Calgary Wranglers Recap: Jakob Pelletier’s first home game as alternate captain ends in 3-1 loss

Photo credit:Terence Leung/Calgary Wranglers
Paige Siewert
1 month ago
The Calgary Wrangles kicked off their last regular season home series on Thursday against the Canucks. The Wranglers are in their last four games of the year and a few wins against Abbotsford can help them earn a better seeding that would avoid the possibility of a second round against the Coachella Valley Firebirds. They didn’t make any gains in the division in this game as it had a slower pace to it and finished up with a 3-1 win for the Canucks.

Lineup notes

The organization confirmed the transaction for Jaden Lipinski on Thursday and he joined the Wranglers on an ATO. They also noted that Sam Honzek is in town but the 2023 first-round draft pick is dealing with a day-to-day injury from playoffs. We didn’t see any of Lipinski in this game but David Silye got to make his home debut in his second game with the team. 
Compared to last game, there were a few switches in the lineup. Ilya Solovyov is up playing with the Flames so that cleared up a spot on the blue line that Jeremie Poirier filled in for. Artem Grushnikov also rejoined the defenders with Mark Pysyk slotting out of the lineup. Up front, Riley Damiani and Lucas Ciona came into this game and Alex Gallant and Sam Morton were out. 
Jakob Pelletier had a new accessory to show off for this game as he joined the rotation of alternate captains for the Wranglers. He previously wore the A in their last series against the Bakersfield Condors, but this was the first time it was debuted for the home crowd. 
Captain Brett Sutter spoke to Pelletier’s new role:
“He’s such a high energy guy. He’s always talking, he’s always the little jitterbug in the room. One of those guys you can kind of feed off and his life and his passion. I think he’s done a good job and he’s earned the right to wear that letter.”

Game at a glance

Connor Murphy started between the pipes for Calgary and on the other end, Nikita Tolopilo got the nod for Abbotsford. Murphy would get tested first with most of the early effort coming from the Canucks. In the first seven minutes, Jakob Pelletier was the only Wrangler to get shots on goal. 
Calgary took the first penalty of the game and ended up taking two more by the end of the period. Their penalty kill was a perfect three-for-three in the opening frame and Connor Muphy did a great job turning away some awkward bounces and redirects. By the end of the first, the Wranglers and Canucks were scoreless with the visitors outshooting the home team 12-5. 
In the second, the Canucks continued to put pressure on the Wranglers and by 6:22, they were rewarded for their efforts. Sheldon Dries snuck a shot over Murphy’s shoulder and earned the first Abbotsford goal of the night. 
A few minutes later, the Wranglers got their first chance on the power play but the score remained unchanged. Each team got spurts of offensive zone time through the second half of the period and by the end of 40 minutes, the Canucks held a 1-0 lead. Shots in the middle frame were 13-8 Abbotsford. 
In the third, there was a sigh of relief at the sight of Cole Schwindt returning to the ice. Late in the second, he fell down awkwardly and went off to be evaluated. He was back on the bench and back on the ice for the third period. He was out for the first power plat unit at 2:26 however, the Wranglers didn’t score on this man advantage either.
Calgary clearly had some more jump in the third but Abbotsford took away from this momentum with a goal from Tristen Nielsen at 11:09. The puck rolled up and popped up over Murphy’s shoulder and in. 2-0 Canucks.
The Wranglers tried to make up for this goal and got a chance on the power play at 16:39. Just 22 seconds into the power play, Jordan Oesterle made it a 2-1 game with a shot from the point that beat Tolopilo. This goal came at 17:01 and was assisted by Cole Schwindt and Brett Sutter. This was also a milestone goal for Oesterle, who hit the 100 AHL point mark.
Shortly after at 18:37, the Wranglers pulled Connor Murphy for the extra attacker and Chase Wouters got the puck in the empty net at 19:41 to seal the win. This game finished up with a 3-1 win and Abbotsford outshot Calgary by 10 with 35 shots to their 25.

Next up

These two continue their series into Friday night. This will wrap up the Calgary side of it before the Wranglers travel to Abbotsford next week to wrap up the regular season. Friday’s game will start at the same time with a 7:00 p.m. MT puck drop at the Scotiabank Saddledome. 

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