Photo credit:Jenn Pierce/Calgary Wranglers
Recap: Adam Klapka scores three in Wranglers 5-1 win over Silver Knights
10 months ago
The Calgary Wranglers played their last regular season home game on Friday afternoon in a special kids day themed game. They hosted the Henderson Silver Knights and were looking for another win after beating them 5-3 on Wednesday evening. They finished up on the right note at home with a 5-1 win and a series sweep against Henderson.
A new face
The Wranglers have played the majority of their season without an official mascot. Instead, the local mascots have been making appearances at home games to fire up the crowd and carry out other mascot duties. For the last home game, the team announced they will be revealing their official mascot prior to puck drop.
The team announced the new mascot with an official video and presented him as a familiar face. Blasty the Bronco is officially the face of the Calgary Wranglers.
He takes on a reverse retro yellow and red colour scheme and came out to center ice to present himself to the crowd. Blasty the Bronco will be seen at upcoming Wranglers games through the playoffs and beyond.
Game at a glance
Dustin Wolf got the start in net for the Wranglers in this afternoon game and was looking for his first win against Henderson. Both of the Wranglers’ wins against the Silver Knights have been when Oscar Dansk was between the pipes.
The Wranglers had another good start and once again opened up the scoring to take the pressure off playing Henderson. They were on an early penalty kill in the first and Clark Bishop and Ben Jones broke into the Silver Knights’ zone and Jones scored a shorthanded goal 6:54 into the first.
Jones and Bishop had another look later in the period that was also shorthanded. However, that first one would be the only goal through the first 20 minutes. The Wranglers outshot the Silver Knights 14-9 in the opening period.
In the second, the special teams action continued. In the first five minutes, the Wranglers were on a 5-on-3 and it didn’t take long for them to pull ahead by another goal. Adam Klapka capitalized on the big man advantage and tipped in a rebound for a power play goal 4:31 into the second. Ben Jones and Matthew Phillips assisted.
Klapka also scored in their last game against Henderson on Wednesday evening. He continued to stay hot in this game and actually found the back of the net again before the end of the middle frame. He came up on the rush and tucked the puck away off a backhand shot. This even strength goal came 12:53 into the second and Ben Jones assisted again to bring him up to three points on the afternoon.
As the period carried on, the tensions rose and an array of roughing and interference penalties were dealt to both sides by the last minute of the second period. Nick DeSimone was called for a game misconduct and ended up missing just under half of the third period as a result.
Through two complete periods, the Wranglers were up 3-0 over the Silver Knights and they outshot Henderson 13-8 in the middle frame.
In the third, the Wranglers’ momentum appeared to keep going their way with an early power play but the Silver Knights got a shorthanded goal of their own exactly two minutes into the third.
If we’re being technical about it, the Wranglers kind of scored on themselves. Dustin Wolf appeared to have made the save on the Henderson shot but it slipped through his pads and tipped off his skate. The puck was hugging the line and when Jeremie Poirier crashed the crease to try and get the puck out, he pushed it over the line with his skate while he was trying to stop.
That didn’t ignite much of a response from the Silver Knights thankfully and the Wranglers prevented any further scoring from ensuing. Instead, they worked on getting their more comfortable three goal lead back and were successful in that effort.
13:52 into the period, Matthew Phillips carried the puck around the back of the Silver Knights’ net and fed it to Yan Kuznetsov, who scored the Wranglers’ fourth goal of the afternoon.
With just under five minutes to go in regulation, Brett Sutter was in the box and the Silver Knights had a chance for a late push to make up some ground. Calgary killed this off and Henderson pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker.
Ben Jones and Adam Klapka were on the ice and they did what Ben Jones and Adam Klapka were doing all game. Jones had a clear look at the empty net but held back for Klapka to catch up so he could pass it up to him to earn his first professional hat trick with just 1:01 to go in regulation.
That pretty well secured the win for the Wranglers and Jones finished the afternoon with four points and Klapka with three goals. Wolf finally earned his first win of the season against Henderson and stopped 25/26 shots. Those three were awarded the three stars of the afternoon with Klapka getting the first one, Jones with the second and Wolf with the third.
This game concludes the Wranglers’ home games for the regular season. The next time we see this team, they will be facing their first playoff match-up. Whether that will be in the play in series or not depends on where they finish in the Pacific Division standings. They have six games to go starting with their competition for the league and division titles, the Coachella Valley Firebirds. They only have one game against the Firebirds then they will play a pair against the San Diego Gulls next weekend.
Calgary’s next match-up will be on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. MT in Coachella Valley. You can stream this game on AHL.tv and FlamesNation contributors Mike Gould and myself will have updates on Twitter.
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