Recap: Dustin Wolf hits 7 shutouts, Calgary Wranglers score six unanswered goals
Photo credit:Jenn Pierce/Calgary Wranglers
8 months ago
The Calgary Wranglers and the San Diego Gulls faced off on Friday night for their first of two games against each other this weekend. It was number one versus number 32 with the best and the worst in the AHL facing off in this game. The Gulls had a good jump in the first but the Wranglers would score two in the first, two in the second and two in the third to take a 6-0 win.
Game at a glance
Kristians Rubins made his debut for the Wranglers on home ice after playing the majority of the season with the Belleville Senators. Rubins was acquired at the AHL trade deadline in a future considerations deal and wore the number 33 for Calgary.
The goaltending match-up in this one was Dustin Wolf and Gage Alexander at the other end for the Gulls. This game kicked off with quite a good pace. The Gulls come into town at the bottom of the Pacific Division and dead last in the league but weren’t playing like a team that was going to go down easily.
The Wranglers got a quick run of bad luck around the midway mark of the period starting with a penalty call. Then the next play, Wranglers captain, Brett Sutter was tangled up in a play that ended with him colliding with a Gulls player. The part of his body that took the majority of the hit was his head and he was helped off the ice to be evaluated.
With about half of the penalty killed, the Wranglers are called on a penalty again and find themselves down their captain and down two skaters on the ice. Dustin Wolf has an exceptional few minutes between the pipes and the penalty killers do their job without any damage coming their way.
The Gulls were called on a penalty in the dying seconds of the Wranglers’ penalty and the momentum shifted back to the home team. 15:22 into the first, Matthew Phillips scored the opening goal for the Wranglers on the power play. Nick DeSimone and Connor Zary assisted on Phillips’ 30th goal of the season.
Before they could even finish announcing Phillips’ goal, Jeremie Poirier scored in the same minute and quickly put the Wranglers up 2-0. Emilio Pettersen and Dryden Hunt assisted on Poirier’s goal. That pretty much wrapped up the first period and the Wranglers finished up the opening 20 minutes with a 2-0 lead and a 14-9 shot advantage.
Brett Sutter was on the ice for the opening faceoff in the second so good news to start the middle frame. Kevin Rooney started on the wing with Clark Bishop centering the line but took the faceoff to kick off the period.
The second definitely felt more swayed in the Wranglers’ direction but the action waited until the second half of the period to kick in. Matthew Phillips had a huge chance on the power play that somehow stayed out but would end up contributing in a different way.
13:02 into the second, he set up Ilya Solovyov for the Wranglers’ third goal of the night. Dryden Hunt also assisted. Both Phillips and Hunt were up to two points in this game by that point.
Late in the period with just a minute to go, Connor Zary took a sharp angled shot at Alexander and scored the Wranglers’ fourth consecutive goal of the night. Kristians Rubins picked up an assist for his first point as a Wrangler and Emilio Pettersen also assisted to earn his second point of the night.
The Wranglers ended the second up 4-0 with four skaters at multi-point games and a 25-17 lead in shots. In the third, the Wranglers had a couple of penalties to kill off early. One was a carryover from the third. On the first PK, the Gulls were inches away from their first goal with a shot ringing off the post.
7:06 into the third period, Jeremie Poirier dangled his way into the Gulls’ zone and scored his second goal of the night to put the Wranglers up 5-0. Dryden Hunt picked up the lone assist and tallied his third assist on the night.
About five minutes later, Connor Zary scored his second of the night as well with a bar down shot. Cole Schwindt and Adam Klapka assisted and just like that, the score was up to 6-0 and two Wranglers were on hat trick watch.
It wouldn’t happen for them tonight and this game finished up at 6-0 for the Wranglers. Dustin Wolf got the first star of the night stopping all 30 shots and picking up his seventh shutout of the season, Jeremie Poirier got the second star of the night with two goals and Connor Zary got the third star of the night with two goals and an assist.
Poirier spoke to the media after the game and talked about how this team’s chemistry has really allowed them to click on and off the ice.
“For sure when you win on a day-to-day basis it’s easier to get along with the guys. Guys are happy to go to the rink have a smile on their face every day. I think even other than that, outside the rink, the guys are pretty tight. We’re doing some stuff together after the games and stuff like that. For us to have great chemistry like that and just have fun, it’s great for our team and it shows on the ice I think with all the wins we’re getting.”
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This Gulls series continues into the weekend where the Wranglers will face them for their last regular season match-up and likely their last match-up of the 2022-23 season on Sunday for fan appreciation night. It is a double event day at the Saddledome with the Hitmen playing earlier in the day so this game has a later start of 7:00 p.m. MT.
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