs loom.

The Canucks faced some adversity against the Moose, falling behind 1-0 and 2-1 in the first period. But the Canucks answered back with equalizers from Aidan McDonough (6:05) and Sheldon Dries (power play goal at 16:32).

Abbotsford escaped the first up 3-2 when Jett Woo tallied at 17:32. Both teams fired 12 shots in the opening frame.

The second period saw Linus Karlsson connect after a perfect rush and set-up by Max Sasson at 13:25. The Moose added a goal at 13:25 of the third period, but the Canucks hung on for the win.

Sasson had another excellent offensive game for Abbotsford, as he has two primary assists, was a +3 and recorded three shots on goal. Karlsson also had a two-point night and had a team-high 54 points in 53 games. He led the Canucks with six shots on goal and was a +2.

Woo and McDonough also recorded two points. McDonough has emerged as a reliable forward in the second half of the season and now has 10 goals. Woo continues to set personal AHL career highs in points and has recorded 30 this season.

Nikita Tolopilo was solid in goal and made 18 saves for his 18th win on the season. Sheldon Dries added to his team-leading goals total and now has 25.

Tuesday was also the most noticeable that Vancouver Canucks 2022 first round draft pick Jonathan Lekkerimaki has looked in the AHL so far. He had several scoring opportunities and finished with five shots on goal.

It was the home debuts for both Lekkerimaki and defenceman Elias Pettersson, who had two shots, two penalty minutes and was +2.

The triumph comes off a pair of impressive wins on the road in Colorado on the weekend. Abbotsford swept the Eagles with a 2-1 overtime win on Friday (March 29) and a 5-1 victory on Saturday (March 30).

The Canucks next host the Moose again on Wednesday (April 3).

Abbotsford’s home stand continues with games against the Coachella Valley Firebirds on Saturday (April 6) and Sunday (April 7).

Ben Lypka

About the Author: Ben Lypka

I joined the Abbotsford News in 2015.
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