Wranglers Playoff Recap: Calgary falls 3-2 on the road, forces game four
Photo credit:David Moll/Calgary Wranglers
1 month ago
The Wranglers and Canucks took their playoff series to Abbotsford for game three in a possible elimination scenario. Calgary had a 2-0 series lead going into this game and just need one more win to move onto the third round. The Canucks came out with a lot of fight for their home crowd and forced a game four with a 3-2 win over the Wranglers on Wednesday night.
Jakob Pelletier – Ben Jones – Matthew Phillips
Dryden Hunt – Connor Zary – Walker Duehr
Brett Sutter – Kevin Rooney – Clark Bishop
Mitch McLain – Cole Schwindt – Adam Klapka
Ilya Solovyov – Nick DeSimone
Jeremie Poirier – Colton Poolman
Yan Kuznetsov – Nicolas Meloche
Game at a glance
Yan Kuznetsov returned to the Wranglers lineup for his first playoff appearance of the 2023 run. That was the only lineup change from game two so everything else was business as usual. Dustin Wolf kept it rolling to get his third straight postseason start with Spencer Martin in net for the Canucks.
Both teams got things rolling early with the Wranglers picking up the first goal of the night. Walker Duehr carried the puck into the zone and dropped it back to Jeremie Poirier, who was in the perfect spot to take a shot from the slot. This goal came 4:37 into the first period and Connor Zary picked up the other assist on this marker.
Shots were kept close through the first frame and each team was going on a run of their own in their opposing zones. The Canucks were able to also score their first of the night in the opening period with a power play goal 9:58 into the game. Linus Karlsson scored for Abbotsford with his first goal of the postseason.
That concluded first period scoring and the Wranglers and Canucks went into the first intermission tied up 1-1 and the Canucks leading 12-11 in shots.
In the second period, the Canucks pulled ahead with their first lead of the night with a very unlucky play for the Wranglers. Christian Wolanin took a shot that deflected off of Clark Bishop’s stick and deflected into the net. Making it so the Wranglers technically scored on themselves but Wolanin gets credit on the scoresheet.
That was the only goal through the second frame and Abbotsford outshot Calgary 9-7. In the third, the woes continued for the Wranglers. Only 1:10 into the period, Kyle Rau scored for the Canucks and put the Canucks up by two.
The Wranglers would make an effort to close the gap in this game with Nick DeSimone ripping a slap shot 9:15 into the third to put Calgary within one. DeSimone has been exceptional in these three playoff games so far and leads the team in postseason production with five points. Matthew Phillips and Yan Kuznetsov assisted on this marker.
The Wranglers were running out of time and called a timeout to get their bearings for the last few minutes of regulation. They pulled Wolf and Jeremie Poirier, Nick DeSimone, Dryden Hunt, Matthew Phillips, Jakob Pelletier and Ben Jones played the majority of the dying minutes to try and produce a tying goal.
They were not successful in that effort and fell to the Canucks 3-2 in regulation. The first game of the series to be decided in regulation. Shots finished 30-27 for Abbotsford. This one stings in the sense that the Wranglers had point blank opportunities to come back and the Bishop deflection just comes down to bad luck. Matthew Phillips was also on the receiving end of a lot of abuse from his opponents with an obvious target on his back when he was on the ice.
Despite another emotional game, a win wasn’t in the cards for the Wranglers on Wednesday night. The Wranglers will have a day between games to recuperate for Friday’s chance at winning the series.
This series will go to at least four games with the next-match up taking place in Abbotsford on Friday night. The Wranglers still lead the series with the record sitting at 2-1. The game time for their next meeting is set for 8:00 p.m. MT.
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