Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
The Farmies: Abbotsford Canucks squander three-goal lead during third period meltdown in shootout loss to Bakersfield
1 month ago
It’s a shame, really.
With less than 14 minutes to go in the third period, I was prepping myself to talk about Dmitri Zlodeev.
How he overcame the odds as a 6th-round pick of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft to break into the AHL from the Russian VHL league, even taking an AHL deal to develop with the team that drafted him, only to spend 89% of his rookie AHL season as a healthy scratch.
Then, to talk about Ty Glover, who came to Vancouver from the Pittsburgh Penguins as an offsetting contract dump just to get buried in the ECHL with the Kalamazoo Wings, going pointless in eleven AHL games before finally having his breakthrough performance of the season, with a multi-point effort in an elevated third-line role that culminated in him setting up Dmitri Zlodeev for the first goal of his North American career.
That’s where this Farmies pre-amble could have ended. With all the good stories that Canucks fans love to read about when they check in on the happenings of the farm.
Instead, the club took their three-goal lead against their Pacific Division rival and squandered it over the course of 14 minutes.
No, “Zlodeev scores game-winner for first career AHL goal” headline.
No, “Dave Hall, proven right about Ty Glover” edition of the Blackfish Prospect Report (TBD).
No. Instead, I have to let everyone in the comments section down with news that, up until they lost the game in soul-crushing fashion, they were winning! It was another classic AHL rollercoaster of a game. Tristen Nielsen, Max Sasson, and Ty Glover finished with multi-point evenings, Filip Johansson scored a primary assist in his return to action, Aatu Räty scored his eighth of the year, and Vasily Podkolzin recorded 25% of the club’s shots on netminder Olivier Rodrigue yet didn’t figure on the scoresheet!
AHL Hockey, baby!
Let’s not scroll to the bottom for the scoresheet but journey through the Everestian highs and Mariana’s Trench-ian lows of Wednesday night’s action together.
I promise that, next game, I will put a scoresheet at the top of the list so you anti-GIF folks can skip the labour of love that is The Farmies.
Losing a top-line winger to a call-up right before puck-drop is always tough. Losing two is another.
Joining Linus Karlsson on the Abbotsford MIA list was centre Sheldon Dries, who missed Wednesday night’s action despite being listed on the initial lineup sheet earlier in the day. Additionally, middle-six contributor Marc Gatcomb was unavailable.
Sliding into the lineup at forward for Karlsson, Dries, and Gatcomb were Jermaine Loewen, Dmitri Zlodeev, and Alex Kannok Leipert, who was once again playing shifts at forward instead of his typical position at RD.
Fortunately, despite the holes at forward, the club saw the return of Filip Johansson to the d-core. Johansson had missed the last seven games with an undisclosed injury.
Johansson looked to make up for lost time early, firing a knuckler from the blue line that deflected off a Condors’ defenceman’s skate and wide of Olivier Rodrigue’s net.
Dmitri Zlodeev, who has missed most of the season as a healthy scratch, kept his game simple—lots of foot movement and commitment to the defensive side of the game. Early in the period, the Condors executed a criss-cross applesauce play off a zone entry, designed to split the defence and create an odd-man rush. The young forward’s quick feet on the retreat saw him use his stick to take away a potential passing option before opening up for a pass from Cole McWard to kickstart a breakout.
After a string of broken plays, the Canucks broke the stalemate thanks to a d-zone turnover. After finding himself in the right place at the right time, Aatu Räty flipped the puck out to the left wing to Ty Glover for a shot on goal. The scrambling Condors were caught tracking Glover toward the left circle, allowing Räty to hammer Glover’s rebound over Rodrigue’s outstretched left pad.
Abbotsford Goal: 1-0 Canucks Aatu Räty from Ty Glover
Off the ensuing draw, the Condors pressed hard to equalize. Former first-round pick Philip Broberg rifled a shot from the point, forcing a frantic series of saves from Arturs Silovs, who had to track Raphael Lavoie’s wraparound attempt off of Broberg’s rebound from the splits position. Youch!
