Calgary Wranglers advance to face Coachella Valley Firebirds in AHL Pacific Division Final
Photo credit:Candice Ward/Calgary Wranglers
By Mike Gould1 month ago
It’s official: the top two teams in the American Hockey League will face off in the Pacific Division Final.
The Calgary Wranglers defeated the Abbotsford Canucks by a 3–2 score in Game 4 of their Round 2 playoff series on Friday night, setting the stage for a best-of-five series against the Coachella Valley Firebirds.
Also on Friday, Coachella Valley advanced after a big 5–0 win in their do-or-die Game 5 against the Colorado Eagles. The Firebirds finished the 2022–23 regular season with a 48–17–7 record, behind only the Wranglers (51–17–4) in both the Pacific Division and the league.
Adam Klapka scored the series-winning goal for the Wranglers in Game 4 as they defeated the Canucks three games to one. Cole Schwindt and Ilya Solovyov also found the back of the net for Calgary; Dustin Wolf made 23 saves to close out the series on the road.
The Wranglers and Firebirds faced off eight times during the 2022–23 regular season, with both teams winning four times in regulation. After dropping three of four and four of six against Coachella Valley in the first two months of the season, Calgary won twice in the final six weeks of the year to draw even in the season series.
Details on scheduling and ticketing for the series against the Firebirds will likely be released in the coming days. We’ll have all that information right here for you on FlamesNation as soon as it becomes available.
As was the case against the Canucks, the top-seeded Wranglers will have the option to choose whether they want to play the first two or the final three games at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Mitch Love-led coaching staff has now chosen the first option on two separate occasions and has won both series, so you can safely expect to see Games 1 and 2 take place in Calgary.
UPDATE — The Wranglers have once again elected to start at home.
The Firebirds chose to do the opposite in their series against Colorado, playing the final three games at Acrisure Arena in Riverside County, California. Although Coachella Valley fell behind two games to one against the Eagles, they won Games 4 and 5 at home to take the series.
As the Stockton Heat in 2022, the Flames’ AHL affiliate earned a bye past Round 1 of the Calder Cup Playoffs (as they also did this season) and defeated Bakersfield and Colorado before falling in six games to the Chicago Wolves in the AHL Western Conference Final. The Wolves went on to defeat the Springfield Thunderbirds to win the Calder Cup.
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