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Series Preview: Wranglers head to California for road trip against the Bakersfield Condors

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Photo credit:Candice Ward
Paige Siewert
29 days ago
The Wranglers skipped town after the holidays and opted for some warmer weather in Bakersfield, California. They are in town for a few days to play the Bakersfield Condors. Also known as the AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers. The two have only played twice this year so far. Back in their last match-up in November, the Wranglers scored five goals in both of their games against Bakersfield and currently lead the series 2-0.

Projected lineups

Calgary 
Jakob Pelletier – Martin Pospisil – Matthew Phillips
Emilio Petterson – Connor Zary – Cole Schwindt
Brett Sutter – Kevin Rooney – Walker Duehr
Clark Bishop – Ben Jones – Mitch McLain
Colton Poolman – Nick DeSimone
Ilya Solovyov-  Jeremie Poirier
Yan Kuznetsov – Nicholas Meloche
Dustin Wolf
Oscar Dansk
Bakersfield
Forwards: Luke Esposito, Xavier Bourgault, Greg McKegg, Noah Philp, Tyler Benson, Brad Malone, Dino Kambeitz, Graham McPhee, Seth Griffith, Samuel Dove-McFalls, Drake Rymsha,  Ty Tullio, Carter Savoie, Raphael Lavoie, Justin Bailey
Defensemen: Jason Demers, Vincent Desharnais, Michael Kesselring, Yanni Kaldis, Philip Kemp, Alex Peters, Max Gildon, Darien Kielb
Goaltenders: Ryan Fanti, Calvin Pickard, Olivier Rodrigue

Leaders

Calgary 
Matthew Phillips – 20 GP, 15G, 15A
Jakob Pelletier – 26GP, 11G, 17A
Connor Zary – 26GP, 10G, 18A
Bakersfield 
Seth Griffith – 27GP, 8G, 17A
Xavier Bourgaullt – 27GP, 8G, 7A
Michael Kesselring – 27GP, 9G, 3A

Notes and expectations

Some bittersweet news coming into this series is the Wranglers will have a couple of players returning from Flames call-ups. Their two alternate captains to be exact. Matthew Phillips will return to the lineup after only getting into two games on Dec. 10 and 12. He was with the team for just under a month but will return to the Wranglers to get some more ice time in. 
Prior to his call-up, Phillips was leading the AHL in goals and points. He hasn’t fallen down too far in the rankings sitting sixth in the league in goals and ninth in points. His track record from previous seasons shows it to be very unlikely that he goes quiet in his return to the league so he can only really help the Wranglers continue their success.
Also returning is Nick DeSimone. DeSimone played in four games with the Flames in mid-November to cover some injuries involving Chris Tanev and Michael Stone. He has been up with the Flames as an extra body but didn’t see any in-game ice time since Nov. 14. 
They have seemed to prefer the play of his former Wranglers defensive partner, Dennis Gilbert. Gilbert has played in eight Flames games so far with his most recent one being back on Dec. 18. He remains with the Flames for the time being.
The Wranglers have had a solid December only losing one of their eight games this month so far. They will play the Condors on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. MT and complete the series on Friday at 8:00 p.m. MT. You can stream these games on AHL.TV and FlamesNation contributors Mike Gould and myself will have live Twitter updates.

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