Recap: Calgary Wranglers’ third period comeback leads them to shootout win over the Eagles
Photo credit:Terence Leung/Calgary Wranglers
23 days ago
The Calgary Wranglers and Colorado Eagles were back in action for their second game of the weekend on Saturday night. The Eagles were victorious in their previous match-up on Friday by a final score of 3-1. Saturday’s game was a dramatic scoring battle where the Wranglers came from a 5-3 deficit in the last five minutes of regulation and forced overtime. Nothing was decided in overtime and they went to a shootout where Jeremie Poirier was the only one to score and led the Wranglers to a 6-5 shootout victory.
Dryden Hunt joined the Wranglers for his first game with the team. He was up on the top line alongside Matthew Phillips and Ben Jones and played a great game with a goal and an assist on the night. He wore number 22 for Calgary. Also back for this series was Oscar Dansk from his injury. With Dansk healthy again, the Wranglers sent Daniil Chechelev back to the Rapid City Rush.
Missing from the lineup on Saturday was Nick DeSimone. He caught a shot up high in Friday’s game and did not return. He was out for this game and Tyson Helgesen slotted into the lineup for his first game with the Wranglers this year. Helgesen came up to the Wranglers from the Rush. Colton Poolman ended up wearing the A on his jersey to replace DeSimone.
Game at a glance
It was an exciting game in front of a crowd of 5,089. The goaltending match-up was Dustin Wolf for the Wranglers and Justus Annunen for the Eagles. Scoring got started early again with a power play goal from the Eagles. They lit the lamp just 3:59 into the game. The Eagles would be the next to score at 10:09 to take a two goal lead over the Wranglers.
The Wranglers answered back a couple of minutes later after Ben Jones jammed in a rebound on the way down from a fall. This goal came on the power play and was assisted by Mitch McLain and Matthew Phillips.
The Wranglers held some great zone pressure through the rest of the third but those goals would be the only ones through the first. The Wranglers outshot the Eagles 13-6 through the first but trailed 2-1 at the end of the period.
In the second, there was only one goal and that came from Jeremie Poirier. He scored later in the period with a sweet backhand shot through traffic. This evened things up and Adam Klapka and Alex Gallant assisted.
The second finished up with both teams tied up at two and both of them tying up their shots in the middle frame at 12. The third is where the scoring absolutely exploded. A total of six goals were scored in the third period, starting with a goal from Dryden Hunt in his first game as a Wrangler. He danced around the goaltender and earned the Wranglers their first lead of the night just 3:43 into the third period. Looking pretty good for his first game with the team. Ben Jones and Yan Kuznetsov assisted on the go ahead goal.
Unfortunately, the Eagles went on quite a run of power play goals after this and that was almost enough to put away the win for them. They had three in a row, two by the same player. These goals on the man advantage came at 5:39, 11:16 and 16:13.
With just under four minutes to go in regulation, the Wranglers had some ground to make up, but it all started with one. Dustin Wolf went off for the extra attacker at 16:43 and just seven seconds later, Emilio Pettersen scored off a sharp angle shot to put the Wranglers within one. Jeremie Poirier and Clark Bishop picked up the helpers.
The Wranglers then had 3:10 to go in regulation to try and get another goal and at least force this game into overtime to buy themselves some time. 49 seconds later, Matthew Phillips came up big and scored the tying goal for the Wranglers in what was one of the biggest goals and momentum shifters of the night. He went in for the snipe and crashed the net and buried his own rebound. His linemates Ben Jones and Dryden Hunt assisted on Phillips’ 28th goal of the year.
That gave the Wranglers enough juice to close out the game and keep things together through overtime. They played through overtime and no further scoring ensued. Shots were kept to a minimum and Colorado narrowly out-shot Calgary 2-1. This game would carry on into a shootout. Both the Eagles and Connor Zary missed their first shot, the Eagles also missed their second shot and Jeremie Poirier scored on a tricky puck-handling move and the Eagles missed their third shot, giving the Wranglers the win on the night.
Shots finished up 41-36 favouring Calgary and the final score finished up at 6-5 Wranglers. The team really had their goaltenders back in this game and coming back that late in the game was quite an impressive and exciting few minutes of hockey for this squad.
This game concluded the road portion of the series for the Wranglers. They split their weekend in Loveland, CO and will host the Eagles midweek next week in Calgary to finish up the four-game series. Their next match-up will be on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. MT.
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