Photo credit:David Moll/Calgary Wranglers
Recap: Wranglers couldn’t herd the birds in Friday afternoon game
12 days ago
The Calgary Wranglers started a four-game homestand on Friday afternoon after being on the road for seven straight games. They hosted the San Diego Gulls for the first of two on back-to-back days. The Wranglers lost their star goalie Dustin Wolf to a call-up on game day and were unable to rally any offense in this matinee matchup. Calgary was shutout and fell to San Diego by a final score of 5-0.
A few game-day changes hit the Wranglers before they took the ice at 1:00 pm. Dan Vladar was placed on injured reserve and Dustin Wolf was called up to back up the Flames. He will not be available for the Wranglers this weekend and likely most of next week. Dustin Nickel was added on Friday in an EBUG scenario and backed up Oscar Dansk in Friday’s game.
Connor Murphy was called up from Rapid City on Friday as well but could not make it to Calgary in time for this game. The Wranglers also added another forward on a PTO, Matthew Wedman. Wedman has spent most of the season with the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL but has skated in a handful of AHL games with the Cleaveland Monsters and the Henderson Silver Knights this year.
The Wranglers are still low on numbers at this point in the season. The injury list has also grown to include Mark Pysyk, Clark Bishop and Sam Jardine again. Brett Sutter and Dryden Hunt have moved from a week-to-week to a day-to-day status so that is a promising note in the hopes of their return soon.
Game at a glance
With the roster shuffles, Oscar Dansk unsurprisingly started this game and Tomas Suchanek got the nod for the Gulls. The Gulls have been a team that teams take easy based on their second-to-last positioning in the division, but they have quietly gone 6-2-2-0 in their last 10 games.
The game started with the Gulls opening up the scoring just past the five-minute mark. Chase De Leo crashed the net and connected on a rebound to beat Dansk. This goal came at 5:07. The Wranglers tried to reset and get some momentum back. They got some good shots on goal but not many high-danger scoring chances.
The Gulls scored again in the opening frame after Will Riedell turned the puck over behind the net in the Wranglers’ zone and Judd Caulfield netted the puck in front. This goal came at 11:32 and was strikingly similar to the first Gulls marker. The Wranglers responded in the same way and got some time in the offensive zone but no dice on any goal-scoring.
At the end of the first period, the Wranglers were down 2-0 and the Gulls scored two on just four shots. The Wranglers put up 16 shots but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. In the second period, Ben Jones took a double minor for high sticking on former Stockton Heat forward, Glenn Gawdin.
Right off the draw after this call, Ilya Solovyov was called for hooking. The Wranglers went on a 5-on-3 and the Gulls took advantage. Gawdin got cleaned up and was back on the ice for the power play. The Gulls scored at the exact same time as they did in the first with a power play goal from none other than Glenn Gawdin. Gawdin ripped a one-timer that was ever so dangerous even when he was in the Flames organization.
Interestingly enough, the next goal came within two seconds of the same time as their second goal in the first period. Josh Lopina scored at 11:30. The Gulls picked off a pass in the neutral zone and Lopina scored on a backhand shot. The scoring in the second ended with those two and after 40 complete minutes, the Wranglers were down 4-0. Shots were much closer with the Wranglers slightly outshooting the Gulls 13-12.
The Wranglers’ woes continued in the third period as they were still not able to figure out a way past Suchanek. Ilya Nikolaev was called for tripping at 8:30 and Chase De Leo scored 23 seconds later to make it a 5-0 game. Olen Zellweger skated the puck into the zone without much defensive coverage and passed the puck up to Chase De Leo at the last second to beat Dansk tight to the net.
That goal was the last nail in the coffin and the Wranglers weren’t able to break the opposing shutout. They played out the rest of the time and despite outshooting their opponents 38-25, they fell 5-0. The Wranglers should expect to see the same netminder in their next game and if so, they have some tape to review to try to change their approach.
The Wranglers have a limited time to reflect on this loss as they’re right back in action on Saturday night. They’ll wrap up their series against San Diego at the Saddledome at 7:00 p.m. MT.
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