Calgary Wranglers Preview: The AHL Battle of Alberta Returns
Photo credit:Angela Burger/Calgary Wranglers
7 months ago
The AHL Battle of Alberta between the Edmonton Oilers affiliate and the Calgary Flames affiliate comes back to the Scotiabank Saddledome this week before they go into the All-Star break.
The Calgary Wranglers host the Bakersfield Condors for a back-to-back series on Thursday and Friday nights and the Wranglers are looking to keep their perfect season series record alive.
Connor Zary – Radim Zohorna – Matthew Phillips
Mitch McLain – Ben Jones – Cole Schwindt
Brett Sutter – Kevin Rooney – Adam Klapka
Emilio Pettersen – Clark Bishop – Alex Gallant
Ilya Solovyov – Nick DeSimone
Yan Kuznetsov – Nicolas Meloche
Jeremie Poirier – Colton Poolman
Forwards: Luke Esposito, Xavier Bourgault, James Hamblin, Greg McKegg, Noah Philp, Tyler Benson, Brad Malone, Dino Kambeitz, Graham McPhee, Seth Griffith, Ty Tullio, Carter Savoie, Raphael Lavoie, Justin Bailey
Defensemen: Markus Niemelainen, Jason Demers, Michael Kesselring, Yanni Kaldis, Phillip Kemp, Alex Peters, Max Gildon
Goaltenders: Calvin Pickard, Olivier Rodrigue
Matthew Phillips – 36GP, 24G, 22A
Connor Zary – 42GP, 14G, 28A
Jakob Pelletier – 32GP, 16G, 20A
Seth Griffith – 41GP, 11G, 23A
Raphael Lavoie – 30GP, 11G, 11A
Xavier Bourgault – 41GP, 10G, 11A
Notes and expectations
Pending any last minute lineup changes, the Wranglers will be fully stacked going into this series against the Condors. This will still include Jakob Pelletier, Walker Duehr and Dennis Gilbert, who were all up with the Flames before the NHL All-Star break. While the team proved just under a month ago they could still win without them, it will be nice to have the depth behind them.
The Wranglers still lead the season series with a perfect 6-0-0-0 record. Back on January 8th and 10th, this record came close to being challenged with Calgary just barely squeaking by with a 2-1 win and a 4-3 win on those nights. The more these Division rivals play each other this year, the more creative they’re going to have to be about their gameplay if they would like to hold the advantage on the ice.
Going into this series there is an unlikely player to watch for the Wranglers. While we’ve been hearing about the Phillips’, Wolf’s, Pelletier’s and Zary’s of the year, there’s another forward that’s on a hot streak and does an excellent job with his role on the team. That player is Mitch McLain.
McLain has pretty much played on every line this year and is creeping up in the minutes as the season goes on. In his last handful of games, he has been playing his best hockey of the season earning seven points in his last five games. He was left off the board in their last game against the Ontario Reign but in the game before, he earned two goals and an assist in their win over the Henderson Silver Knights. We’ll see if he can keep it going into this week.
It’ll be a fun couple of games that can help scratch the itch that may be occurring from the lack of Flames hockey over the last few days. This series kicks off on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. MT. Friday’s game will be at the same game time but will also feature a Star Wars-themed night of hockey.
You can catch either or both of these games in person at the Scotiabank Saddledome or stream them on AHL.TV. FlamesNation contributors, Mike Gould and myself will have game updates on Twitter.
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