Near the midway point of the period, Arshdeep Bains was caught getting a little too cheeky with the puck after entering the zone. Bains had some noticeable pep in his step on a re-jigged first line with Tristen Nielsen and Max Sasson, but the trio struggled to generate chances.
A curling pass from Bains sent Nielsen out of the d-zone and into the Condors’ end for a rush chance. Otherwise, it was a bit of a sleepy period from the young first line.
Past the midway point, a line that had shown considerable pep in their step nearly made it 2-zip off a breakout pass from McWard to Kannok Leipert, with the latter splitting the Condors’ defence for a breakaway chance on Rodrigue.
The best part of AKL’s drive on goal was the post-whistle scrum that ensued. AKL cruised out of the offensive zone after his shot; both Jermaine Loewen and Dmitri Zlodeev crashed the net, pulling collars and pushing around Bakersfield’s defensemen for some post-whistle shenanigans. Zlodeev is a slight individual who has struggled to crack the everyday lineup, so it was great seeing him unafraid to mix it up against the Condors’ veteran players.
Zlodeev glued himself alongside Carter Savoie for his next shift while Jett Woo and Christian Wolanin tried to work the puck back into Abbotsford’s possession.
Late in the frame, much to Dave Hall’s delight, Ty Glover worked to find open space in the slot, nearly making it a 2-nothing game off a set-up from John Stevens.
Abbotsford’s third-line of Räty, Stevens, and Glover had the best success of any Abbotsford trio, combining for a 5-on-5 goal, three shots on net, including a quality set-up for a sneaky Johansson-wrister through traffic.
Through 20 minutes, the Canucks outshot the Condors 9 to 7, with all but one of Bakersfield’s shots coming from the perimeter. The Canucks drew the period’s only penalty, an interference minor against Brad Malone, but only generated a single shot on net.
At one point, the Condors did generate a 3-on-1 rush. Fortunately, McWard did an incredible job retreating into the d-zone with speed before finding his opening to attack the puck carrier, Seth Griffith, throwing the puck into the air and denying Griffith from completing a cross-ice pass.
The 3-on-1 rush sequence ended with Vasily Podkolzin blocking the shot of Philip Broberg; the man drafted two spots ahead of him in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
Funny how that works!
Abbotsford began the second period with 27 seconds of power play time, but a mistimed pass saw the puck rebound off a Condors’ defenseman’s skate and out of the zone, ending any potential chance of an early tally.
As these things go, Matt Irwin got away with a holding penalty while defending the Condors’ rush, and then Johansson got away with holding the stick of Seth Griffith on the same play. Ty Glover was not so lucky, and his slashing penalty sent Abbotsford to their first PK of the night.
Colliton’s first PK rotation saw Chase Wouters and Stevens playing with Nick Cicek and McWard. The second PK group saw Aatu Räty hop on with Bains, Woo, and Christian Wolanin.
After preventing the Condors from even handling the puck inside the d-zone, Woo sent Räty and Bains into the offensive zone for an odd-man rush. Räty registered the only shot on net during the Condors’ power play opportunity.
With 20 seconds left on the power play, Colliton rolled out a PK group of Irwin, Johansson, Wouters, and Max Sasson. Sasson hasn’t played much on the PK in his Abbotsford tenure. Perhaps Colliton read my latest Mailbag?
Five minutes into the period, Seth Griffith took a penalty that gave Abbotsford their second power play of the night. And what a power play it was!
The Canucks must’ve watched J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek (2009), specifically the part where Eric Bana screamed at his crew to “fire everything!” Because in two minutes of power play time, the Canucks nearly matched their total shot output of the first period, with six shots total.
Podkolzin was hammering one-timers from the right circle.
Räty was pulling passes off the goal line for chances outside Rodrigue’s crease.
As pointed out by the Bakersfield play-by-play broadcaster, the Canucks’ power play has been terrible this season. But it looked anything but during this second period try.
The only problem was they forgot to score!
Sure enough, the Condors drew an interference penalty against Tristen Nielsen after returning to a 5-on-5 state, at which point they equalized.
