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Calgary Wranglers recap: Connor Murphy’s first professional shutout defeats Firebirds in redemption rematch

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Photo credit:Jenn Pierce/Calgary Wranglers
Paige Siewert
21 days ago
The Wranglers were out for redemption and revenge on Wednesday night after falling to the Firebirds 7-3 on Tuesday. They got on the board first and carried a 1-0 through a full 40 minutes then added another goal in the third. This game ended in a 2-0 final score for Connor Murphy’s first professional shutout. 

Lineup notes

The Wranglers had a few swaps for this game. Rory Kerins returned to the lineup for his first game since Mar. 16. Yan Kuznetsov was also back in on the blue line. Jeremie Poirier and Mark Pysyk took a rest day and Jonathan Aspirot was back on the blue line alongside Jordan Oesterle. Lucas Ciona was also in the lineup on Tuesday but swapped out for this game in favour of Matthew Wedman.

Game at a glance

Connor Murphy got another chance at the Firebirds and started this game. He started on Tuesday but was pulled after three goals against in the first half of the opening frame. On the other end, Ales Stezka was between the pipes for Coachella Valley. Calgary got an early chance on the power play when Max McCormick was called for a double minor just 57 seconds into the game. The Firebirds almost came up with a shorthanded goal shortly after but the puck luckily rang off the post.
Instead, the Wranglers would get on the board first with a power play marker from Sam Morton. This line was passing the puck all over in the Firebirds zone and Morton finished the play with his second professional goal. Jordan Oesterle and Jakob Pelletier picked up the assists.
The Wranglers got another power play at 9:14 when Kole Lind was called for cross-checking. This power play didn’t result in a score change, but after it expired, Ilya Solovyov was hit in the face off a clearing attempt in front of the Firebirds’ bench. The Wranglers got a third power play and after this one, Brett Sutter put up a hit along the boards he had to answer for from John Hayden. Not the biggest of hits but it’s enough for both of them to drop the gloves over. 
This was only the start of some of the rough stuff that took place before the end of the period. The officials tried their best to keep guys apart and keep the game clean but Luke Henman and Adam Klapka were called for offsetting minors for roughing at 19:17. Klapka’s actions put the Wranglers on the penalty kill with a charging call tacked on top of that. Rory Kerins joined him in the box to serve the roughing call.
That pretty well wrapped up the first period and the Wranglers had a 1-0 lead going into the first intermission. Shots were an even 12-12 through the opening 20 minutes. In the second, the Wranglers had 1:18 of a penalty to kill off and were successful in that attempt. The Firebirds made it close to a tie game but just missed a sharp-angle shot wide. 
Ilya Solovyov did return with a bubble on for this period and brought the blue line back up to full strength. The action was not as frequent as in the first period but there were some decent scoring chances traded. By the end of the second period, the score remained 1-0 Calgary and shots sat at 24-19 for Coachella Valley. 
In the third, the Wranglers added to their lead with a goal from William Stromgren at 5:02. This was Stromgren’s fourth point in three games and gave Calgary a bit of breathing room after going over two periods without a goal. 
There was a bit more special teams action later in the period and at 17:44 the Firebirds pulled Stezka for the extra attacker. The Wranglers ended up on the power play with 19 seconds to go so they put the Coachella Valley netminder back in. 
The game finished up with a 2-0 final score for Calgary and Connor Murphy picked up his first professional shutout in this game. He stopped all 34 shots and got his revenge on a team that had him yanked halfway through the first period the previous night. Murphy was awarded the first star of the night, Sam Morton was awarded the second and William Stromgren was awarded the third.
After the game, Connor Murphy spoke to the media about his reaction to getting the start again and said,
“I was honestly a little surprised. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen but obviously, I knew it was a chance for me to bounce back and I wanted to take the opportunity to do so.”
He went on to say how down the stretch while Dustin Wolf is up with the Flames, he is here to do a job and he wants to do it to the best of his ability. Being named the player of the game, it seems he did his job exceptionally well in this game. 

Scoring stat summary 

Sam Morton – 1G
Jordan Oesterle – 1A
Jakob Pelletier – 1A
William Stromgren – 1G

Highlights

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Next up 

The Wranglers continue their homestand this week for two more games this weekend. They’ll host the San Jose Barracuda for Easter weekend with two matinee games on Friday and Sunday. Both games have a puck drop of 1:00 p.m. MT.

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