Adam Klapka nets two in 3-2 Calgary Wranglers win against Abbotsford Canucks
Photo credit:Candice Ward/Calgary Wranglers
1 month ago
The Abbotsford Canucks and Calgary Wranglers have a history. Plenty of it. Whenever they face each other, they bring an exciting game that is kept close on the scoreboard. Former Abbotsford and Vancouver coach, Trent Cull now mans the bench behind the Wranglers, Calgary eliminated Abbotsford from the playoffs last year and the Flames’ AHL team used to be based out of the British Columbian city (to mention a few). The Wranglers proved victorious in their first match-up against their Pacific rival with a 3-2 final score on Friday night.
Game at a glance
The starting lineup for the Wranglers was a little different in this game with Brett Sutter, Clark Bishop and Adam Klapka out for the opening face-off. Throughout the first period, they got back to the normal lines they had been rolling with but just gave Adam Klapka and Ben Jones some overlapped time between lines.
The undefeated Canucks got things started early with a goal just 1:56 into the game. Dustin Wolf went to make a save behind his back with his stick and the puck bounced back for him to cover it and end the play. Unfortunately, his stick was behind the goal line and the referee ruled it as a goal on the ice and after another look, the call stood. This was just the second opposing shot Wolf saw.
A minute and a half later, the Wranglers answered back with Adam Klapka’s second goal of the season. Jeremie Poirier and Emilio Pettersen made some room for him in the zone and Klapka beat Abbotsford goaltender Arturs Silovs on a wrist shot.
This game started off tight and they went practically shot for shot in the first half of the period. In the back half, however, the effort was very much leaned towards the home team’s direction. Nick DeSimone registered a shot 11:31 into the period and that was the last Calgary shot in the first period. Instead, Dustin Wolf was peppered with shots in his zone and came up with some clutch saves to keep this a tie game.
At the end of 20 minutes, the score remained 1-1 and shots favoured Abbotsford 18-5. In the second, the Wranglers got themselves back in the zone and evened the effort. The game kept a good pace for about seven minutes then some penalty calls started being made.
Martin Pospisil was in the box when the Canucks got called on a penalty and Brady Lyle took advantage of the extra space and scored his first as a Wrangler. Emilio Pettersen and Ben Jones assisted on the go-ahead goal.
Soon after, Pospisil’s penalty expired and the Wranglers took advantage of the remaining power play time they had. They moved the puck quickly in the zone and Klapka parked himself in front of the net to net a tip-in goal. Klapka’s second goal of the night was assisted by Connor Zary and Jeremie Poirier.
In the third, you could tell the Canucks dialed up their efforts to try and come back in this game. The intensity picked up and Clark Bishop ended his night early after checking Tristen Nielsen to the head along the boards. He was given a match penalty and based on league precedent, Bishop will likely be suspended for the Wranglers’ next game on Saturday. William Strömgren served the major penalty and the Canucks got a goal back during this opportunity.
Vasily Podkolzin got the perfect pass for a one-timer and blasted it past Wolf to put this game within one goal. This goal came just over three minutes after Bishop exited the game. Later in the period, Jeremie Poirier got caught in a collision with a Canucks player and was attended to by Wranglers Athletic Training staff. He didn’t return to finish the game and was helped off the ice. An indication of the severity of this hit will be shown tomorrow if Poirier is in the lineup or not.
That play was a part of the last of the drama in the game. There weren’t any other penalty calls in the third and by the last 2:11 of the period, Abbotsford had an empty net and an extra attacker. Neither side scored again and the game finished up at 3-2 for the Wranglers. Dustin Wolf had a stellar night between the pipes. Not that a performance like that is surprising with the skillset we know he has, but he kept this game at bay stopping 39 of 41 Canucks shots.
Calgary put up 27 shots of their own and two Wranglers made it to the three stars for their standout performances. Wolf picked up the second star and Adam Klapka was recognized as the first star of the night for his two goals including the game-winning goal.
The rematch between these teams takes place at the same time and place on Saturday evening. The Wranglers stay in town and look for a sweep to finish their first series of the season against the Abbotsford Canucks. Puck drop is at 8:00 p.m. MT.
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