Bakersfield Goal: 1-1 Tie Lane Pederson from Philip Broberg and Drake Caggiula
Pederson’s goal was just the second power play goal conceded by the Canucks in their last 24 PKs. Perhaps it was the shorthanded confidence that led to Abbotsford’s PK playing so unusually high in the d-zone on the equalizing goal. With Nick Cicek pinned along the right wall in a battle, John Stevens found himself tracking back into no man’s land, leaving McWard to leave the slot to challenge Drake Caggiula near the right circle. The collapse in coverage left Lane Pederson wide-open at the opposite side of Silovs’ crease for the one-timer pass from Broberg.
Silovs had been sharp until the Pederson goal, and shortly after, he gave up a softy that brought up bad memories of his early season struggles.
Bakersfield Goal: 2-1 Condors Greg McKegg from Carter Savoie and Max Wanner
It was a tough sequence to pin the blame solely on Silovs. After Woo chased for a hit at centre ice, Aidan McDonough dropped back to hold the puck at the red line. Both Wouters, Woo, and Podkolzin were caught sitting above the red line, offering zero puck support for Irwin or McDonough. Sure enough, McDonough lost the battle to Wanner, giving way to a two-on-one for Bakersfield and the softy over Silovs’ glove side.
Fortunately, the Canucks remembered they are an elite team when it comes to 5-on-5 goalscoring and not only equalized but scored three straight to give themselves their biggest edge of the night.
First, it was Wouters looking to make up for his gaffe on the McKegg goal by fighting to break the puck past two Condors’ skaters at the d-zone blue line to spring Räty and Podkolzin ahead for a 2-on-1. Both Räty and Podkolzin tested Rodrigue with quick wrist shots.
Then, Tristen Nielsen continued his stellar season, scoring his eighth of the year under typical Nielsen-like circumstances: hard work along the walls to maintain possession, shifting away from the defence to open ice, and scoring a clutch-as-hell goal when the team needs it the most.
Abbotsford Goal: 2-2 Tie Tristen Nielsen from Max Sasson and Chase Wouters
One minute later, Dave Hall’s Blackfish focus, Ty Glover, kept up his strong game in an elevated role, scoring his first in the Abbotsford blue & white to give Abbotsford the one-goal lead.
Abbotsford Goal: 3-2 Canucks Ty Glover from Filip Johansson and John Stevens
The goal gave Johansson his fifth assist of the season. This one, his fourth primary assist of the year, saw him fake out a forechecking Condor for a shot from the point that kicked off several bodies at the net front. Rodrigue couldn’t find the rebound, but Glover did, allowing him to skate out to the high slot for a turning wrist shot past the unaware netminder.
Then, less than two minutes after Glover’s tiebreak, with the Condors lines in the blender, the first line of Bains, Sasson, and Nielsen combined with McWard to execute a brilliant, crisp passing play off the rush entry to push Abbotsford’s lead to two.
Abbotsford Goal: 4-2 Canucks Arshdeep Bains from Tristen Nielsen and Cole McWard
Ten seconds after Bains’ goal, Bakersfield’s Ty Tullio took a high-sticking minor to send Abbotsford back to the power play. Abbotsford’s third power play of the game yielded a shot on net from Podkolzin—his eighth of the period—and an offsetting hooking penalty taken by Max Sasson with seven seconds remaining on the power play.
The Sasson penalty was disappointing as it did not allow me to continue my conspiracy theory (in jest) that Sasson was getting PK time Wednesday night because Jeremy Colliton read the Monday Mailbag series that presented Sasson’s call-up potential as being dependent on whether he starts seeing regular shifts on the PK.
The Condors’ PK registered several shots on net, with their most dangerous look coming from Raphael Lavoie, who barreled toward Silovs with a head full of steam for a wrister from the inside of the left circle.
The Canucks finished the period having outshot the Condors 16 to 8, 25 to 15 through 40 minutes.
