Recap: Wranglers unable to come back in 5-3 loss, split weekend series
4 months ago
After coming off two wins in a row, the Wranglers were looking to make it three against Coachella Valley on Saturday evening. Unfortunately for them, the Firebirds had another thing in store for them. Despite the Wranglers scoring first, the Firebirds scored four in a row and Calgary could not make a full comeback. They fell 5-3 in regulation.
Game at a glance
Dustin Wolf got the night off and Oscar Dansk got the start between the pipes. Even though it was a high-scoring game, most of the action held off until the second and third periods. Matthew Phillips broke things open halfway through the second period with the first goal of the game. Emilio Pettersen made a pickpocket play that set up a tic tac toe right off the stick of Phillips.
The Firebirds followed up with a goal soon after on the power play three minutes later. They continued to roll and snuck in one more goal with just under four minutes to go in the second period and took their first lead of the night.
Through two periods the Firebirds were up 2-1 on the scoreboard but trailing the Wranglers 25-19 in shots.
Calgary kept the pressure in the third but their defence continues to be their downfall. Too many scrambled plays leave all the room in the world for their opponents to set up high-danger plays and hang their goalies out to dry. This has been one of the most repetitive issues that continue to plague the Wranglers.
Coachella Valley pulled ahead by another two goals at 6:28 and 14:11 into the third. The Wranglers had about six minutes to pull together at least three goals to stay alive and the crazy part? They almost did it too.
Radim Zohorna and Connor Zary both scored unassisted goals within 35 seconds of each other and this game was quickly within grasp deep in the third at 4-3.
The Wranglers pulled Dansk with about two minutes to go and the Firebirds were able to bury an empty netter with 1:05 to go in regulation. This pretty much secured the game for the Firebirds.
The Wranglers got a couple of shots off in the dying seconds of the game but lost 5-3. No Calgary players had multi-point nights but the likes of Phillips and Zary are looking like they are starting to settle in and play to their level of hockey. Ben Jones also quietly played a very solid night leading the team in shots with 7.
Calgary shots as a whole finished up 41-27 despite the two-goal deficit.
The Wranglers are coming back to town for a home game on Wednesday to begin a four-game homestand. It will be a busy week at the dome as they host the Tucson Roadrunners on Wednesday and Friday then they will begin their series against the San Jose Barracuda on Sunday. Wednesday’s game is set to start at 7:00 p.m. MT.
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