Photo credit:Mike Zitek/Coachella Valley Firebirds
Recap: Calgary Wranglers bring stacked roster to Coachella Valley but fall in shootout
22 days ago
The Calgary Wranglers and Coachella Valley Firebirds faced each other on Wednesday night for the fifth time this season. Calgary had a few players back from the Flames due to the All-Star break but were unable to find the win in this one. They picked up a point but fell in the shootout. The final score finished up at 4-3.
Returning to the roster for this game was Adam Klapka, Cole Schwindt and Matt Coronato. It came as no surprise that all three cracked the lineup in this game. However, that knocked out a few Wranglers regulars like Rory Kerins and Ilya Nikolaev.
After the completion of this game, the team announced they also released Calgary product Mark Rassell and Zack Andrusiak from their professional tryouts.
Game at a glance
The goaltending match-up for this game consisted of Dustin Wolf on the Calgary end and Chris Driedger on the Coachella Valley side. This game got off to a good pace and the first goal came just 5:02 in. The Firebirds struck first when John Hayden got the puck away from Clark Bishop and sped into the zone. He finished off his play with a top corner blocker side goal.
It was almost a 2-0 game when the Firebirds appeared to score at 9:57. Dustin Wolf was playing the puck in the trapezoid and didn’t quite make it all the way back to a comfortable place in the net. He kept the puck out with his stick and on the rebound, it still didn’t make it over the goal line. The on-ice officials did not call it a goal but reviewed it in great detail. It was ruled as no goal and play continued.
The Wranglers built off this momentum of a close call and answered back within the next minute. Jakob Pelletier scored his first of the season at 10:57. This also happened to be his 100th AHL point. It was a highlight reel worthy goal when Matt Coronato got it up to him and Pelletier batted the puck into the back of the net.
After these goals, the Firebirds took the first and second penalties of the game but the Wranglers didn’t convert on their power play opportunities. At the end of 20 minutes, the Wranglers and Firebirds were evened up at one. Shots through the first were 11-9 for Calgary.
The second period had a bit more special team action with the Wranglers on the penalty kill for the first time in this game just 40 seconds into the period. The Wranglers had two penalties in the first five minutes and the Firebirds had three of their own in the second half of the frame.
Their last one hurt them on the scoreboard when Adam Klapka scored on the power play at 17:04. Klapka was parked in front of the net and roofed a shot off a backhand.
This was the only goal of the period and the Wranglers finished the second with a 2-1 lead but trailed 12-9 in shots. The Firebirds evened things up again early in the third with a goal at 1:33. Marian Studenic scored off a quick faceoff win play and made it a 2-2 game.
The Wranglers made their best effort to get the lead back and did when Ben Jones scored at 4:41 when he gripped and ripped a shot past Driedger. Matt Coronato and Yan Kuznetsov assisted.
The Firebirds kept pace and evened things up at three shortly after with a goal at 6:32. Dustin Wolf was completely screened and Ville Ottavainen beat the Wranglers netminder on a shot it doesn’t look like he ever saw.
The third had the lowest shots of the night with Calgary out-shooting Coachella Valley 8-5 but there was no tiebreaking goal to end it in regulation. These two went to overtime for the first time this season. The Wranglers had the best chances at ending this game in the extra frame with four shots to the Firebirds’ zero.
Cole Schwindt, Kevin Rooney, Ilya Solovyov and Matt Coronato all registered shots on Driedger in overtime but none were able to be the heroes in this game. Coachella Valley did have some chances in the zone but did not hit the net. The Firebirds and Wranglers needed to decide this game in a shootout.
This shootout went to five rounds and only the Firebirds scored. The Wranglers went with Brady Lyle, Cole Schwindt, Emilio Pettersen, William Stromgren and Matt Coronato in that order, but none scored. Dustin Wolf stopped all four Firebirds shooters but was beaten by Logan Morrison on the last shot.
The Wranglers played a close game but fell 4-3 in the shootout. Shots finished up 32-27 for Calgary.
Scoring stat summary
Ben Jones – 1G, 1A
Yan Kuznetsov – 1A
Matt Coronato – 2A
Adam Klapka – 1G
Jakob Pelletier – 1G
These two have a quick turnaround with the only AHL action in the league on Thursday. The Wranglers and Firebirds play in a rematch on Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. MT.
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