Photo credit:David Moll/Calgary Wranglers
Recap: Wranglers bounce back prevented by Firebirds third period effort
1 month ago
The Calgary Wranglers needed a revenge game after a rough 6-1 loss to Coachella Valley on Monday night. They kept their composure and control of the game for over two periods but a late go-ahead goal turned the tables on them. The Wranglers fell for the second night in a row to the Coachella Valley Firebirds with a final score of 3-1.
Injuries have been a sore spot for the Wranglers as of late but there is some good news to report. They got Colton Poolman back in the lineup after he missed three games with an upper-body injury. He slotted into the lineup in place of Will Riedell, who may also be taking some time to nurse an injury from a fight that kept him out of the better half of Monday’s game.
Emilio Pettersen – Clark Bishop – Matt Coronato
Rory Kerins – Ben Jones – Adam Klapka
William Stromgren – Cole Schwindt – Mitch McLain
Lucas Ciona – Ilya Nikolaev – Alex Gallant
Ilya Solovyov – Mark Pysyk
Yan Kuznetsov – Colton Poolman
Jonathan Aspirot – Brady Lyle
Game at a glance
Both teams switched things up in net with Oscar Dansk getting the nod for his first start since December 15th. On the other side, Cale Morris started for Coachella Valley. The Wranglers seemed to have a slightly better jump to start this game. They got the first good looks and Dansk had their back in their zone when the Firebirds got some of their chances going.
The Wranglers struck first with a goal from Clark Bishop at 9:19. Matt Coronato did a good job protecting the puck in the neutral zone and got it up to Emilio Pettersen. Pettersen picked up on an open Bishop who skated the puck into Coachella Valley’s zone and snuck the puck past Morris.
The second period started to bring out some of the hatred between these teams with a few roughing calls in the first five minutes. Luke Henman and Ilya Nikolaev got tied up off a faceoff at 2:32 and Ben Jones and Connor Carrick had some words for each other at 4:04. These offsetting penalties came and went then the Wranglers finally got a power play opportunity.
Ryker Evans was called for roughing at 6:23 and the Wranglers finally got a power play to work with. The Wranglers did not capitalize on this chance. Instead, the Firebirds looked as if they were going to be the next to strike. The puck did make it past Dansk around the 12-minute mark but it was deflected in off a high stick. The officials talked about it and ruled it as a no goal. Oscar Dansk and the Wranglers coaching staff were very confident this would not stand.
Dansk continued to play a solid game between the pipes and turned away more high-danger chances for the Firebirds. Towards the end of the period, the Wranglers had some of their best opportunities to extend their lead but timed out in those efforts. They held a 1-0 lead after 40 complete minutes and led 13-7 in shots in the middle frame.
Just 1:37 into the third period, Shane Wright got the Firebirds on the board off a quick release. The Wranglers were looking for the lead back for the majority of the third and the line of Pettersen, Bishop and Coronato had some grade A opportunities to make that happen.
The next goal unfortunately came from the opposing side when Logan Morrison scored on Dansk. After the puck crossed the line, Morrison caught the helmet of Dansk and slid into the net. Dansk was not happy about this and wanted a call on the play. The officials briefly discussed the happenings of the last play but the goal stood and the next faceoff took place shortly after. This goal was late in a game the Wranglers had controlled the majority of and it came at 17:01.
With 2:31 to go in regulation, Rory Kerins went in for a hit along the boards and caught a stick in the face, sending Ryker Evans to the box. This power play opportunity was timely and the best shot for the Wranglers to make something happen before the time ran out. They opted to pull Dansk for the 6-on-4 and it did not pan out for the home team.
Cameron Hughes scored an empty-netter at 19:38 and secured the game for Coachella Valley. There was visible frustration from the Wranglers after the game switched up on them so late. Alex Gallant echoed that in his post-game comments saying, “We hate those guys.”
The final score was 3-1 for the Firebirds and shots finished 31-26 favouring the Wranglers. What the box score didn’t tell was how solid Dansk looked in net in this one. He deserved the win between the pipes but it was not in the cards for him.
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The Wranglers are halfway through their homestand and their week of hockey. They still have two more games this week with a weekend series against the Henderson Silver Knights. Their next game will be on Friday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome at 7:00 p.m. MT.
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