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Series preview: Calgary Wranglers host Colorado Eagles for home opener weekend

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Photo credit:Jenn Pierce/Calgary Wranglers
Paige Siewert
5 months ago
After two weeks on the road, the Calgary Wranglers are finally playing at the Scotiabank Saddledome for their home opener against the Colorado Eagles. They have some back-to-back afternoon hockey going on with the first game taking place on Saturday and the second on Sunday (before the Heritage Classic). Calgary looks to keep their point streak alive as they have gone all four games without a regulation loss so far. 

Projected lineups

Calgary
Connor Zary – Ben Jones – Martin Pospisil 
Brett Sutter – Clark Bishop – Adam Klapka
Emilio Pettersen – Cole Schwindt – William Stromgren
Lucas Ciona – Mitch McLain – Alex Gallant
 
Colton Poolman – Nick DeSimone
Yan Kuznetsov – Brady Lyle
Sam Jardine – Jonathan Aspirot – Jarrod Gourley 
 
Dustin Wolf
Oscar Dansk

Colorado

Peter Holland – Ben Meyers – Callahan Burke
Oskar Olausson – Tanner Kero – Riley Tufte
Joel Kiviranta – Ondrej Pavel – Matthew Stienburg
Ivan Ivan – Jason Polin
 
Keaton Middleton – Brad Hunt
Jack Ahcan – Same Malinski
Caleb Jones – Nate Clurman
Wyatt Aamodt
 
Justus Annunen 
Arvid Holm
 

Leaders

Calgary

Connor Zary – 4GP, 0G, 8A
Adam Klapka – 4GP, 4G, 3A 
Jeremie Poirier – 4GP, 1G, 6A (Injured, long-term)

Colorado

Peter Holland – 6GP, 4G, 3A
Riley Tufte – 4GP, 4G, 2A
Caleb Jones – 6GP, 0G, 4A

Notes and expectations 

Calgary will have the fresher legs going into this series as Colorado took advantage of their trip to Canada to play a midweek series against the Abbotsford Canucks. They dropped both of their games in Abbotsford on Tuesday and Wednesday and have yet to win a game on the road this season. With two more road games coming up, it’s looking bleak for the visitors based on their performance in recent history. 
The Wranglers had good luck against the Canucks last weekend winning both games by a goal and Saturday’s game finishing with a dramatic 7-6 overtime finish. Colorado fell to Abbotsford 2-1 in overtime on Tuesday night and 5-2 on Wednesday night.
Some team news that emerged over the week was the confirmation of Jeremie Poirier’s injury he suffered on Oct. 21 against the Abbotsford Canucks. He was on the receiving end of a skate laceration that required surgery to repair. Poirier was starting the season hot but has had some bad luck with injuries the last few months. An injury kept him out of development camp and most of the pre-season with the Flames. Losing him indefinitely is a huge loss for the Wranglers. 
Between this and the shuffle around Rasmus Andersson’s four-game suspension, some roster changes were made throughout the organization since the last time the Wranglers played. Ilya Solovyov got the call-up to the Flames on Thursday and made his NHL debut against the St. Louis Blues. To backfill the depth at the Wranglers level, they called up Jarrod Gourley from the ECHL’s Rapid City Rush. This leaves two openings in the defensive pairings that will be filled by Jonathan Aspirot, Sam Jardine or Jarrod Gourley in these games this weekend.
Even with some changes early in the season, there are still some guys around that are worth watching. If you are used to watching numbers that have since left the team or have joined the Flames like 11, 49 or 34, there are still some talented guys to watch going into this first live game in front of the fans. Adam Klapka, number 43, has had an exceptional start to his season seemingly picking up where he left off confidence and performance-wise at the end of last season. He’s averaging a goal a game and already has seven points on the season.
Another Wrangler to watch is Martin Pospisil, number 24, which is another name that may not be as familiar. Pospisil has been in the Flames’ AHL rotation for the last three years (not including 2023-24) but missed the majority of last season due to injury. He’s off to a hot start as well with three goals and an assist and scored the overtime game-winner last Saturday. These among names you recognize already like Connor Zary and Dustin Wolf are making Wranglers games a lot of fun to watch this season.
The first chance to see the Wranglers live will be this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. MT. Then they play the next game on Sunday at the same time. If you are unable to attend in person, the game will be streamed for a fee on AHL.tv. FlamesNation contributors Mike Gould and I will also have updates on X (formerly Twitter).

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