Wranglers post-season game day: Win or go home in Coachella Valley

Photo credit:Mike Zitek/Coachella Valley Firebirds
Paige Siewert
1 month ago
It is do-or-die time for the Calgary Wranglers as they enter Friday’s game with their season on the line. They have fallen behind 2-1 in the best-of-five series against Coachella Valley and need a win to stay alive and force a game five. Last game took place on Wednesday night and resulted in a 7-5 victory for the Firebirds. 

Projected lineups

Jakob Pelletier – Cole Schwindt – Matt Coronato 
William Stromgren – Sam Morton – Adam Klapka 
Brett Sutter – Clark Bishop – Riley Damiani/Adam Klapka 
Mitch McLain – Ben Jones – Adam Klapka/Riley Damiani 
Jordan Oesterle – Ilya Solovyov 
Colton Poolman – Jeremie Poirier
Jonathan Aspirot – Mark Pysyk
Yan Kuznetsov
Dustin Wolf (starter)
Oscar Dansk
Coachella Valley
Max McCormick – Andrew Poturalski – Kole Lind 
Ryan Winterton – Shane Wright – Cameron Hughes
Jani Nyman – Devin Shore – John Hayden 
Jacob Melanson – Logan Morrison – Marian Studenic
Ryker Evans – Connor Carrick
Gustav Olofsson – Cale Fleury 
Jimmy Schuldt – Ville Ottavainen
Chris Driedger
Ales Stezka

Post-season leaders

Adam Klapka –  5GP, 2G, 5A
Matt Coronato – 5GP, 1G, 5A
Cole Schwindt – 5GP, 4G, 1A
Coachella Valley 
Max McCormick – 3GP, 3G, 1A
Devin Shore – 3GP, 2G, 1A
Marian Studenic – 3GP, 2G, 1A
Ryker Evans – 3GP, 1G, 2A 
John Hayden – 3GP, 1G, 2A
Andrew Poturalski – 3GP, 1G, 2A
(Five skaters tied for second in points)

Game three standouts 

When you score a combined 12 goals, there are usually going to be some players that roll up the points. On the Wranglers end, Jeremie Poirier led the way with three points in game three with one goal and two assists. All three of his points came on the power play, which was an area the Wranglers were struggling in during games one and two. 
William Stromgren and Jonathan Aspirot also had multi-point nights with Stromgren picking up two assists and Aspirot picking up a goal and an assist. Stromgren has really excelled in the second half of the season and into playoffs. Aspirot also made a huge contribution by breaking the power play drought with the opening goal in their last match-up. 
On Coachella Valley’s side, four of their skaters had multi-point games. Max McCormick continued to shine with two goals, Marian Studenic also put up two markers and John Hayden and Devin Shore both put up a goal and an assist. Game three really boiled down to scoring as neither netminder really shined in their respective ends. 

Game four expectations

The Wranglers have dropped two in a row and need a win. Full stop. The question is what is going to happen to the lineup? Calgary has been skating with the same 11 forwards and seven defencemen all post-season. It’s unclear whether that will continue. On one end, these are the guys that have gotten you this far, but on the other, you have a lot of talent not dressing for games that can still help this team. Especially if some of the guys who have been a bit quiet the last couple of games aren’t at 100%. 
As far as the goaltending situation goes, I don’t anticipate any changes. Coachella Valley seems to have one of the best scouting reports on Wolf but Wolf was also an NHL goaltender this year. Wolf is a gamer and rises to the occasion in high-importance games such as these. While his last two games haven’t been as stunning as his other playoff starts, he’s not going to let this series get away from them if he can control it. The same goes for Chris Driedger on Coachella Valley’s end. He’s brought his squad two wins this series so why not the veteran netminder ride it out?
The most important game of Calgary’s season thus far will take place on Friday night at 8:00 p.m. MT. Calgary needs to take it a shift at a time and not get too far ahead or behind themselves. Fans can follow along with the game on the Fan960 and or watch the video feed on AHL.tv for a fee. Multiple FlamesNation contributors will have game updates on X (formerly Twitter).

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