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Recap: Phillips, Zary lead Wranglers to dominant 8-2 win over the Barracuda

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Photo credit:Candice Ward/Calgary Wranglers
Paige Siewert
23 days ago
The Calgary Wranglers have been working out the kinks with their new team this year. It seems things are starting to click with a few wins under their belt. They continued their homestand on Sunday night starting a new series against the San Jose Barracuda. They put on a clinic absolutely steamrolling their visiting opponents 8-3 and 10 Wranglers picking up points on the night. This is the first time they have won in back-to-back games this season. 

Lineup notes

There was quite a laundry list of lineup notes to report for this game. First off was the Calgary call-ups. After essentially skating with four defensemen in the night previous against the New Jersey Devils, the Flames needed some blue-liner reinforcements. The Wranglers on the move up to the big club were Dennis Gilbert and Nick DeSimone. 
The team also released a list of players listed as injured and absent from the lineup. Martin Pospisil and Adam Klapka are out with upper-body injuries and Alex Gallant is dealing with a lower-body injury.
This domino effect brought in a couple of call-ups from the Flames’ ECHL affiliate, the Rapid City Rush. Rory Kerins and Simon Lavigne were recalled but only Kerins made it into the lineup on Sunday night. 
Other minor notes included Josh Brook skating in his first game with the team this season and Colton Poolman getting an A sewn on his jersey in Nick DeSimone’s absence. 

Game at a glance

Airdrie product, Aaron Dell and Dustin Wolf got the starts between the pipes for their first match-up of the season and Wolf’s third consecutive start. Both got tested quite early into the game with some action taking place in the first half of the period. 
Rory Kerins was that close to his first AHL goal 6:06 into the first period after he buried a rebound. However, Mitch McLain was in too deep in the crease and prevented Dell from making a save. This resulted in the goal being overturned and the score stayed deadlocked at zero. 
The Barracuda ended up being the first to officially score 10:49 into the period when Wolf was beaten on a glove-side shot. Safe to say this poked the bear because the Wranglers went on to score six unanswered goals after this tally. Four of which took place before the end of the first period. 
Matthew Phillips opened the scoring at 12:14 with his sixth of the season and Radim Zohorna and Jakob Pelletier picking up assists. This extended his point streak to seven games. He went on and did it again a few minutes later 15:43 into the period with his same linemates picking up the helpers. Connor Zary was the next to attack less than a minute later with assists going to Nicolas Meloche and Cole Schwindt. Mitch McLain snuck in one more Wranglers goal before the end of the period with eight seconds to go. Jeremie Poirier was credited with the lone assist.
After 20 minutes, the Wranglers had a hefty 4-1 lead and a 16-7 shot advantage. The momentum continued with Zary also scoring his second in this game 11:02 into the second period. Yan Kuznetzov and Cole Schwindt got credit for the assists. Aaron Dell was pulled at this point in the game and Eetu Makiniemi came in relief. Derrick Pouliot of the Barracuda had enough at this point and took on McLain as a fighting partner to try and drum up some momentum for his team. 
The Wranglers found themselves on the power play about a minute and a half later and Matthew Phillips scored his third of the night to complete his hat trick 16 seconds into the man advantage. Ben Jones and Jeremie Poirier picked up assists. 
That stopped the scoring for the second period and stopped the consecutive scoring for Calgary. Next to attack was San Jose, 2:37 into the third period. The Wranglers were still sitting comfortably at a 6-2 lead and felt another couple of goals to pad the stats couldn’t hurt. 
Jakob Pelletier scored his third of the season at 8:28 and Mitch McLain scored his second of the night and fourth of the year at 19:53. Based on their goal celebrations, you could tell they were dialling it back in good sportsmanship due to the score.
The Wranglers finished up the night with an 8-2 win and just ahead in shots 34-33. 10 Wranglers players picked up points in this game and nine of those had multi-point nights. Hard not to win with a team effort like that. 

Highlights

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Next Up

Well, that was a fun one for the home team. How about we do it again? The San Jose series continues into this week with their second game taking place on Tuesday evening. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. MT at the Scotiabank Saddledome. You can catch this game in person or stream it on AHL.TV.  

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