Photo credit:Angela Burger/Calgary Wranglers
Calgary Wranglers series preview: Ending the pre-Christmas road trip in Colorado
2 months ago
It’s the last series before the holidays and all the Wranglers want for Christmas is a pair of wins. They are on an active four-game losing streak and are struggling with scoring, special teams and goaltending. The ripple effects of call-ups have seem to have caught up with them and to keep their progress from their successes earlier in the season, they need to switch things up. They’ll face the Colorado Eagles this weekend to complete their five-game road trip.
Dryden Hunt – Ben Jones – Matt Coronato
Rory Kerins – Cole Schwindt – Adam Klapka
Emilio Pettersen – Mitch McLain – William Stromgren
Lucas Ciona – Brett Sutter – Alex Gallant
Ilya Solovyov – Mark Pysyk
Colton Poolman – Yan Kuznetsov
Jonathan Aspirot – Brady Lyle
Riley Tufte – Tanner Kero – Oskar Olausson
Callahan Burke – Spencer Smallman – Jason Polin
Cedric Pare – Ivan Ivan – Alex Beaucage
Dalton Smith – Ondrej Pavel – Matthew Steinberg
Wyatt Aamodt – Brad Hunt
Jack Ahcan – Nate Clurman
Keaton Middleton – Corey Schueneman
Matt Coronato – 17GP, 8G, 12A
Ben Jones – 25GP, 8G, 12A
Emilio Pettersen – 25GP, 6G, 13A
Riley Tufte – 20GP, 10G, 10A
Brad Hunt – 25GP, 8G, 11A
Ben Meyers – 17GP, 5G, 7A
Notes and expectations
Despite their recent struggles, Calgary can still hang their hat on the fact they are still the best in the Pacific Division and have a perfect 2-0 record against Colorado going into this weekend. They faced each other back in late October for a back-to-back series in their home opener. The Wranglers ended up winning both games 2-1. Their respective records in their last 10 games are almost identical with Calgary going 5-4-1-0 and Colorado going 5-4-0-1.
What appears to be catching up with the Flames affiliate are early-season injuries and call-ups to their parent club. They have been without the option of Jakob Pelletier and Kevin Rooney all season to date and Jeremie Poirier and Clark Bishop are out due to in-season injuries. Poirier’s return seems to be the farthest out of this group and Bishop’s to be the closest to return. The last update on Bishop came on Dec. 8 when he was listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
The ensuing effects from Calgary include the loss of their top scorers, defenders and at times, their goaltender. That leaves significant holes in the lineup. It is not uncommon to face these challenges as an AHL team and they have been able to work around that, but lately, the talent has been missed. Where things stand in the league statistics, no Wranglers crack the top 20 in goals, assists or points. They have had players like Matt Coronato, Rory Kerins, Emilio Pettersen and Adam Klapka go on point runs, but not a consistent player to be the clutch guy that takes them from a loss to a win.
Is Matt Coronato that guy? In his 17 games with the squad this year, only six of them were completed without him making it to the scoresheet. He has seven multi-point games on the season, one power-play goal and two game-winning goals. What doesn’t show up on an individual stat summary either is his playmaking abilities that set up scoring chances for his linemates. Coronato faces the determination to get back to a more regular position with the Flames and is one of the Wranglers’ biggest assets to help them get back to winning while he’s assigned to them. If the Wranglers do not have a “Matthew Phillips” type to be around with the club all year to make significant contributions, they need to look inside themselves for other options.
This series will hopefully give them something to celebrate. Their games against the Eagles kicks off on Friday night for a 7:05 p.m. MT puck drop then continues into Saturday for an afternoon match-up at 3:05 p.m. MT. You can stream these games for a fee on AHL.tv and FlamesNation contributors Mike Gould and myself will have updates on X (formerly Twitter).
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