Photo credit:Angela Burger/Calgary Wranglers
Calgary Wranglers recap: Saturday San Diego game spirals out of control
12 days ago
The Calgary Wranglers and San Diego Gulls were back in action on Saturday night for a rematch. Calgary fell on Friday’s game with a 5-0 final score and really wanted to make a better showing for their home crowd. They had a very productive start that set the tone well, but fell far enough behind in the second period, that they couldn’t come back in the third. This game got away from them and they lost their second straight game to San Diego by a final score of 7-4.
Game at a glance
The goaltending matchup was the same with Oscar Dansk and Tomas Suchanek. Suchanek especially had a great showing between the pipes for San Diego in their previous game. The Wranglers got a much better start this game and broke their scoreless streak with the opening marker at 4:07.
Ilya Nikolaev received a drop pass from Adam Klapka in the Gulls’ zone and Nikolaev ripped a wrist shot past Suchanek. Will Riedell also picked up the assist on Nikolaev’s third goal of the year.
A few minutes later, Ilya Solovyov was called for a double minor for high sticking and the Gulls seized this opportunity to even up the score. Nikita Nesterenko tipped in a rebound in front of Dansk and made it a 1-1 game. The Wranglers did a good job controlling their emotions after this goal and continued to work toward getting their lead back. At 9:34, Jonathan Aspirot ripped a shot from the point right off the face-off to give the Wranglers a 2-1 lead.
The Wranglers had an opportunity to stretch their lead further later in the period but their power play was cut short by an interference call against Adam Klapka. The first period ended with the Wranglers up 2-1 and ahead 25-5 in shots.
The Wranglers were on the penalty kill to start the second and San Diego capitalized once again. Andrew Agozzino positioned himself perfectly to get to a rebound in front and even up the score 2-2. Just about 90 seconds later, the Gulls struck again with a goal from Judd Caulfield. Caulfield got the last touch on a bad deflection for the Wranglers and the Gulls pulled ahead on the scoreboard.
San Diego kept rolling through the opening five minutes of the second period and scored their third power play goal of the night at 5:32. Olen Zellweger had the snipe that put the Gulls up 4-2.
The scoring calmed down, but the Wranglers very quickly dug themselves into a 4-2 hole within a matter of about 4 minutes. About halfway through the period, Colton Poolman got a puck to the face off of a clearing attempt by San Diego. An honest mistake, but he went down the tunnel to be tended to and the Wranglers were down to five defencemen for the rest of the second period.
The Gulls had a string of penalties that gave the Wranglers some chances to crawl back into this game. At 17:10, they found themselves on a 5-on-3 they wanted to put a lot of effort into. Trent Cull called a timeout and after a stoppage in the power play, he switched out Oscar Dansk for Connor Murphy for just one play off an offensive zone face-off.
Cull spoke to the media after the game to explain what happened in this scenario and said it was a tactic to buy time. Because he had already used his timeout, switching goalies on a 5-on-3 where the netminder likely won’t see much action, bought the team an extra 30 seconds between plays to try and find a goal in that opportunity. Unfortunately, they didn’t end up scoring but the effort was there.
Dansk went right back into the game for the next face-off and didn’t face any shots the rest of the period. At the end of 40 minutes, the Wranglers were down 4-2 and out-shot their opponents 9-5 in the middle frame.
In the third period, Colton Poolman was not back to start but returned to the ice with a bubble later in the frame. The Wranglers got dinged again on special teams with a power play goal by Andrew Agozzino just six seconds into the man advantage. This put the game up to 5-2 for the away team.
The atmosphere of the Saddledome was not as energetic at this point in the game, but Alex Gallant and Travis Howe had an idea to bring the energy up. They dropped the gloves off the draw and had one heck of a fight.
They served their time and once they got into the box, they were joined by more teammates shortly after. In the same minute, the box filled up to three Wranglers and two Gulls players. On this power play, Chase De Leo netted goal number six for the Gulls and goal number five on the power play.
The Wranglers got one back just over a minute after this goal with Matthew Wedman’s first goal with the team. Wedman picked off McLain’s rebound and got the Wranglers’ third goal of the evening.
Time wound down on Gallant’s and Howe’s penalties and they were going for round two and both dropped their gloves on the way out of the box. The on-ice officials had to keep some peace on the ice and separated them before another fight broke out. They both received a game misconduct for these actions.
Later in the period, Matt Coronato got on the board too with a one-timer goal on the power play. He was set up by Emilio Pettersen and Mitch McLain earned another assist on this play.
Oscar Dansk was pulled right after this play for the extra attacker and Calgary got a few more shots off. However, Glenn Gawdin picked off the puck and scored an empty netter at 16:50. Dansk came back on and stayed in for the rest of the game.
Wedman also had a second goal in this game at 18:27 but didn’t find it past the Gulls netminder. Adam Klapka took a penalty on this play and that allowed the teams to run the time down to the end. The score finished up 7-4 for San Diego despite the shots being 49-18 for Calgary.
Scoring stat summary
Mitch McLain – 2A
Ilya Nikolaev – 1G
Will Riedell – 1A
Matthew Wedman – 1G
Matt Coronato – 1G
Adam Klapka – 2A
Emilio Pettersen – 1A
Jonathan Aspirot – 1G
The Wranglers have two more games during this stretch at home with the next one taking place on Tuesday night. They’ll play a back-to-back against the Manitoba Moose with both games starting at 7:00 p.m. MT.
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