Despite being down 2/3rds of a first line, the Abbotsford Canucks lineup kept finding new ways to dare Bakersfield’s coaching staff into putting Jack Campbell between the pipes.
Forechecking aggressively at the end of his shift, Ty Glover forced a turnover right onto the tape of Dmitri Zlodeev’s stick, allowing the young forward to turn and rifle the puck over Rodrigue’s shoulder for his first on North American soil.
Abbotsford Goal: 5-2 Canucks Dmitri Zlodeev from Ty Glover
Our heartfelt congratulations go to ex-CanucksArmy contributor Chris Faber, who put in many hours on this site and the CanucksConversation podcast, keeping Canucks nation appraised on everything-Zlodeev, years ahead of his eventual turn stateside.
Oh, and to Zlodeev for his first AHL goal, too.
That’s pretty neat, too!
Five minutes deep into the period, after lots of back-and-forth non-action, Noel Hoefenmayer went to the penalty box for interference, giving Abbotsford a fourth power play opportunity.
The Canucks re-jigged power play unit of Wolanin, Bains, Stevens, Wouters, and Podkolzin mustered nothing. Then, a shorthanded rush from Xavier Bourgault drew an interference penalty against Christian Wolanin, offsetting the power play opportunity after just 48 seconds.
During the brief 4-on-4, the Condors were the recipients of a fortunate bounce when Ben Gleason backhanded a pass through the slot, inadvertently bouncing off of Jett Woo’s right skate and over Silovs’ right pad to cut the Canucks lead back down to two.
Bakersfield Goal: 5-3 Canucks Ben Gleason from Alex Peters and Brad Malone
The Canucks then spent the remainder of the 4-on-4 and the 48-second PK shuffling the puck through the neutral zone and into the Condors’ end. Holding their opponent to zero shots following Gleason’s lucky bounce.
Upon the return to 5-on-5, Glover continued to impress, blocking a heavy shot at point-blank range while defending inside the d-zone. The block drew a loud reaction from the Canucks’ bench that could be heard on the broadcast.
Condors’ head coach Colin Chaulk began throwing all forward trios and defensive duos into the line blender to try and yield some positive results. A grouping of Drake Caggiula, Lane Pederson, and Seth Griffith gave the Nielsen-Bains-Sasson trio trouble late in the period, but Silovs stayed sharp, making several stops on defenceman Noel Hoefenmayer to hold Abbotsford’s lead.
Late in the period, Glover got his arm around Bourgault as he drove toward the slot, causing the forward to swing his stick violently into the face of Nick Cicek.
Cicek remainder down for quite some time before the refs blew their whistles.
Upon the reset, a goal was immediately waived off due to goaltender interference, with Silovs flopping to the ice after colliding with Seth Griffith at the edge of the paint.
The crowd was none-too-pleased.
On a delayed penalty call, the Condors cut the deficit in half, with Matvei Petrov backhanding the puck past a wildly out-of-position Silovs.
Bakersfield Goal: 5-4 Canucks Matvei Petrov from Raphael Lavoie and Brad Malone
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “shouldn’t McWard’s touch of the puck draw a whistle?”
The refs ruled that McWard didn’t gain possession on either touch on Lavoie’s cross-ice pass; therefore, it was a good goal for Bakersfield.
Tough bounce for McWard on the play.
With two minutes left in the game, Chaulk pulled Rodrigue to give Bakersfield the extra attacker. Through the final five minutes, Colliton leaned massively on Wouters, Stevens, and Bains. Given the momentum swing in Bakersfield’s favour, it was an extremely risky deployment play.
During the Condors’ late onslaught, Wouters blocked a huge shot off the ankle, only for Abbotsford to ice the puck.
With 30 seconds left in the third, an absolutely gassed Bains could only crumble to his knees and watch as Lande Pederson tied the game at five with a missile over Silovs’ glove side.
Bakersfield Goal: 5-5 Tie Lane Pederson from Drake Caggiula and Raphael Lavoie
The Condors rally to outshoot Abbotsford 12 to 5 over the final twenty minutes while recording three straight goals of their own to force overtime. The decision to run Bains-Stevens-Wolanin-Wouters-Woo through 90% of the last five minutes of the third period left Colliton with very few trustworthy bodies in overtime.
