Photo credit:Mike Zitek/Ontario Reign
Recap: Calgary Wranglers win fifth straight in 5-4 shootout decision against Ontario
3 months ago
The rolling Calgary Wranglers and the Ontario Reign faced off on Friday night for their first series against each other this season. The Wranglers were almost perfect against the Reign last season and played a tight game that really challenged both sides to be at their best. The battle ended with the Wranglers coming out on top in the shootout 5-4.
Game at a glance
Dustin Wolf was with the team for this weekend’s road trip and got the start on Friday night. On the other end was former Flames netminder David Rittich. These teams seemed to be playing more even than expected and got through the first 10 minutes of play without a goal.
The first tally took place 10:55 into the period when Akil Thomas beat Wolf. His linemate skated the puck behind the net before feeding it right in front of the Wranglers’ net. Thomas got the puck past Wolf point blank and gave the Reign a 1-0 lead.
At 12:15 Ontario was called for interference and about a minute and a half later, Rory Kerins answered back for the Wranglers with a power play goal. He caught a piece of Jonathan Aspirot’s shot and deflected it into Ontario’s net. Jordan Oesterle earned the secondary assist. This goal came 13:53 into the game and put the score evened up at 1-1.
The rest of the opening period continued without a hitch and only three more shots were registered on the net. Shots after the end of 20 minutes were just 6-5 favouring Ontario and the score remained 1-1.
In the second period, the Reign were looking for their lead back and got it just 3:42 into the period. Wolf had four guys in front of him and the puck made its way through traffic completely screened. He attempted to make a save but didn’t appear to see where the puck was going at all. This goal came off the stick of Andre Lee.
The period continued without many interruptions. At 10:32, something finally gave and Cole Schwindt tied the game up at two. He was perfectly positioned to bury a rebound and beat Rittich without giving him much time to react. Schwindt’s third goal of the year was assisted by Dryden Hunt and Matt Coronato.
A couple of minutes later, the Reign thought they may have taken the lead again but it was waved off. The puck did not cross the line and the replays on AHL.tv further solidified that. The second also closed with a tie between these teams and the Wranglers had a 9-8 shot edge in the middle frame.
The third had the most scoring of the game but was still a back-and-forth effort. Andre Lee got his second goal of the night exactly seven minutes into the period and Ben Jones answered back at 8:09. Jones had a great chance that rebounded right back to him and he didn’t let that opportunity pass him by. Adam Klapka and Rory Kerins earned the assists.
About eight minutes later, the Wranglers finally got their first lead of the game when Ilya Nikolaev got the puck loose in Calgary’s zone and passed it up to Clark Bishop. Bishop flew down the ice and slipped it over the shoulder of Rittch.
That looked like Calgary’s best opportunity to secure the win but the Reign opted for the extra-attacker and pulled their goalie. This paid off for them with 1:17 to go in regulation with goal number four for the home team. Shots were very low in the third. Only 8-5 for the Reign.
Both sides earned a point for their efforts on Friday and rightfully so. In overtime, the opportunities were limited and the Reign only got two shots on goal to the Wranglers one. Calgary spent the better half of OT killing off a penalty but were thankfully successful in that effort.
This game went to a shootout that started with a Wolf save followed by a Rory Kerins goal. The second Reign shooter also missed and Cole Schwindt didn’t score on his chance. The third Reign shooter was stopped by Dustin Wolf and that secured the 5-4 win for the Wranglers. Shots through the entire game were only 24-21 and the future of Flames goaltending ended up being better than the Flames goaltending past in this head-to-head competition.
Two out of the three stars of the night went to Wranglers. Rory Kerins earned the first star and Clark Bishop earned the third star.
Scoring stat summary
Cole Schwindt – 1G
Ilya Nikolaev – 1A
Jordan Oesterle – 1A
Ben Jones – 1G
Clark Bishop – 1G
Dryden Hunt – 1A
Rory Kerins – 1G, 1A
Matt Coronato – 1A
Adam Klapka – 1A
Jonathan Aspirot – 1A
Calgary is up to five straight wins and have their sights set on winning number six in game two against the Reign. These teams will take a day break on Saturday and then wrap up their series on Sunday afternoon. The puck drop for their next match-up is set for 4:00 p.m. MT.
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