Recap: Jonathan Aspirot’s clutch afternoon performance earns Calgary Wranglers an OT win
Photo credit:Angela Burger/Calgary Wranglers
1 month ago
The Calgary Wranglers and Colorado Eagles continued their weekend series on Sunday afternoon for a matinee match-up. Calgary earned a 2-1 win on Saturday afternoon and came back the next day to win again by a single goal. This game was an overtime decision that earned Oscar Dansk his first win on the season. The icing on the cake was doing this in front of a home crowd.
Game at a glance
There weren’t high hopes for attendance for this game considering the Wranglers were competing with an early evening Flames game that happened to be the Battle of Alberta Heritage Classic. (Kind of a big deal.) Despite that, the Wranglers were still able to draw a crowd of over 3,300 for this game.
The home team got some excitement going early with a fight eight seconds after puck drop. Adam Klapka picked Eagles alternate captain Keaton Middleton to go toe to toe with. It wasn’t a huge tilt but it was enough to draw up some momentum for Calgary.
Just 2:45 into the game, Brett Sutter kicked off the scoring with not the prettiest goal but a goal nonetheless. He skated his way into the Eagles zone and just shot a bit of a knuckle puck over to his opposing netminder Justus Annunen. The puck slipped past Annunen and before he knew it, Sutter was celebrating his first lamplighter of the season. He had a good laugh about it during his celebration and afterwards on the bench around his teammates. Alex Gallant and Jonathan Aspirot picked up the assists.
That entertaining handful of minutes made up for the most notable activities through the first period and the rest of the frame continued in a normal fashion. After the end of the first, the Wranglers were up 1-0 and just trailing 8-7 in shots.
In the second period, the Eagles answered back 5:13 into the frame with a goal by Riley Tufte. The Wranglers were caught in a bit of a scrambled defensive play when the Eagles made a few quick passes and Tufte jammed the puck past Dansk to even up the score.
After this goal, the game slowed right down. Penalty calls and other stoppages were few and far between and both teams just took their turns on the rush. Not a lot of high-danger opportunities came out of the second period and at the end of 40 minutes, they were still evened up at 1-1. Colorado had the better shot effort through the second with a 7-5 edge.
In the third, both teams got a chance on the power play in the first half of the period but neither capitalized. The shots were the highest of the night with Calgary out-shooting Colorado 12-11 in the final 20 minutes of regulation. But this game would not be decided in the 60 minutes they had. Instead, it went to overtime.
The overtime decision was a quick and efficient one that thankfully went the home team’s way. Jonathan Aspirot had a great game higher on the defensive depth chart on the first pairing with Nick DeSimone. With Ilya Solovyov up with the Flames for the time being and Jeremie Poirier out due to injury, pairings looked a little different this weekend. Aspirot made a complementary partner to DeSimone and notched another point on his afternoon with the game-winning goal.
1:40 into overtime, Aspirot scored with a perfect bar down shot and earned the Wranglers their second win of the weekend. The former Belleville Senator was just playing in his second game for the team and earned two points in this win. His first two points with the team, I might add. Martin Pospisil and Connor Zary assisted on this goal and kept their early season production rolling.
By no surprise, Aspirot picked up the first star of the game followed by Brett Sutter. Colorado’s Riley Tufte earned the third star. Shots finished 28-26 and Calgary out-shot Colorado 3-1 in overtime. Oscar Dansk earned the win between the pipes and still remains perfect in regulation with both his starts this year going to an extra frame.
The Wranglers will go another week without a mid-week series and will be back in action on Friday afternoon. They host the San Jose Barracuda for a two-game series on Friday and Sunday. After this weekend’s performance, they sit fourth in the league standings and third in the Pacific Division just under the Abbotsford Canucks and Henderson Silver Knights.
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