The first minute and a half of overtime was marked by a dominant run of possession from Bakersfield. Then, following chances from Woo and Nielsen, a high-flip sprang Drake Caggiula deep into the Canucks’ zone for a dangerous breakaway opportunity.
Miraculously, Woo’s sweeping backchecking effort broke up Caggiula’s chance and avoided a PK for slashing.
The remaining few minutes of OT saw the Canucks possess but fail to threaten.
Abbotsford’s last run of possession saw Räty lose possession of the puck before handing the Condors an odd-man rush in the dying seconds of OT.
It was ugly.
Bakersfield’s Ben Gleason: SAVED
Vasily Podkolzin: SCORES
Bakersfield’s Lane Pederson: SCORES
Tristen Nielsen: SAVED
Bakersfield’s Raphael Lavoie: SAVED
Jett Woo: SAVED
Bakersfield’s Xavier Bourgault: SCORES
Aidan McDonough, to keep Abbotsford alive: SCORES
Bakersfield’s Matvei Petrov: SAVED
Max Sasson, to win it: SAVED
Bakersfield’s Drake Caggiula: SAVED
Arshdeep Bains, to win it: SAVED
Bakersfield’s Seth Griffith: SCORES
Ty Glover, to keep Abbotsford alive…is tripped on the approach: MISS
Bakersfield completes the comeback in the shootout.
Fun! But brutal.
Bakersfield Condors defeat Abbotsford via the shootout 6-5
CanucksArmy’s Three Stars
The first star belongs to Ty Glover, a forechecking machine for Abbotsford through all three periods. Often, when players are tasked with playing in an elevated role, reality hits like a truck, and players inevitably find themselves substituted for other skaters who are performing better that evening. Not Glover. On Wednesday night, with him forechecking like he was, the Canucks were dominant. He recorded his first multi-point game since a 2-goal, 2-assist night against the Bridgeport Islanders last year with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Sure, he wasn’t able to keep the Canucks’ shootout going, but he probably should have never been in that position in the first place. The Canucks’ coaching staff was caught trying to line-match an amalgamation of inexperienced forwards against the veteran trio of Seth Griffith, Drake Caggiula, and Lane Pederson when Bakersfield was at their most dangerous. In another world, the Canucks have Sheldon Dries, Linus Karlsson, and Marc Gatcomb available to eat some of the d-zone faceoffs and tough matchups so that players like Chase Wouters, John Stevens, and Arshdeep Bains don’t have to play as much as they did. Unfortunately, that was not the world Abbotsford Canucks’ fans existed in on Wednesday night. Glover was solid, and, unfortunately, his performance will be an afterthought following the club’s 6th loss in ten games.
The second star belongs to Tristen Nielsen, who picked up a goal and an assist, both at 5-on-5, to tie the game at two and push the Canucks’ lead to two. Nielsen is the ‘playoff Bo Horvat’ of the Abbotsford Canucks; clutch-as-hell in scoring timely goals, with a flair for the dramatic. Like Glover, it’s a shame that his clutch/60 will fly under the radar following the club’s blown three-goal lead.
The third star belongs to Dmitri Zlodeev—an easy choice—who scored his first goal on North American soil in just his third AHL game after missing 26 other matches as a healthy scratch. Zlodeev didn’t see much ice time when Bakersfield pressed late, but his game looked sharp through the first two periods and up until his goal in the third period. Though it’s a small sample size, I’ve liked Zlodeev’s commitment to the defensive side of the game. His skating is a little choppy, but he seemingly knows where he needs to be at all times, leading to beneficial scoring chances or subtly disruptive plays on the backend. When the club returns some bodies to the lineup from call-ups and injuries, I hope Zlodeev gets a longer runway to see what more he can do with his skill set.
Next up on the Docket
The Abbotsford Canucks take a two-day break before returning for back-to-back games against the Coachella Valley Firebirds.
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