Wranglers Playoff Recap: Calgary takes 2-0 series lead in second straight overtime win
Photo credit:David Moll/Calgary Wranglers
1 month ago
The Calgary Wranglers hosted the Abbotsford Canucks for game two of their playoff series. This game was the last home game the Wranglers will have in this series as the rest will be played in Abbotsford. They hosted their largest crowd of the year with 8,029 in attendance and the fans helped energize their team to another overtime victory. This gives them a 2-0 series lead with their 4-3 comeback win on Friday night.
Jakob Pelletier – Ben Jones – Matthew Phillips
Dryden Hunt – Connor Zary – Walker Duehr
Brett Sutter – Clark Bishop – Kevin Rooney
Cole Schwindt – Mitch McLain – Adam Klapka
Ilya Solovyov – Nick DeSimone
Jeremie Poirier – Colton Poolman
Kristians Rubins – Nicolas Meloche
Game at a glance
The Wranglers got out to a better start in this game with higher quality scoring chances and more prominent zone time through the first half of the opening frame. The emotions of game one also boiled over into this game with four roughing penalties called in the first four minutes.
The Wranglers’ intensity in the first paid off for them as they scored first just shy of the midway mark of the first. Jeremie Poirier crashed the zone with a one handed pass up to Kevin Rooney and Clark Bishop was right there to bury Rooney’s rebound and put the Wranglers up 1-0.
There were a handful of penalties after this goal but nothing too game changing happened until the last couple of minutes of the period. The Wranglers went on the power play 17:37 into the third then Arshdeep Bains from the Canucks scored a shorthanded goal 18:30 into the period.
That wasn’t the end of the first period action as Bains scored another shorthanded goal before the first came to an end. A first period that the Wranglers held a lot of control in, very quickly turned into a 2-1 deficit going into the first intermission. Shots after 20 minutes of play were evened up at 12 a side.
In the second period, the penalties continued to trickle in. The Wranglers dodged a bullet later in the period when both Matthew Phillips and Jakob Pelletier ended up on the ice being attended to by trainers on the same play. They both returned to the game but that could’ve been a huge hit to their lineup if both of them had to exit the game for the long haul.
No score changes occurred until 16:22 into the second when the Wranglers were on a four on four and Tristen Nielsen of the Canucks scored goal number three on the night. Calgary did outshoot Abbotsford in the second period 10-6 but trailed 3-1 after 40 complete minutes of play.
The Wranglers needed a big third period and got it started quickly. 37 seconds into the third frame, Ben Jones got the Wranglers within one with a chipped in backhand shot. Ilya Solovyov and Nick DeSimone assisted.
Their momentum continued over the next few minutes when Dryden Hunt was out on the power play, was halfway through a spin move and took a shot down on one knee that found the back of the net and tied up the game. Just like that, in less than six minutes, the Wranglers had fought their way back into the game and tied things up 3-3.
Calgary had the better of the opportunities through the rest of the third with 17 shots to the Canucks’ six but this game would need an overtime decision once again. The third ended with the Wranglers on a power play and they had 1:12 of that man advantage to go in overtime.
The Wranglers weren’t able to capitalize on that but to their advantage, the Canucks would not keep themselves out of the box for long. 6:36 into overtime, they were sent to the box once again and within just over a minute, Matthew Phillips put the game winner in the back of the net.
Shots finished up at a whopping 42-27 for the Wranglers and Matthew Phillips really got the last laugh on the physical battle he endured on the ice in this game.
In the post-game interviews, Mitch Love said it best when it comes to Phillips,
“He senses big moments in big games and that was a big moment in a big game tonight.”
The Wranglers are taking the day off on Saturday after two emotional games over three days then it’ll be straight into preparation mode for the next one. If they thought Abbotsford was intense in their last two, imagine how intense they’ll be facing elimination for up to three games. The Wranglers can close this series out as early as Wed., May 3 when they hit the road to play the Canucks in their barn. The puck drop for Wednesday’s game will be an hour later at 8:00 p.m. MT.
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