Wranglers Playoff Recap: Jakob Pelletier scores overtime winner in 3-2 win over Canucks
Photo credit:Jenn Pierce/Calgary Wranglers
7 months ago
The Calgary Wranglers kicked off their playoff series against the same team they finished their regular season against. Despite it being the first playoff game for the Wranglers, it was their fourth straight against the Canucks. How did this happen? The Wranglers earned a first round bye for finishing first in the Pacific Division. The Canucks were the lowest seeded first round winners in the division and that matched them up with the Wranglers. They started the series at the Scotiabank Saddledome where they took the game the whole way and then some. The Wranglers ended up winning game one of a possible five 3-2 in overtime.
Jakob Pelletier – Ben Jones- Matthew Phillips
Dryden Hunt – Connor Zary – Walker Duehr
Brett Sutter – Clark Bishop – Kevin Rooney
Emilio Pettersen – Mitch McLain – Adam Klapka
Ilya Solovyov – Nick DeSimone
Jeremie Poirier – Colton Poolman
Kristians Rubins – Nicolas Meloche
Game at a glance
The first period started with a lot of jump for the visitors. The Wranglers were struggling to keep up and it was up to Dustin Wolf to keep things together and minimize any potential damage of a slower start. Just shy of four minutes into the game, Wolf made a great save and the crowd started the MVP chants for their top goaltender.
9:58 into the game, Matthew Phillips appeared to have been called for a penalty and the referee had to escort him to the box because he was quite animated in his remarks back to Jett Woo and Canucks goaltender, Spencer Martin. The officials discussed this scenario at length and decided the call would be a match-spearing penalty on number 11. This was particularly for jabbing his stick in a sensitive area of his opponent, to put it nicely.
Phillips was ejected from the game and Adam Klapka served his five minute major in his place. This play will receive further review which could result in a suspension of some fashion. The fans expressed their disdain with the ref you suck chants and went on to boo Woo for the rest of the game. Calgary killed off the majority of this penalty before the Canucks were called holding. Just seven seconds into the four on four, the Abbotsford Canucks unofficially scored on themselves and the credit went to Dryden Hunt.
Hunt’s goal was assisted by Kristians Rubins and Nicolas Meloche. Once things got back to even strength, Hunt slotted into Matthew Phillips’ spot on the top line alongside Ben Jones and Jakob Pelletier. All that action and it was only 20 minutes into the game. The Wranglers finished up the first up 1-0 and were outshot 16-14.
The second period was less eventful but just as emotional. The on-ice officials were sure getting their work in ensuring these teams were kept at bay. There were multiple times through the second period where fights were starting to ramp up and they kept the teams apart.
Abbotsford had more shot action in the second outshooting Calgary 12-9. However, the score remained the same with a 1-0 lead for the Wranglers.
Early in the third, the tables turned. 1:35 into the period, the Canucks scored their first goal of the series. The goal scorer was Marc Gatcomb with his first playoff goal. That wouldn’t be the only player to score his first playoff goal as Adam Klapka also lit the lamp later in this period.
He came up on a rush in between two Abbotsford skaters, took a shot, got his own rebound back on his stick and took another shot midair that found the back of the net. This gave the Wranglers a one goal lead back and put the score up to 2-1 for Calgary. Brett Sutter and Ben Jones assisted.
Time was winding down and it was starting to look like the Wranglers were going to take the win in regulation but playoff hockey is never that certain. Aatu Raty skated up the middle of the zone and scored on Wolf just over his shoulder with a borderline un-defendable bar down shot.
The only other Calgary shot before the end of the game was from Clark Bishop and it was one that could’ve given the Wranglers a one goal lead once again. Regulation came to a close and the game remained tied at two. Shots after 60 minutes of play were 34-32 for the Canucks.
This overtime scenario was the first time these two teams played outside of regulation this year. In the 12 games they played against each other, not one went beyond 60 minutes. Both sides had a handful of chances but the Wranglers were the ones holding the most control through 10 minutes.
Jakob Pelletier in particular, was feeling himself. He had four shots in overtime and his fourth delivered the game-winning goal 11:52 into overtime.
In their post-game interviews, both Head Coach Mitch Love and Jakob Pelletier himself knew it wasn’t his best game. He hasn’t played the most hockey lately with his time in limbo between the Flames and Wranglers. That being said, he hit another level in overtime. He is working through some rust but he’s still going to do everything in his power to try and help his team when he can. For this, he was awarded first star of the night and Dustin Wolf picked up the second star for stopping 30 of 32 Canucks shots.
This was a great way to start the series and they have a chance to do it again on Friday night. This is a best of five series and after Friday, they won’t be back home until the next playoff round. If and when they return for the next round. Friday’s game time is set for 7:00 p.m. (MT) and tickets are still available.
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