Calgary Wranglers recap: Coachella Valley comes to town and delivers 6-1 stomping

Photo credit:Angela Burger/Calgary Wranglers
Paige Siewert
5 months ago
The Calgary Wranglers and Coachella Valley Firebirds faced off at the Saddledome on Monday afternoon for the only AHL action of the day. While the Wranglers had the advantage in the standings and were going into this game following a shutout on Friday night, things unravelled for the home team. They let this game slip away from their grasp and fell to the Firebirds 6-1.

Lineup notes

Dryden Hunt was the latest addition to the injury report for the Wranglers. After missing some time in their last game against the Abbotsford Canucks, it was confirmed by the team that he will indeed miss more game action. Hunt is now listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury and is ruled out for the four games this week including this one. 
Rory Kerins also slotted back in the lineup for this game after being scratched on Friday. The scratch was the coaching staff’s decision to filter more guys into the lineup. He did not end up having any shots in this game.

Game at a glance

The opposing goaltender the Wranglers are used to seeing for Coachella Valley, Joey Daccord, played in the outdoor game between the Seattle Kraken and Vegas Golden Knights. Daccord also earned the shutout in that game. For this game, the Firebirds started rookie goaltender, Ales Stezka and Dustin Wolf started on Calgary’s side.
The first period was a pretty evenly matched frame for these teams. They traded shots and it would be the Firebirds who made it on the board first. John Hayden took a shot on Dustin Wolf then returned with the rebound that Wolf could not get a solid glove on. This goal came just 5:09 into the game.
Without even a minute going by, the Wranglers answered back with a goal of their own from Yan Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov took a shot from the point that cleared the traffic in front and evened up this game. Adam Klapka got the lone assist on this opening marker for Calgary. 
Calgary made an effort to keep their momentum going and were racking up the shots on Stezka. No other scoring took place in the opening frame and things finished up tied 1-1. Shots for Calgary in the first were 12-6.
In the second period, the Wranglers hit a turning point in their game that really affected the rest of the competition. Mitch McLain was called for tripping at 3:41 and Kole Lind scored a power-play goal shortly after at 3:57. Wolf was visibly frustrated after this one. 
John Hayden and Will Riedell got into a fight 5:21 into the period and Riedell did not return to the game after being evaluated. The Wranglers skated five defencemen the rest of the game as a result.
Shortly after this fight, Alex Gallant got fired up as well and was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for giving his opponent a facewash. Shortly after this, the Firebirds appeared to score on Wolf, but it was immediately waved off due to Wolf being pushed down by a Coachella Valley skater. 
The Wranglers would not get to enjoy the relief from that waved-off goal for long with Coachella Valley on the power play again due to Gallant’s call. They struck again on the power play at 6:33 to make it a 3-1 game. Later in the period, John Hayden scored his second of the game off a tip-in at 11:02.
The Wranglers were visibly down and frustrated by the end of this period as they had three goals against in this frame and trailed 4-1 after 40 minutes. Shots were almost exactly even in the second with the Firebirds tacking on 16 to Calgary’s 15.
In the third, an early goal against further discouraged the home team. Andrew Poturalski scored on a rebound just 1:27 into the period. The Wranglers didn’t exactly quit after this goal and did get a few more opportunities in the Firebirds zone but were unable to connect.
What delivered the final blow in this game was a goal from Ryan Winterton when Gustav Olofsson sprung him out of the penalty box and was virtually undefended. This made the score 6-1 with just over seven minutes to go and the reality of this game’s result set in. 
A few minor calls were dealt in the last 31 seconds of regulation and that was it for this game. Calgary fell 6-1 and were outshot 40-30. The Firebirds swept the three-star accolades as well. 


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Next up 

This is a game to have a short memory about as they face each other on Tuesday evening. This quick turnaround is just game two of four for Calgary this week and will take place at 6:00 p.m. MT.

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