Photo credit:Mike Zitek/Coachella Valley Firebirds
Recap: Calgary Wranglers can’t crack the Firebirds in 5-2 loss
26 days ago
The Calgary Wranglers and Coachella Valley Firebirds played a rematch game on Thursday after their Wednesday night game went all the way to a shootout. The Wranglers were unable to score in the shootout the night before and fell in the Pacific Division battle. On Thursday, things kept even after the first period but the Firebirds put the petal to the metal and tacked up the goals. They beat the Wranglers for the second night in a row with a 5-1 final score.
Game at a glance
Both teams decided to switch things up between the pipes with Oscar Dansk getting the nod for Calgary and Ales Stezka getting the start for Coachella Valley. Stezka got the majority of the challenges in the first period with the Wranglers putting up the bulk of the shots. Even so, there was no scoring through the opening frame.
The biggest notable action was a penalty Emilio Pettersen took 7:16 in. He put up a hit on a Firebirds player and was called for checking to the head. He answered for this hit right away and dropped the gloves against Luke Henman.
Beyond that, the first was tame and the Wranglers led the way in shots 13-4. In the second period, the Firebirds had some power play time carry over and just a handful of seconds after this expired, they scored the first goal of the night.
Max McCormick scored off a rebound Dansk wasn’t able to get a glove on at 1:51. The next shot Dansk faced was also a goal at 4:31 from Andrew Poturalski. It was another shot that took Dansk away from the majority of the net and Poturalski buried the rebound with ease.
Colton Poolman took a penalty shortly after this goal and the Firebirds added to their lead on the power play. Andrew Poturalski scored again off a wrist shot that the Wranglers’ netminder was pretty well screened for.
Right after this goal, Trent Cull took a timeout to try and slow things down. With three goals taking place in just the first 6:36 of the period. The Wranglers were able to keep their opponents at bay for a few minutes. They even appeared to score about a minute later. Cole Schwindt took a shot and Emilio Pettersen tried for a tip but tipped the puck with a high stick. This goal was waved off immediately on the ice and confirmed after a brief review.
Calgary gave up their fourth goal a few minutes later at 12:57. John Hayden scored on the power play off a one-timer. This goal ended Oscar Dansk’s night between the pipes and Dustin Wolf came in relief.
The Wranglers had an opportunity to make up some ground after this switch when they were on a 5-on-3. Yan Kuznetsov took a shot that went post and in and put Calgary on the board at 15:42. Emilio Pettersen and Mitch McLain assisted.
That wrapped up a high-scoring period and the score was 4-1 for the Firebirds after 40 complete minutes of play. Shots in the middle frame were 10-5 for Coachella Valley. The Wranglers were playing a bit more desperate in the third but had a lot of ground to make up. They controlled the Firebirds once again but gave up their fifth goal at 10:38.
Luke Henman stole the puck away from the Wranglers along the boards and passed it back to Ryan Winterton, who finished the play. The Firebirds had a few minutes of zone time after this goal before the Wranglers really pushed the home team’s zone in the last six minutes of regulation.
Calgary would get one more on the board at 18:05 with Kevin Rooney’s first goal of the season. He picked off a pass and took a shot right off the play he was breaking up and got the puck past Stezka. Ilya Solovyov registered the lone assist on this goal.
With less than two minutes to go, the Wranglers decided to leave Wolf between the pipes and the score remained. The final in Coachella Valley was 5-2 and shots finished 30-24 for the Firebirds. The Wranglers went one for three on the power play and the Firebirds went two for five.
Scoring stat summary
Mitch McLain – 1A
Ilya Solovyov – 1A
Kevin Rooney – 1G
Yan Kuznetsov – 1G
Emilio Pettersen – 1A
The Wranglers have one more game this week before they get the AHL version of an All-Star break for just under a week. They’ll stay in California and play the Ontario Reign on Saturday night. The puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. MT.
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