Photo credit:David Moll/Calgary Wranglers
Wranglers Playoff Recap: Calgary wins series and moves onto third round in 3-2 win
9 months ago
The Calgary Wranglers and Abbotsford Canucks faced off for game four of a possible five on Friday night. The Wranglers had their second shot to eliminate the Canucks from the playoffs and took advantage of that in this game to prevent game five. They had a big third period comeback that allowed them to take this win in this one by a score of 3-2.
Game at a glance
Dustin Wolf got the start for Calgary with Spencer Martin in net for Abbotsford on the other end. Scoring action got started right off the bat with the Canucks drawing first blood 2:18 into the game. Ben Jones was down on the play after being pushed in front of the net and into the post. Dustin Wolf also protested as there was contact made on him and he was looking for a goaltender interference call.
He didn’t get it and the on-ice officials let the goal stand. Later in the period, the Wranglers found themselves on a 4-on-3 and Cole Schwindt took a shot that rolled up and around the crossbar and in. This power play goal came 12:51 into the first period and tied things up at one a side. Connor Zary and Jeremie Poirier assisted on Schwindt’s first goal of the postseason.
Neither team would sneak another goal in through the first 20 minutes so the game would remain at one goal a side going into the first intermission. Abbotsford outshot Calgary 12-8 in the first frame.
In the second, a vast majority of the period was played on some sort of power play or penalty kill. Together, both teams racked up 14 minutes in minor penalties through the second and when one expired, it didn’t take long for the next one to get called. The calls were a mix of hooking, cross-checking, tripping and roughing.
15:33 into the second, the Canucks scored an even strength goal off a sharp angled shot that snuck over the back of Dustin Wolf. They took a 2-1 lead and held that until the end of the second period. Shots were tight after 40 minutes with the Canucks having a slight 7-6 edge through the middle frame.
In the third, the penalties were kept to a minimum. It was down to a familiar situation with the Wranglers having the opportunity to close out the series and the Canucks battling with their season on the line. The Wranglers started a comeback beginning with a tying goal from Ilya Solovyov 8:29 into the third after he ripped a shot off the faceoff win. Matthew Phillips and Kevin Rooney assisted on this marker.
Just over four minutes later, the Wranglers scored the go-ahead goal thanks to Adam Klapka. Klapka took a shot in deep and backhanded his own rebound into the back of the net and had quite the goal celebration to pair with it. Jakob Pelletier was credited with the lone assist.
This game got down to the last couple of minutes and the Canucks took the expected course of action of pulling their goalie and calling a timeout but they were unable to put anything else past Wolf in this match-up. Time wound down with the Wranglers still ahead and the buzzer rang indicating the end of the game and the end of the Canucks’ 2022-23 season.
The Wranglers won this game 3-2 and won the series 3-1. Shots finished up 25-24 for the Canucks. Dustin Wolf picked up the first star of the game for his 23 save performance and Adam Klapka picked up the second star of the game for his game-winning goal.
Calgary has punched their ticket to the Pacific Division semifinals that are set to kick off next week. Their opponents have already been set as they will play a five game series against the Coachella Valley Firebirds, who bested the Colorado Eagles in their series. They were still the higher seed and opted for the same series format they had against Abbotsford with the first two games taking place at home and the last three, if needed, on the road in Coachella Valley. Game one is set to take place in Calgary on Thu., May 11 at 7:05 p.m. MT.
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