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Series preview: Calgary Wranglers host Manitoba Moose to wrap up homestand

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Photo credit:Angela Burger/Calgary Wranglers
Paige Siewert
2 months ago
The Calgary Wranglers wrap up their four-game February homestand with a midweek match-up against the Manitoba Moose. They have been struggling as of late with two high-scoring losses late last week. Their game on Friday ended in a 5-0 score and the one on Saturday ended in a 7-3 decision. The squad hasn’t had much time to practice between these games, but hopefully, they can make some adjustments going into this All-Canadian series. 

Projected lineups

Calgary 
Emilio Pettersen – Ben Jones – Matt Coronato
Rory Kerins – Ilya Nikolaev – Adam Klapka
Matthew Wedman – Mitch McLain – William Stromgren
Lucas Ciona – Mark Duarte – Alex Gallant
 
Ilya Solovyov – Jonathan Aspirot
Colton Poolman – Yan Kuznetsov
Will Riedell – Brady Lyle
 
Oscar Dansk
Connor Murphy 
Manitoba
Jeff Malott – Brad Lambert – Nikita Chibrikov
Jeffrey Viel – Kristian Reichel – Parker Ford
C.J. Suess – Henri Nikkanen – Nicholas Jones
Wyatt Bongiovanni – Danny Zhilkin – Jonsson-Fjallby
 
Kyle Capobianco – Dean Stewart 
Ville Heinola – Simon Lundmark
Ashton Sautner – Tyrel Bauer 
 
Thomas Milic
Collin Delia

Leaders

Calgary
Matt Coronato – 32GP, 13G, 20A
Ben Jones – 44GP, 14G, 14A
Emilio Pettersen – 44GP, 7G, 21A
Manitoba
Kyle Capobianco – 41GP, 7G, 27A
Nikita Chibriov – 42GP, 14G, 18A
Brad Lambert – 37GP, 14G, 15A

Notes and expectations

With the Flames on the road and the Wranglers playing games close together, there hasn’t been much movement between teams. Dustin Wolf is expected to be unavailable for these games as he covers an injured Dan Vladar. Instead, they are left with a struggling Oscar Dansk and an ECHL goaltender in Connor Murphy, who hasn’t seen many minutes with this team.
Goaltending was a part of the bleeding issues of the last two games. Dansk had a very good first half of the season when Wolf first got called up to the Flames to cover an injury to Jacob Markstrom. Since the second half of the season and early 2024, Dansk’s numbers have not been as strong between the pipes. 
In Friday’s game, he let in five goals on 25 shots and in Saturday’s he let in six goals on 17 shots. His save percentages in his last four games have ranged from .647 to .886 and his GAA has been between 4.20-9.77. This hasn’t been the only indication of recent struggles for the Wranglers but without key point producers due to injuries and call-ups, it’s hard to maintain success when they have to score at least four to five goals a night to have a chance of winning.
The other area of concern has been special teams. The top power play and penalty kill units have faced rapid transformation to adjust to the factors facing the team and opportunities are being missed. The Wranglers went zero for five on Friday on the power play and went three for five on the penalty kill. On Saturday, the penalty minutes were dialed up even further and still not much to show for it. Calgary went one for nine on the power play against the Gulls in their last game, gave up five power-play goals, and only had four successful penalty kills. 
All the issues may not be fixed in one game, but Calgary cannot afford to let these continue to decline. They’ll have a chance to make adjustments in game scenarios with this series kicking off on Tuesday evening and continuing on Wednesday evening. Tickets are still available if you’re looking to catch the games in person. Both games are set to start at 7:00 p.m. MT and you can follow along on the Fan960 or stream them on AHL.tv for a fee. FlamesNation contributors Mike Gould and I will have updates on X (formerly Twitter).
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