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Calgary Wranglers series preview: Looking to make up some ground on Coachella Valley

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Photo credit:Angela Burger/Calgary Wranglers
Paige Siewert
4 months ago
The Calgary Wranglers are on the trail end of their seven-game road trip with three match-ups left this week. They’ll start with a midweek match-up in Coachella Valley. With the timing of these games, they get a few players back from the Flames while their parent club in on the All-Star break. The Wranglers look to get a bit of a winning streak going after just making it back in the win column in their last game. 

Projected lineups

Calgary
Forwards: Mitch McLain, Cole Schwindt, Ilya Nikolaev, Lucas Ciona, Ben Jones, Clark Bishop, Alex Gallant, Kevin Rooney, Rory Kerins, Mark Duarte, Matt Coronato, Adam Klapka, William Stromgren, Emilio Pettersen, Jakob Pelletier
Defensemen: Colton Poolman, Ilya Solovyov, Mark Pysyk, Will Riedell, Brady Lyle, Yan Kuznetsov, Sam Jardine, Jonathan Aspirot 
Goaltenders: Dustin Wolf, Oscar Dansk
Coachella Valley
Forwards: Luke Henman, John Hayden, Kole Lind, Max McCormick, Cameron Hughes, Ian McKinnon, Andrew Poturalski, Ryan Winterton, Tucker Robertson, Ville Petman, Marian Studenic, Shane Wright, Jacob Melanson, Max Andreev, Devin Shore, Logan Morrison
Defensemen: Peetro Seppala, Cale Fleury, Mitch Reinke, Gustav Olofsson, Ville Ottavainen, Jimmy Schuldt, Connor Carrick
Goaltenders: Ales Stezka, Jack LaFontaine 

Leaders

Calgary
Matt Coronato – 27GP, 12G, 17A
Emilio Pettersen – 39GP, 7G, 19A
Ben Jones – 39GP, 12G, 12A
 
Coachella Valley
Max McCormick – 39GP, 18G, 19A
Kole Lind – 40GP, 9G, 27A
Cameron Hughes – 39GP, 12G, 23A

Notes and expectations

The Flames announced on Jan. 28 that Matt Coronato, Adam Klapka, and Cole Schwindt were sent down to the Calgary Wranglers. As FlamesNation editor Ryan Pike pointed out, this not only gives these three forwards three more games before the Flames play again but also has a cap saving for the team. The Flames are not set to play until Feb. 6 against the Boston Bruins. 
In that case, the Wranglers are pretty much up to their best roster of the season. They have Kevin Rooney and Jakob Pelletier back from injury already and three call-ups from the Flames coming down gives them some depth they have been missing as of late. If there is a time to make up some ground in the standings and get some confidence back before the AHL All-Star break, this is it.
Calgary has taken a bit of a fall in 2024. Going into this series, they are 1-4-0-0 in their last five games and their opponents are the exact opposite with 4-1-0-0 in their last five. The Firebirds and Flames last saw each other on Jan. 19 when the Firebirds came out on top 4-3. 
Calgary is also behind in their season series with only one win over Coachella Valley this year. Last year they had an even 4-4-0-0 regular season record and this year, they sit at a 1-3-0-0. Because they saw so much of each other in 2022-23, the Firebirds perhaps have the best scouting report on Dustin Wolf and seem to give him the most difficulty. 
The Firebirds have also overthrown the Wranglers as the best in the Pacific Division in the last month or so. Their 24-12-4-1 overall record puts them at the number one spot and the 23-13-3-0 overall record the Wranglers have puts them third with just the Tucson Roadrunners between these two teams. A few wins this week with their extra players would definitely help close some gaps in the division standings for Calgary. 
This series kicks off on Wednesday night and continues into Thursday night. Both games have a start time of 8:00 p.m. MT. You can stream these games for a fee on AHL.tv. FlamesNation contributors Mike Gould and I will have updates on X (formerly Twitter).

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