Post-season recap: Wranglers sweep Roadrunners and advance to Pacific Division Semi-Finals

Photo credit:Kate Dibildox/Tucson Roadrunners
Paige Siewert
1 month ago
The Calgary Wranglers continued their best-of-three series against the Tucson Roadrunners on Friday night. They won their previous match-up on Wednesday in a 2-0 decision and had the opportunity to end the Roadrunners season and move on to the next round of the playoffs depending on the results of this game. They held on in a tight game in a tight-fought series and beat the Roadrunners 4-3. 

Wranglers lines

Jakob Pelletier – Cole Schwindt – Matt Coronato 
William Stromgren – Sam Morton – Adam Klapka 
Brett Sutter – Clark Bishop – Riley Damiani/Adam Klapka 
Mitch McLain – Ben Jones – Adam Klapka/Riley Damiani 
Jordan Oesterle – Ilya Solovyov 
Colton Poolman – Jeremie Poirier
Jonathan Aspirot – Mark Pysyk
Yan Kuznetsov
Dustin Wolf (starter)
Oscar Dansk

Game at a glance

Both Tucson and Calgary kept their same lineups going into this game. Lines were pretty much the same for Calgary, with Riley Damiani getting in on the line switching with Adam Klapka. Calgary opted for 11 forwards and seven defencemen once again in this game. Dustin Wolf, who was hot off a game-one shutout was back between the pipes for Calgary and Matthew Villalta was back in the net for Tucson.
There were no delays in getting this game going with both sides registering shots in the first minute. The playoff emotions were also very apparent right off the jump. Some pushing and shoving after whistles took place frequently throughout the period but didn’t escalate to a point to draw a call. 
Zone time felt pretty even off the rushes but Tucson was racking up the shots on Wolf. The first penalty call of the game was at 15:45 after Jeremie Poirier was called for cross-checking. Just 32 seconds into this power play, Dylan Guenther scored the first goal of the game off a five-hole shot on Wolf. Steven Kampfer assisted on this goal at 16:17.
At 17 minutes, the Wranglers got their first power play of the game with Justin Kirkland being called for holding. Just nine seconds into the power play, Sam Morton scored the answer-back goal for Calgary at 17:09 off a clean passing play. Adam Klapka and William Stromgren picked up the helpers on this first Wranglers goal.
The Wranglers wrapped up the period on the penalty kill again when Jakob Pelletier took an interference call to prevent a dangerous rush for the Roadrunners. They killed most of this penalty by the end of the first and only had 11 seconds left on the kill to start the second. The score was 1-1 through the first 20 minutes and shots were 13-7 Tucson in the opening frame. 
In the second, the Wranglers were successful in killing off the last few seconds of the overlapping penalty. The low scoring we saw in game one was not the trend for this game as the second period brought some more lamplighters between these two.
It started with Riley Damiani at the seven-minute mark when he took a shot, corralled his own rebound and scored to give the Wranglers their first lead of the night. Adam Klapka picked up the lone assist on this goal and earned his second point of the night. 
A few minutes later, a ghost of Calgary’s AHL past evened the scoring at 12:33. Justin Kirkland beat Dustin Wolf, his former teammate from Wolf’s rookie year in the AHL with the Stockton Heat. The Wranglers didn’t let this one sit too long and were back ahead by 12:59 when Ilya Solovyov gripped and ripped a shot past Villalta. Matt Coronato and Cole Schwindt assisted on this third Wranglers goal.
The rest of the period finished up with some special teams action and by the end of the period, the score stood at 3-2 Wranglers. Shots in the middle frame were 13-10 Tucson. In the third, you could feel the pressure the Roadunners were under. Their season was on the line and the future of the organization is uncertain. 
These two got through almost the whole first half of the period without any scoring changes but William Stromgren changed that with a goal at 9:56. The Wranglers skaters were on the trail end of a long shift and Stromgren came out on the ice fresh off the line change and skated the puck through the Roadrunners zone alone and scored the fourth Wranglers goal of the night. Jakob Pelletier had the lone assist. 
The Roadrunners didn’t let this game slip away from them and put themselves back within one goal at 12:29 when Hunter Drew beat Dustin on his rebound shot.
The game continued in an emotional fashion and plays that could have drawn roughing or fighting calls, were kept at bay with the players doing their best to stay disciplined. Sam Morton was called for high-sticking the Roadrunners captain and with just over five minutes to go in regulation, the Wranglers had one of their biggest penalty kills of the game. They kept the score at 4-3 and tried everything they could to protect their one goal lead. Ilya Solovyov was a force to be reckoned with in the third period and put up a bunch of minutes on the blue line to help see this game through.
The Roadrunners opted to pull Matthew Villalta at 18:41 and were only able to get one more shot on goal before the game came to an end. The final score was 4-3 for Calgary and shots were 43-24 for the Roadrunners. The three stars all went to Wranglers with Dustin Wolf picking up the third star for his 40-save performance, Adam Klapka picking up the second star for his two-point night and William Stromgren picking up the first star for his stunning game-winning goal and two-point night.

Scoring stat summary

Ilya Solovyov – 1G
Cole Schwindt – 1A
Riley Damiani – 1G
Matt Coronato – 1A
Adam Klapka – 2A
William Stromgren – 1G, 1A
Sam Morton – 1G
Jakob Pelletier – 1A

Next up

The Wranglers have officially advanced to the next round of the Calder Cup Playoffs with their next opponent already set. They will have a rematch of the series that ended their season last year against the Coachella Valley Firebirds. The Firebirds earned the first-round bye for clinching the top spot in the Pacific Division in the regular season. 
They will start their Pacific Division Semifinal round next week starting at home for the first two games. This round turns into a best-of-five series that guarantees the Wranglers will be back home to play some playoff hockey in front of Calgary fans. The schedule is as follows:
  • Friday, May 3rd – 7:00 p.m. MT in Calgary
  • Sunday, May 5th – 4:00 p.m. MT in Calgary
  • Wednesday, May 8th – 8:00 p.m. MT in Coachella Valley
  • Friday, May 10th – 8:00 p.m. MT in Coachella Valley (if needed)
  • Sunday, May 12th – 4:00 p.m. MT in Coachella Valley (if needed)
These games will continue to be broadcast on the Fan960 and streamed on AHL.tv.
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