Photo credit:Jenn Pierce/Calgary Wranglers
Recap: Calgary Wranglers deal up a win 5-3 against Silver Knights
10 months ago
It was a different look for the Calgary Wranglers on Wednesday night as they took on the Henderson Silver Knights for casino night. They were rocking new jerseys with a dark red and black colour scheme and a poker chip graphic behind their logo. The cards were in the Wranglers’ favour and they earned a 5-3 win over the Silver Knights.
Game at a glance
Dustin Wolf got the night off and Oscar Dansk got the start in net for the Wranglers. They got off on the right foot with a four minute power play. Nick DeSimone caught a stick up high and it did draw blood for the two minute double minor.
Calgary capitalized on this early opportunity and Matthew Phillips opened up the Wranglers scoring for the third game in a row. His shot placement has been exceptional all season and more noticeable in the last few games. Nick DeSimone and Cole Schwindt assisted on this power play marker and this goal ended up being Phillips’ 100th career AHL goal.
This goal came 7:19 into the game but the lead was short-lived. 9:04 into the first, the Silver Knights answered back and quickly made it a 1-1 game. This didn’t upset the dynamic of the game too much as Mitch McLain ripped a shot 13:09 into the first and took back the Wranglers’ lead.
This was McLain’s 16th goal and his first goal in just over a month. It was good to see him back on the board and Yan Kuznetsov and Nicolas Meloche picked up assists.
A couple of minutes later, the Wranglers were down a skater on the penalty kill then it quickly turned into a 5-on-3 for their opponents. Oscar Dansk went down to make a save and immediately went down in pain and laid flat on his stomach on the ice. At first, it seemed to be a reaction from the puck but after the replay, it appears he may have tweaked the lower body injury he was battling just over a month ago. He got looked at by the team’s athletic training staff and remained in the game.
Unfortunately, just as the first penalty expired, the Silver Knights scored and tied the game right back up at two. Both sides had a power play goal and an even strength goal through the first 20 minutes and were tied going into the first intermission. Shots finished up 12-9 for the Wranglers through the first.
The second went by pretty quickly and no further scoring action took place until just about the last five minutes of the period. Adam Klapka scored the go ahead goal for the Wranglers. He’s been in the perfect position to wait on the doorstep for the puck to come his way. Yan Kuznetsov took a shot and Klapka was there to tip it in.
55 seconds later, the Wranglers scored again. Matthew Phillips picked up his second goal of the night with another beautiful shot that he hit bar down and in. Phillips’ goal was unassisted and put the Wranglers in a more comfortable two goal lead.
The second ended with the Wranglers up 4-2 and still leading in shots 25-14. The third got off to a fiery start with Mitch McLain getting tangled up with a Henderson player in front of the Wranglers’ bench. Both him and his opponent were dealt offsetting roughing minors.
About halfway into the 4-on-4, Dryden Hunt was shoved by an opposing player into the Silver Knights’ net and was called for goaltender interference. The crowd disagreed immensely with the call and made sure the on-ice officials knew it with a roar of boos.
3:50 into the third, the Silver Knights capitalized on this controversial power play and put the game within one. The “Ref you suck” chants started after that lamplighter. Just 32 seconds after Henderson’s third goal, Kevin Rooney scored for the Wranglers and regained their two goal lead over the Silver Knights.
Head Coach Mitch Love spoke about this huge moment in the game saying,
“First off, I thought he had a heck of a hockey game. I thought he had a lot of jump to his game, he had his puck on his stick lots, he’s a key guy on our penalty kill. I really liked his game. So for a guy like that to put that effort in each and every shift throughout the hockey game and get rewarded. That was a big big goal for us.”
The Silver Knights quietly switched out their goaltender about halfway through the third and the score remained 5-3 until the end of regulation. Matthew Phillips was right in position for an empty net goal to secure a hat trick on the night but he did not get the chance.
Shots finished up 32-29 for the Wranglers. Two members of the home team made it to the three star recognition on the night. Nick DeSimone earned the second star and Matthew Phillips picked up the first star.
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The Wranglers and Silver Knights continue their series into Friday, where they will play their last home game of the regular season. There are only seven games to go and the remaining six to go after Friday will all be on the road. Friday’s game has a 1:00 p.m. MT start and if you can make it out to the dome, you will be one of the first people to see the live unveiling of the Wranglers’ new mascot.
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