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Preview: Calgary Wranglers take on Coachella Valley Firebirds for battle of the best

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Photo credit:Candice Ward/Calgary Wranglers
Paige Siewert
10 months ago
The Calgary Wranglers and Coachella Valley Firebirds face off on Wednesday night for what could be one of the biggest remaining games of their regular season. The Wranglers and Firebirds are neck and neck for the highly desired Pacific Division title that awards the top team with a first round bye in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Going into this game, they are tied at 98 points each and both have a magic number of 13 for the division and league titles. This is a must-win for the Wranglers to best position themselves for their postseason run.

Projected lineups

Calgary
Dryden Hunt – Ben Jones – Matthew Phillips
Emilio Pettersen – Cole Schwindt – Connor Zary
Brett Sutter – Clark Bishop – Kevin Rooney
Adam Klapka – Mitch McLain – Alex Gallant
Ilya Solovyov – Nick DeSimone
Jeremie Poirier – Colton Poolman
Yan Kuznetsov – Nicolas Meloche
Dustin Wolf
Oscar Dansk
Coachella Valley
Forwards: Nick Pastujov, Luke Henman, Alexander True, Tye Kartye, Austin Poganski, Kole Lind, Max McCormick, Carsen Twarynski, Cameron Hughes, Ian McKinnon, Andrew Portualski, Tristan Mullin, Ville Petman, Max Andreev Jeremy McKenna
Defensemen: Jake McLaughlin, Peetro Seppala, Matt Tennyson, Eddie Wittchow, Gustav Olofsson, Brogan Rafferty, Ville Ottavainen, Ryker Evans, Jimmy Schuldt
Goaltenders: Christopher Gibson, Joey Daccord, Chris Driedger

Leaders

Calgary
Matthew Phillips – 60GP, 34G, 36A
Connor Zary – 66GP, 20G, 37A
Ben Jones – 65GP, 15G, 35A
Coachella Valley
Max McCormick – 65GP, 27G, 39A
Kole Lind – 66GP, 29G, 31A
Tye Kartye – 66GP, 26G, 28A

Notes and expectations

The Wranglers just narrowly trail in the season series by just one game. With this just being a one off match-up and their last of the regular season, this is their last chance to even things up in the season record. Their record stands at 3-4-0-0 against Coachella Valley.
Coachella Valley has already played this week too. While the Wranglers have held the top spot in the Pacific Division and the league for much of 2023, the Firebirds are right on their tails. On Monday night, Coachella Valley beat San Jose in a shootout and closed the gap between them and Calgary. One of the only differences in their team stat lines right now is their performance in the last 10 games.
Calgary has been rolling going 9-0-0-1 in their last 10. Coachella Valley has still been solid but not as high numbers wise. Their record in their last 10 is 7-3-0-0. All three of those losses came against the Texas Stars. A team the Wranglers have not had to face this season.
It’ll be a great night to get some timely goals and a couple of skaters have been doing just that. Matthew Phillips, and Adam Klapka. Phillips was on hat trick watch for two of his last three games and has gone five straight games with two point nights. Klapka actually scored a hat trick in their last matchup. Both had a great month of March and will need to continue to contribute to help the Wranglers down the stretch.
It would be a great opportunity for some quieter guys, like Emilio Pettersen, to sneak up and start scoring again too. Frankly, his whole line. Pettersen and Connor Zary has been kept off the scoresheet the last three games, and Cole Schwindt has two assist in his last six games.
This game is bigger than any other game they have played this season so far, and it’s up to them to continue doing the things that have made them successful all season. These two will only play one game against each other to wrap up their season series. Game time is 8:00 p.m. MT on Wednesday. You can stream this game on AHL.tv. FlamesNation contributors Mike Gould and myself will have updates on Twitter.

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