Photo credit:David Moll/Calgary Wranglers
Recap: Calgary Wranglers get on the board but drop second straight game
3 months ago
The Wranglers and Roadrunners kicked off their week of hockey at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday night. Despite Calgary’s success last season, they actually had a bit of a tough time against Tucson. They split their four-game season series against the Roadrunners in 2022-23 with two wins, a loss and a shootout loss. They played a close game against Tucson to start this year’s season series but fell 3-2 in regulation.
The Wranglers made a few changes to their lineup this week. Lucas Ciona and Ilya Nikolaev slotted out of the lineup in game one versus Tucson. In their place, veteran forwards Mitch McLain and Alex Gallant returned to the lineup. After playing both games against the Ontario Reign, Dustin Wolf also took the night off and Oscar Dansk got the start in his place.
Of note, Adam Klapka was the first Calgary player to opt to wear a neck guard in this game. He spoke to the media about his decision to wear one and mentioned the situation with Adam Johnson brought some awareness to him. He decided to ask to wear a neck guard today and the team was happy to accommodate his request.
Game at a glance
It was a pretty smooth start to the game on Tuesday evening. Not a lot of activity in the opening five minutes. The Wranglers had most of the opportunities in the beginning, but it would be the Roadrunners who would strike first. Hunter Drew scored on a shot that went post and in behind Oscar Dansk.
Not even a minute would go by before the Wranglers answered back with a goal from their own. Dryden Hunt fed the puck up to Matt Coronato on a one-timer and tied this game up 1-1.
The period continued with a few more chances for the Wranglers but no further scoring. The first penalty call wasn’t made until the last 1:57 of the period and Calgary finished the first on the power play. After 20 minutes of play, the Wranglers out-shot the Roadrunners 13-8.
The second period was very slow action-wise. Calgary was called for a bench minor at 7:49, but that penalty came and went. Tucson would be the next team to strike with a goal from Curtis Douglas at exactly the 15-minute mark. He picked a pass from behind the net and jammed the puck past Oscar Dansk to give the visiting team the lead once again.
A penalty on each side was dealt before the end of the period and the score remained 2-1 Wranglers after 40 minutes of play. Tucson out-shot Calgary 9-7 in the middle frame. In the second period, the Wranglers had 36 seconds of power play time carried over. Unfortunately, they did not capitalize on this opportunity.
Instead, Mitch McLain was dealt a tripping penalty just shy of the two-minute mark and the Wranglers were back in their zone to fend off any other Tucson opportunities. The Wranglers killed this off and by 5:04, were on a power play of their own.
This proved to be a fruitful opportunity for the home team when Adam Klapka and Rory Kerins crashed the zone and when Klapka was stickhandling deep in the zone, opted to pass it back to Kerins instead of shooting. And guess where the puck ended up? In the back of the net.
Afterwards, the Wranglers lost a bit of the momentum they gained off that goal when Jonathan Aspirot was sent to the box for kneeing and Brady Lyle was called for slashing 24 seconds later. The Roadrunners took full advantage of this third period five on three and Josh Doan scored on the power play to put them ahead 3-2.
The Wranglers tried for a late drive in the third and did have the advantage of a late penalty to work with. They got a couple of looks but had some trouble holding the zone. Once Dansk was finally able to skate off for the extra attacker, they were down to their last minute and a half. The Wranglers had some good chances but ran out of time.
They fell in their second straight game, which is actually a season-high for the Wranglers. Part of the perks of starting off strong. Oscar Dansk took the loss in net and shots finished 33-30 favouring Calgary.
Scoring stat summary
Clark Bishop – 1A
Dryden Hunt – 1A
Matt Coronato – 1G
Rory Kerins – 1G
Adam Klapka – 1A
The Wranglers will have a chance to get some redemption with the next game of this series taking place on the following night. They’ll get their second shot at the Roadrunners on Wednesday and game time is set for 7:00 p.m. MT.
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