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Series Preview: Calgary Wranglers look to clinch Pacific Division in three game Canucks series

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Photo credit:Angela Burger/Calgary Wranglers
Paige Siewert
10 months ago
The Calgary Wranglers are down to their last series of the 2022-23 regular season. This week they’ll play a trio of games against the Abbotsford Canucks. They are comfortably in the playoffs but the race for the top of the Pacific is not yet over. They have a magic number of three they need to achieve by the end of the week to best set them up for their highly anticipated postseason run. This will start by taking this week a day and a game at a time.

Projected Lineups

Calgary
Dryden Hunt – Ben Jones – Matthew Phillips
Brett Sutter – Clark Bishop – Kevin Rooney
Adam Klapka – Calder Brooks – Connor Zary
William Stromgren – Cole Schwindt – Alex Gallant
Ilya Solovyov – Nick DeSimone
Jeremie Poirier – Colton Poolman
Yan Kuznetsov – Nicolas Meloche
Dustin Wolf
Oscar Dansk
Abbotsford
Tristen Nielsen – Justin Dowling – Linus Karlsson
Arshdeep Bains – Max Sasson – Kyle Rau
Matt Alfaro – Aatu Raty – Danila Klimovich
John Stevens – Chase Wouters – Marc Gatcomb
Jett Woo – Brady Keeper
Jack Rathbone – Zach Giuttari
Chad Nychuk – Kannok Leipert
Spencer Martin
Arturs Silovs

Leaders

Calgary
Matthew Phillips – 63GP, 36G, 39A
Connor Zary – 69GP, 21G, 37A
Ben Jones – 68GP, 17G, 37A
Abbotsford
Christian Wolanin – 49GP, 6G, 49A (Inactive on NHL call-up)
Linus Karlsson – 69GP, 23G, 25A
Justin Dowling – 54GP, 11G, 34A

Notes and expectations

With the Flames mathematically eliminated from the playoffs this year, expect some changes in that projected lineup. William Stromgren made his debut with the Wranglers in their last game against the San Diego Gulls and may be sticking around in the lineup if some of his new teammates get an NHL shot for the last Flames game of the season. 
The Flames play their last game on Wednesday at the same time the Wranglers start their Abbotsford series. Many are expecting Dustin Wolf to come up for this game but at the time this article is being written, no confirmation about Wranglers’ AHL movement has been announced. With Matthew Phillips’ future unknown after this season, it may be nice to see him in a Flames jersey for what might be the last time as well.
After Wednesday’s game, they can also call in reinforcements for the weekend. The Wranglers play on Friday and Saturday and by then, the Flames will pretty much be in off-season mode. Walker Duehr and Jakob Pelletier on the other hand will be making a trip to Abbotsford to help the Wranglers ramp up for playoffs. 
Even if some of the guys are gone for Wednesday’s game, they should all be back for the weekend series and two players in particular that have been carrying a lot of weight on this team. They have played exceptionally in this last stretch of games and the names should not come as a surprise. They are Matthew Phillips and Dustin Wolf. Phillips is on an active nine game point streak. He has 75 points on the season going into this series and has picked up 16 points in his last nine games.  
Dustin Wolf really has been as good as people have been saying this season and leads all major goaltending categories going into this series. At this point, he is a no brainer for his second straight AHL goaltender of the year accolade. He sits at 41 wins on the year in 53 games played. His GAA sits at 2.08 and his save percentage sits at .932. The icing on top is his seven shutouts on the season.
Whether Wolf and Phillips are there for the first game of this series or not, the Wranglers are in a very good position this week. The work isn’t quite over but the goal is to continue to gel and position themselves in the best possible place for their Calder Cup run. 
This series will kick off on Wednesday night and then continue on Friday and Saturday. All games are set to start at 8:00 p.m. MT and you can stream them on AHL.tv. FlamesNation contributors Mike Gould and myself will have updates on Twitter.

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