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Wranglers playoff game day: Another crack at Coachella Valley

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Photo credit:Angela Burger/Calgary Wranglers
Paige Siewert
1 month ago
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Last season, the Calgary Wranglers and the Coachella Valley Firebirds were the AHL’s two newest teams. They fought for the top spot in the Pacific Division and the Wranglers won that right last year. This year the Firebirds took that spot and the Wranglers squeezed into the post-season in the last spot in the division. Now, they end up in the same place they were last year. Facing each other in the Pacific Division semi-finals. 

Playoff rosters

Calgary
Forwards: Mitch McLain, Brett Sutter, Cole Schwindt, Riley Damiani, Ilya Nikolaev, Lucas Ciona, Ben Jones, Clark Bishop, Alex Gallant, Rory Kerins, Parker Bell, Matt Coronato, Sam Honzek, Adam Klapka, William Stromgren, Sam Morton, Jakob Pelletier
Defencemen: Artem Grushnikov, Hunter Brzustewicz, Jeremie Poirier, Colton Poolman, Ilya Solovyov, Mark Pysyk, Jordan Oesterle, Brady Lyle, Yan Kuznetsov, Jonathan Aspirot
Goaltenders: Dustin Wolf, Oscar Dansk, Connor Murphy
Coachella Valley 
Forwards: Luke Henan, Jani Nyman, John Hayden, Kole Lind, Max McCormick, Cameron Hughes, Ian McKinnon, Andrew Poturalski, Ryan Winterton, Eduard Sale, Lleyton Roed, Tucker Robertson, Ville Petman, Marian Studenic, Shane Wright, Carson Rehkopf, Jacob Melanson, Andrei Loshko, David Goyette, Devin Shore, Logan Morrison
Defencemen: Lukas Dragicevic, Caden Price, Peetro Seppala, Cale Fleury, Mitch Reinke, Gustav Olofsson, Ville Ottavainen, Ryker Evans, Jimmy Schuldt, Kaden Hammell, Connor Carrick
Goaltenders: Ales Stezka, Victor Ostman, Chris Driedger 

Regular season leaders

Calgary
Adam Klapka – 65GP, 21G, 25A
Ben Jones – 72GP, 21G, 22A
Matt Coronato – 41GP, 15G, 27A
Coachella Valley
Kole Lind – 69GP, 17G, 48A
Max McCormick – 68GP, 32G, 28A
Cameron Hughes – 69GP, 25G, 32A

Post-season leaders

Calgary
Adam Klapka – 2GP, 3A
Matt Coronato (Tied for 2nd)  – 2GP, 1G, 1A
Cole Schwindt (Tied for 2nd) – 2GP, 1G, 1A
William Stromgren (Tied for 2nd) – 2GP, 1G, 1A
Coachella Valley
No data (First round bye)

Head to head

Last year in their playoff series, the Wranglers went 2-1-2 and lost in overtime in their game five. One of the most notable moments of this series was a triple overtime in game three and a Dustin Wolf shutout in game four. Here’s how those games went. 
Game 1 – 6-3 Coachella Valley
Game 2 – 3-2 Calgary
Game 3 – 3-2 Coachella Valley 
Game 4 – 1-0 Calgary
Game 5 – 6-5 Coachella Valley
Joey Daccord was in the net for all five playoff games for Coachella Valley and Dustin Wolf played the whole series for Calgary. This year, Joey Daccord has graduated to an NHL spot and has played the whole season with the Seattle Kraken so he is not a factor when it comes to goaltending battles. 

Regular season record

The Wranglers only won two games against the Firebirds in the regular season. Their first and last meetings. In eight games, they went 2-5-0-1. 
Nov. 11: 4-1 win for Calgary
Jan. 1: 6-1 loss for Calgary
Jan. 2: 3-1 loss for Calgary
Jan. 19: 4-2 loss for Calgary 
Jan. 31: 4-3 SOL for Calgary
Feb. 2: 5-2 loss for Calgary
Mar. 26: 7-3 loss for Calgary 
Mar. 27: 2-0 win for Calgary 

Game one notes

Your eyes do not deceive you. The Wranglers did trim a couple of players from their playoff rosters since they last took the ice against the Tucson Roadrunners. On Apr. 30, the team announced that Etienne Morin and Joni Jurmo were removed from the playoff roster and released from their ATOs. Neither played in the opening playoff series and only Morin skated in any games this year with one appearance against the Abbotsford Canucks on Apr. 12. 
The Firebirds have been practicing but have not played a formal game since Sunday, Apr. 21 when they fell in a shootout to the San Diego Gulls. Their position in the division earned them a first-round bye. The Wranglers on the other hand, just finished up their opening series a week ago with a two-game sweep over the Tucson Roadrunners. Will this time away from games hurt or help the Firebirds? Friday’s game should show a pretty clear answer to that question. 
While the season series record is a little bleak, the team Calgary has now is healthy and stacked. There aren’t any worries of NHL call-ups coming between them and their available players this series and they are playing some of the best hockey we’ve seen out of them all year. They have Dustin Wolf back and the depth they have can do a lot of different things for them when it comes to scoring, defending, special teams and physical play. Whatever game the Firebirds are bringing to town, the Wranglers will be ready for it. 
Calgary has two huge games at home this weekend to try and set the tone in this best-of-five series. It all starts on Friday at 7:00 p.m. MT. Come out and support the guys or follow along with the radio broadcast on the Fan960. Streaming options are also available for the playoffs on AHL.tv for a fee. Multiple FlamesNation contributors will also have updates on X (formerly Twitter). 

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