Calgary Wranglers recap: Special teams the differentiator in 3-2 loss in Tucson

Photo credit:David Moll/Calgary Wranglers
Paige Siewert
4 months ago
The Calgary Wranglers played the back end of their road series in Tucson on Wednesday night. They came away with a 5-4 win on Tuesday night that helped them in the standings but fell 3-2 in this game and dropped back to fifth in the Pacific Division. 

Game at a glance

Calgary switched things up in the crease and went back to Dustin Wolf to start this game. On Tucson’s side, Dylan Wells got the nod. The Wranglers had a quick start with Adam Klapka scoring an unassisted goal just 3:15 into the game. This goal was almost identical to his goal on Tuesday and put him up to three straight games with a goal and a total of seven points in his last four games.
This woke the Roadrunners up a bit and they quickly got up to the speed the Wranglers set for this game. At 8:19, Tucson appeared to have scored but it was immediately waved off. There wasn’t much of a review but it was ruled as goaltender interference when one of the skaters made contact with Dustin Wolf as he was trying to make the save.
The first continued with rotating zone pressure and the first penalty was dealt to the Roadrunners at 17:41. At the end of 20 minutes, the Wranglers had a 1-0 lead and a 17-10 edge in shots.
In the second things stayed pretty tight in the opening five minutes, and then things got a bit interesting. Mark Duarte was called for goaltender interference at 6:41 and just one second before his penalty was set to come to an end, Colton Poolman tripped up John Leonard on a breakaway and the home team got a penalty shot.
Leonard set up for the shot on Wolf, started off hot with some stickhandling in deep then slowed down and elevated his shot over the Wranglers netminder to score a power play penalty shot goal. This goal came at 8:40.
The second period turned into a special teams battle in the second half with three Roadrunners penalties and two Wranglers penalties with some overlaps. By the end of the second period, the score remained evened up 1-1 and Tucson out-shot Calgary 11-8.
In the third, the Wranglers appeared to have scored at 17:40 but it was immediately waved off by the on-ice officials. Yan Kuznetsov took the shot from the point and Ben Jones may have gotten the last touch in front of the net but it didn’t matter because the call on the ice stood and goaltender interference was the ruling.
Later in the third, the Wranglers were battling off a bench minor for too many men and gave up another power play goal. Justin Kirkland scored at 9:05 off a slap shot he probably took on Dustin Wolf multiple times at Stockton Heat practice years ago and gave the Roadrunners the first lead of the night. 
The Wranglers struggled to get any good looks shortly after this goal and opted to pull Dustin Wolf at 18:15. Calgary lost possession in the Roadrunners zone and Milos Kelemen took a shot on the empty net that crawled past the line. Wolf returned to his net after his goal then skated off again about 25 seconds later.
The Wranglers wouldn’t come all the way back in this one but put one more goal up before the end of regulation. This goal came from none other than the captain, Brett Sutter, off a rebound in front at 19:49. Jeremie Poirier assisted on this goal and put up his first point since coming back from his laceration injury. He hasn’t been back at 100% yet but getting on the board is a good step in the right direction for the young blueliner.
The Wranglers couldn’t work up a miracle in the last 11 seconds to force overtime and fell 3-2. Shots finished 34-27 for Calgary.

Scoring stat summary 

Jeremie Poirier – 1A
Brett Sutter – 1G
Adam Klapka – 1G

Next up

The Wranglers have completed their brief road trip and return home this weekend to face the Ontario Reign on Sunday. This series will overflow into next week for a Monday night game. Sunday’s competition is set to start at 6:00 p.m. MT.

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