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Calgary Wranglers series preview: Canucks and Wranglers battle it out for top Pacific spot

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Photo credit:Terence Leung/Calgary Wranglers
Paige Siewert
2 months ago
The Calgary Wranglers and the Abbotsford Canucks face off this weekend for their second two-game series of the season. They are a pretty evenly matched group with the exact same 7-3-0-0 record in their last 10 games. The Canucks have been sharper as of late as they enter this series on a five-game winning streak while the Wranglers just got back on the winning side of things in their last game. Only one spot in the Pacific Division sets these teams apart with the Wranglers in first and the Canucks in second. After this weekend, the positioning could very well change.

Projected lineups

Calgary
Dryden Hunt – Clark Bishop – Matt Coronato 
Rory Kerins – Cole Schwindt – Adam Klapka 
Emilio Pettersen – Ben Jones – Ilya Nikolaev
Lucas Ciona – Mitch McLain – Alex Gallant
 
Ilya Solovyov – Jordan Oesterle
Yan Kuznetsov – Colton Poolman 
Sam Jardine – Brady Lyle
 
Dustin Wolf 
Oscar Dansk 
Abbotsford
Arshdeep Bains – Sheldon Dries – Vasily Podkolzin
Tristen Nielsen – Nils Aman* – Jack Studnicka
Aatu Raty – Max Sasson – Linus Karlsson
Josh Bloom – Chase Wouters – Marc Gatcomb
 
Jett Woo – Alex Kannok Leipert
Matt Irwin – Filip Johansson
Quinn Schmiemann – Cole McWard*

Nikita Tolopilo
Arturs Silovs
 
(* – Editor’s Note: Nils Aman and Cole McWard were called up to the NHL Canucks on Friday afternoon, and the Canucks added blueliner Michael Joyaux from ECHL Kalamazoo, so we’ll definitely see some new faces cycle into the Abbotsford lineup.)
 

Leaders

Calgary 
Ben Jones – 16GP, 6G, 9A
Adam Klapka – 16GP, 7G, 6A
Matt Coronato – 10GP, 5G, 6A
 
Abbotsford
Arshdeep Bains – 15GP, 3G, 14A
Nils Aman – 15GP, 8G, 7A
Sheldon Dries -15GP, 7G, 7A

Notes and expectations

In the Wranglers’ last game against the Tucson Roadrunners, team captain Brett Sutter and William Stromgren were scratched from the lineup. While I imagine Sutter’s time in the press box will be limited, Stromgren could be right on the cusp of cracking this lineup. Right now, the players without set spots in the lineup include the two last-mentioned names, Alex Gallant, Mitch McLain and Ilya Nikolaev. They have all been rotating time and if one is not performing, one of the extra bodies will be itching to get back on the ice. On the defensive side of things, Jonathan Aspirot was out of the lineup in their last game and Sam Jardine was added to the pairings. 
Between these teams, the Wranglers and Canucks have historically been pretty evenly matched. This will be their second series of the season with the last one ending in two wins for the Wranglers, including an overtime win. The thing with that is though, the games were only a goal apart and that was when Connor Zary, Jeremie Poirier, Martin Pospisil and Nick DeSimone were all with the team. This could be a much tougher series this weekend than what initially meets the eye. 
On the other end of things, Abbotsford’s parent team in Vancouver has had a very good start to the year and hasn’t needed to dip into their AHL prospect pool too much for reinforcements. At the moment, the only player that has played AHL games this year and is currently up with the Vancouver Canucks is Akito Hirose. The team Calgary saw just over a month ago has not changed much at all.
Two players to watch in red this weekend include Ben Jones and Adam Klapka. Both are right at the top of team scoring and both earned two goals in their last game on Wednesday night. Jones and Klapka have been the go-to guys to make some production happen in the absence of the NHL call-up’s and if this team is to continue to be successful, they need to keep it up. Matt Coronato is right up there with them too. He is clearly doing what he can to make his AHL stint a brief one by keeping the eyes of the Flames management staff on his play. Coronato is averaging over a point per game and also had a multi-point night in their last game against Tucson with two assists. 
This series continues a Wranglers four-game homestand and will kick off on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. MT. They’ll play the following day at the same time as well. Tickets are still available or you can stream these games for a fee on AHL.tv. FlamesNation contributors Mike Gould and I will have updates on X (formerly Twitter).

This article is presented to you by BK Bowfort Liquor Store!

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