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Recap: Calgary Wranglers bring their magic number down to one after 4-2 win over San Jose

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Photo credit:Angela Burger/Calgary Wranglers
Paige Siewert
17 days ago
The Calgary Wranglers faced their first opportunity to clinch a playoff berth this season when they hosted the San Jose Barracuda on Friday afternoon. Their magic number was at a three at the start of the day and with a win, they’d put themselves two-thirds closer to the goal of qualifying for post-season play. They needed to wait for some evening games to finish, but once they did the Wranglers ended the day with a magic number of one. The final score between the Barracuda and Wranglers finished in a 4-2 win for Calgary. 

Lineup notes

The lineup for this game wasn’t radically different from their Wednesday match-up. Jeremie Poirier returned to the blue line after getting the last game off and Jonathan Aspirot returned to the forward group. Riley Damiani was taken out of the lineup for this game and newcomers Parker Bell and Joni Jurmo did not slot in for this game either. 

Game at a glance

Head Coach Trent Cull decided to roll with who was hot for this game and that included Connor Murphy, who was just coming off his first professional shutout in their win against the Coachella Valley Firebirds. Magnus Chrona was the starting netminder on the other end for the Barracuda. 
The Wranglers got their scoring started early with Rory Kerins scoring on the first shot of the night just 49 seconds in. He got the puck just behind the post and banked it off Chrona to take an early lead. Clark Bishop and Ilya Solovyov picked up the assists. 
The Barracuda ended up taking the first penalty of the game at 4:02 and Calgary was able to add a couple more shots on this power play. San Jose on the other hand, didn’t register a shot on Murphy until 8:42. 
Later in the period, the Barracuda were sent to the box again this time for slashing. Just 30 seconds into this power play, Jeremie Poirier made it a 2-0 game at 17:12. Poirier ripped a shot from the blue line that caught Chrona around the shoulder and rolled behind his back. William Stromgren and Adam Klapka assisted on this marker.
At the end of the first, the Wranglers had a 2-0 lead and a 13-7 lead in shots. In the second, they continued to work their momentum to score their third goal of the night. Ben Jones scored his team-leading 21st goal of the season at 5:48 off a set-up from Jordan Oesterle and Mitch McLain. 
San Jose ramped up the shots a bit after this third goal and while the Wranglers spent most of the period in a comfortable 3-0 lead, Cole Cassels put one on the board in the last 21 seconds of the period off a quick passing play deep in the zone. This was right how they drew it up as they were on the man-advantage at the time of this goal. By the end of the second frame, the score was 3-1 Calgary with San Jose ahead 11-10 in second-period shots. 
The third period flew by with few whistles and no penalties. Both teams took turns in each other’s zones but no further goals made it to the scoreboard until the last couple of minutes of regulation. The Barracuda tried to pull Magnus Chrona at 16:35, but he had to make a return to his net. He was pulled again at 17:00 and by 17:51, Adam Klapka scored on the empty net. 
Chrona returned after this marker and at 18:57, the Barracuda got another goal on the board. Brandon Coe scored off a pass to the slot and cut the Wranglers’ lead in half. This closer score caused San Jose to pull Chrona again at 19:10 but that was the end of the scoring for the afternoon.
At the end of 60 minutes, the Wranglers picked up a 4-2 win in front of a well-attended game of 6,405. Shots finished up 32-29 for Calgary. The three stars for this game went to Connor Murphy as the third star for his 27-save night, Rory Kerins for the second star and Jeremie Poirier for the first star.
Calgary got two points closer to a playoff spot and scoreboard watched that evening hoping for a San Diego Gulls loss to give them a playoff spot. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen, but they are still just a single point away from a berth.

Scoring stat summary

Jeremie Poirier – 1G
Mitch McLain – 1A
Ilya Solovyov – 1A
Jordan Oesterle – 2A
Ben Jones – 1G
Clark Bishop – 1A
Rory Kerins – 1G
Adam Klapka – 1G, 1A
William Stromgren – 1A

Highlights

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Next up 

These two will have a day between their next game before facing off on Easter Sunday for a rematch. Their next game will still be at the dome and the puck drop is set for 1:00 p.m. MT.
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