Wranglers Playoff Recap: Calgary drops game one 6-3 at home
Photo credit:Angela Burger/Calgary Wranglers
6 months ago
The Calgary Wranglers and Coachella Valley Firebirds kicked off the first game of the Pacific Division Finals on Thursday night. Calgary chose to play on home ice for the first two games of the series so things kicked off at the dome. Hopefully not a decision that will come back to bite them as they dropped game one 6-3.
Jakob Pelletier – Ben Jones – Matthew Phillips
Dryden Hunt – Cole Schwindt – Walker Duehr
Brett Sutter – Clark Bishop – Kevin Rooney
Emilio Pettersen – Connor Zary – Adam Klapka
Ilya Solovyov – Nick DeSimone
Jeremie Poirier – Colton Poolman
Yan Kuznetsov – Nicolas Meloche
Game at a glance
This game wasted no time getting things going despite both teams having nearly a week off between games. The Firebirds got the scoring started first with a quick goal 1:48 into the first period. Luke Henman scored the opening goal and the next one wasn’t too far behind. 4:39 into the first, the Firebirds struck again with a goal from Jeremy McKenna.
Calgary didn’t let this get too out of hand right away and 11 seconds after the second Firebirds goal, the Wranglers had their first power play opportunity of the night. 14 seconds into the power play, Matthew Phillips and Dryden Hunt set Jakob Pelletier up to score the first goal for the Wranglers right on the doorstep of Joey Daccord’s crease.
Just over two minutes later, the Firebirds retook their two goal lead with a goal by Max McCormick. Again, the Wranglers didn’t let that lead stay long and brought the game back within one with Dryden Hunt scoring the second goal for the Wranglers off a feed from Walker Duehr. Cole Schwindt also picked up an assist on this goal that came 8:19 into the first.
Both teams managed to play 11:41 of hockey without another goal and the first period finished up with the Firebirds ahead 3-2 and leading 12-9 in shots.
The game didn’t take any breaks to start the second with Clark Bishop being called for goaltender interference and the Firebirds scoring 12 seconds after the call was made. started quick in the second period as well with Kole Lind scoring for the Firebirds 35 seconds in off the first shot of the period.
Adam Klapka was able to get the game back within one 6:04 into the third period after he buried a rebound. Jeremie Poirier and Emilio Pettersen assisted.
2:20 later, the Firebirds score their fifth of the night with a goal from Carsen Twarynksi. This goal ended Dustin Wolf’s night between the pipes and Oscar Dansk came in for him for his first game in just under a month.
Unfortunately, Dansk was also tested early and the first shot he faced ended up in the back of the net with Kole Lind’s second goal of the period. This really felt like a turning point in the game where the Wranglers could no longer keep up. No other scoring ensued in the second period and after 40 minutes, the Wranglers were down 6-3 but outshot the Firebirds 14-11 in the middle frame.
In the third, the Wranglers’ fate felt pretty sealed and the last 20 minutes went by with very few interruptions. Calgary had some decent scoring chances and a good power play but despite doubling up the Firebirds 12-6 in shots in the third, they could not find another goal. With the three goals between them, they didn’t pull Dansk in the dying minutes either.
The score finished up 6-3 and Calgary ended up outshooting Coachella Valley 35-29.
Head Coach Mitch Love commented on their game after the fact saying he wasn’t surprised by what the Firebirds put forth in this match-up and was very transparent in his evaluation of his team’s game. Love said,
“I didn’t like our game at all. Scoreboard aside, they executed on their game plan and we didn’t.”
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Calgary needs some revenge quickly to keep up in the series and will be right back at it on Friday evening with a back-to-back match-up to continue this series. Game two will also be played at the Scotiabank Saddledome at 7:05 p.m. MT.
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