Photo credit:Mike Zitek/Ontario Reign
Recap: Calgary Wranglers have winning streak snapped in shutout loss
3 months ago
The Calgary Wranglers finished up their four-game week in Ontario, California on Sunday afternoon. They were on the back half of their weekend series against the Reign and the effects of their busy week started to show themselves. A typically productive team, went quiet on Sunday and fell to Ontario 4-0.
Game at a glance
The Wranglers and Reign were back in action after a 5-4 shootout decision for the Wranglers on Friday. The Reign saw how close they were with the AHL’s best team in their previous game and didn’t back down from their second challenge. David Rittich took the night off for the Reign and Erik Portillo was between the pipes in his place. Dustin Wolf got the start once again for Calgary.
This game didn’t have much pace to start. The action was kept to a minimum through the first 20 minutes as it consisted mostly of special teams. The Wranglers were on the penalty kill only 1:09 in, then again at 6:18. They got their first power play opportunity at 13:07 but it was cut short by a call on Jordan Oesterle at 14:13. The Wranglers got the last power play of the period at 18:31 and neither sides did anything with their man advantages. Shots after 20 minutes finished 8-5 Ontario.
In the second period, the scoring action finally got started. It just wasn’t coming from the away team. Emilio Pettersen was called for cross-checking in the first five minutes of the period and about a minute and a half later, it was in the back of the net. The Reign came up on a three on one and Mikhail Maltsev scored off a one-timer.
At 8:45, the Reign struck again to take a two-goal lead. Brandt Clarke was the home team’s goal-scorer when he picked a corner and scored off a falling shot. The Wranglers’ demeanour noticeably changed after this goal and the effort to answer back was very noticeable. Unfortunately, it was not very fruitful.
They let some of their best opportunities to get back in this game pass them by. Later in the third, were down by two and on a 5-on-3. No scoring. After both those penalties ran down, there was another Reign penalty the Wranglers had a chance on. Still, no production came out of it.
Jonathan Aspirot was called for slashing with 20 seconds to go in the period and the tensions between these teams hit another level. Ben Jones was pushed into the front of the Reign’s net and both sides had something to say about it. The play was reviewed in detail but only Aspirot would get a call. After the end of two periods, the Wranglers were down 2-0 and were outshot 8-7 in the middle frame.
The fiery energy that ended the second period didn’t show much of itself in the third period. The Wranglers continued to play on their heels and failed to generate any offensive success. At 8:26, the Wranglers had two skaters in the box and it hurt them. Samuel Fagemo scored on the power play and gave the Reign a 3-0 lead.
Still no answer back from Calgary. At 10:59, Jonathan Aspirot tried to at least get something going with a fight but took it too far. He took on Samuel Helenius in a fight but was completely blocked from getting any punches in. He realized he wasn’t going to be able to land a hit and grabbed Helenius by the knee and slammed him down to the ice. He was dealt a fighting major and a match penalty and was immediately removed from the game.
This further deflated the Wranglers and they just did their best to finish the game. Dustin Wolf was pulled for the first time at 16:05 and the Reign scored at 16:58. Fagemo scored his second of the period on the empty net. Calgary tried for an extra attacker again but nothing came of it.
They had their five-game winning streak snapped on the road with a final score of 4-0. Shots finished 24-19. This was the second straight low-shooting game for the Wranglers as in their Friday game they only put up 21 shots. This was also the first game of the season they failed to register a goal on.
This grind of games continues into early next week when the Wranglers host the Tucson Roadrunners for a mid-week series. They’ll play a back-to-back at the Saddledome on Tuesday and Wednesday. The puck drop for both is set for 7:00 p.m. MT.
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