Recap: Reinforcements not enough in Wranglers’ second straight loss to Abbotsford

Photo credit:Abbotsford Canucks
Paige Siewert
1 year ago
There are two games left in this week’s Wranglers and Canucks series and two games left in Calgary’s regular season. They play on back to back nights and this weekend holds quite a bit of importance even with how late in the season it is. They are right in the final stretch to clinch the Pacific Division and league titles and need to have some success this weekend to do so. 
The clinching scenario for both of those titles going into this game was hindered by Coachella Valley losing and the Wranglers winning in a variety of fashions. The Wranglers needed to win this game and the Firebirds needed to either lose in regulation, overtime or in a shootout. The other scenario would be the Wranglers losing in overtime or a shootout and the Firebirds losing in regulation. 
The Firebirds ended up losing 3-0 to the Bakersfield Condors but the Wranglers could not finish the other side of the clinching scenario. They fell to the Canucks 4-1 on Friday night. 

Lineup notes

The expected reinforcements made their appearance. Dustin Wolf, Jakob Pelletier and Walker Duehr returned for the Wranglers after being up with the Flames. For Wolf it’s been days, for the other two, it’s been pretty much since the all-star break in February since they got time with the Wranglers.
A new body came in for the Wranglers as Flames prospect, Parker Bell was signed to the team on Thursday after finishing up his season with the WHL’s Tri-City Americans. 
Bell made his professional debut in this game and played on a line with Adam Klapka and Cole Schwindt. Walker Duehr was not in the lineup for this game but Pelletier and Wolf were. Alex Gallant, on the other hand, was suspended by the league for charging in Wednesday’s game and will miss both games this weekend and the first game of their playoff series.

Wranglers lines

Jakob Pelletier – Ben Jones – Matthew Phillips
Emilio Pettersen – Connor Zary – Dryden Hunt
Brett Sutter – Clark Bishop – Kevin Rooney
Adam Klapka – Cole Schwindt – Parker Bell
Ilya Solovyov – Nick DeSimone
Jeremie Poirier – Colton Poolman
Yan Kuznetsov – Nicolas Meloche
Dustin Wolf

Game at a glance 

This game was very swayed towards the Canucks to start. They had the jump and were registering shots long before the Wranglers got on the board in that way. The Wranglers didn’t take their first shot of the game until 12:08 into the first period. By that time, their opponents had six shots on Dustin Wolf.
Thankfully, Wolf was ready to go to start this game and stopped all 12 Abbotsford shots in the first frame. Some of which, were pretty high danger by the last few minutes of the period. After 20 minutes, things were still scoreless and the Wranglers were getting doubled up on shots 12-6.
In the second period, some scoring action got started. About halfway through the period, the Wranglers found themselves on a big 5-on-3 power play opportunity and Dryden Hunt capitalized on the two man advantage. The power play unit moved the puck around quite a bit and Hunt finished it. Matthew Phillips and Nick DeSimone assisted.
The Wranglers were a second away from holding this one goal lead into the third period but the Canucks scored at the 19:59 mark to even things up. The Wranglers flipped the script on the shot differential and outshot the Canucks 14-7 in the second. 
In the third, things start unravelling. Not in a good way either. The Canucks took a 2-1 lead with a power play goal just shy of five minutes into the third. A one goal deficit is something the Wranglers have fought back from in the past but once they hit 12:39 into the period, that deficit increased to two. 
With time running down and the fight for the Pacific Division title on the line, the Wranglers pulled Dustin Wolf with 1:38 to go to try and generate some last scoring. Unfortunately, they were not successful in that effort and Abbotsford ended up scoring an empty-netter with 27 seconds to go. 
This game finished up with a Wranglers 4-1 loss and put them up to two losses in a row against the Canucks. Shots ended 30-26 for the Canucks. The Wranglers need some good momentum to end the season on in their next game and are up to a 7-4-0-0 record on the season series with Abbotsford. 

Next up 

Saturday night is game 72 for the Wranglers and concludes their regular season. They will finish the season against the same team they have been playing all week, the Abbotsford Canucks. Game time is set for 8:00 p.m. MT.

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