Recap: Calgary Wranglers hit 100 points in big 3-1 win over the Firebirds
Photo credit:Candice Ward/Calgary Wranglers
2 months ago
The Calgary Wranglers and Coachella Valley Firebirds faced off on Wednesday night in a heavy hitting battle of the best in the AHL. The Firebirds have been chasing the Wranglers for the top spot in the Pacific Division and overall in the league but the Wranglers have held the edge for most of the season. The pressure is on for playoffs as the Pacific Division winner receives a bye in the first round and going into this game, these two were tied for that spot. The Wranglers defended their title and pulled out a 3-1 win and reached the 100 point mark on the season.
Game at a glance
Dustin Wolf got the start in net facing off against Joey Daccord on the other end. The first period started out with a good pace but no scoring took place for either side. At the end of 20 minutes, the Firebirds were out-shooting the Wranglers 9-8.
In the second period, shots continued to stay close and it was the Wranglers who would find the back of the net first. Ben Jones opened up scoring with a feed from Matthew Phillips 13:11 into the period. This goal got a second look as right before Jones took his shot, Dryden Hunt appeared to make contact with Daccord.
The officials reviewed it but the call stood. Hunt’s contact seemed to be a result of being pushed into the Coachella Valley netminder by an opposing skater and did not conflict with the ability to make the save. The Wranglers took a 1-0 lead and held that lead through the rest of the second period.
In the third, some tensions boiled over between Brett Sutter and Cameron Hughes that resulted in 24 minutes of penalty minutes split unevenly between the two. A couple of minutes later, the Firebirds answered back with an early goal 3:28 into the frame.
Later in the period, Dryden Hunt scored a go-ahead goal with 5:05 to go in regulation. He took a shot, Daccord tried to make the save and the puck slipped past him. The assists went to Matthew Phillips and Ben Jones.
The Firebirds looked for a last minute push to tie things up again that started by pulling their goaltender just shy of two minutes to go in regulation. The Wranglers would pick up another goal with 35 seconds to go in the third. This empty netter was scored by Clark Bishop and put away a solid 3-1 lead that adds to their five game winning streak and evens up the season series 4-4-0-0.
Calgary finished with a 31-27 edge in shots and all three stars were awarded to Wranglers. Ben Jones picked up the first star, Matthew Phillips picked up the second star and Dryden Hunt picked up the third star in this game. Phillips didn’t have any goals of his own but earned his second star with assists on every Wranglers goal in this game.
This game broke up a pattern of the typical two game series format they play in this league. Instead, they played one game and have already moved on to their next opponent. Their next series kicks off on Friday against the San Diego Gulls and continues into Saturday. Game time for both is set for 8:00 p.m. MT.
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