Photo credit:Mike Zitek/Coachella Valley Firebirds
Calgary Wranglers recap: Oscar Dansk’s 40 save effort takes down the Firebirds 4-1
3 months ago
After an electric 8-3 win on Friday night, the Calgary Wranglers took a short trip up to Thousand Palms, California to face the Coachella Valley Firebirds on Saturday night. The Wranglers were looking for some revenge after having their playoff run ended by the Firebirds last season. Obviously, this game didn’t have as much on the line, but the Wranglers still got a little retribution with a 4-1 win.
Two lineup changes were made going into this game. Ilya Nikolaev made his season debut in William Stromgren’s position and Lucas Ciona slotted back into the lineup. Ciona took Alex Gallant’s place and skated on a line with Brett Sutter and Mitch McLain. Nikolaev skated on a line with Clark Bishop and Emilio Pettersen.
Game at a glance
This game got going right away. There really wasn’t much of a sense of the teams feeling each other out. These teams know each other very well and know what to expect. The Firebirds got the first power play opportunity of the game after Ilya Solovyov was called for interference 4:48 into the game.
Calgary’s penalty kill had a bit of a hard time keeping up with the Firebirds as quite a few high-danger shots made their way through the zone. Thankfully, the kill was successful and Oscar Dansk did a great job turning away the pucks.
The Wranglers got a bit of momentum back and some of the tensions between these teams didn’t take long to boil over. 12:48 into the first, Mitch McLain dropped the gloves against Ian McKinnon. They were jarring a little bit off the faceoff and fought behind the play. No Gallant in the lineup tonight made him one of the next logical guys to get something going by chucking some fists.
Just after these two exited the box for serving their five-minute majors, Ville Ottavainen scored off a broken play he settled down and beat Dansk’s high blocker side. That was the only goal through the first period and the Firebirds had a 1-0 lead going into the second. The Firebirds outshot the Wranglers 14-9 in the opening frame.
In the second period, it took some time to get any notable action going but by the last quarter of the period, the Wranglers woke their scoring up. It all started with Ilya Nikolaev, who was looking to make his place in the lineup more permanent. A goal in your season debut is a great place to start. Emilio Pettersen set him up for a perfectly placed shot that lit the lamp on the Wranglers’ side for the first time this game. Brady Lyle picked up the secondary assist.
This goal came 16:35 into the middle frame and by 19:47 into the second, the Wranglers successfully took their first lead of the night. Emilio Pettersen scored his second in as many nights with a sneaky backhand spin move. Clark Bishop and Ben Jones assisted on the go-ahead goal.
The Wranglers were doubled up on shots in the second period 16-8 but still had a 2-1 lead at the end of 40 minutes. In the third, a couple of early penalties just over a minute in resulted in a 4-on-4 for about a minute and a half. This didn’t bring any unusual activities and play continued as normal.
13:59 into the period, Adam Klapka scored his first goal in five games and put the Wranglers up by two. Ben Jones and Rory Kerins picked up the assists on Klapka’s five-hole shot.
The Firebirds made a push to try and get some tallies back and pulled their goalie with 4:30 to go in regulation. Dryden Hunt got a chance at the empty net at 18:27 and scored, pretty much putting this game away.
Time expired and the Wranglers picked up their second win of the weekend by a final score of 4-1, snapping the Firebirds’ five-game winning streak. Shots finished 41-23 and Oscar Dansk earned the second star of the night for his outstanding performance. Emilio Pettersen was awarded the first star of the night with a goal and an assist.
After this brief but very successful road trip, the Wranglers return home for their first mid-week matchup of the season. They’ll face the Edmonton Oilers affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors, on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Both games have a 7:00 p.m. MT start.
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