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Wranglers post-season recap: Overtime heartbreaker ties series 1-1

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Photo credit:Angela Burger/Calgary Wranglers
Paige Siewert
1 month ago
The Wranglers were back in action on Sunday afternoon to continue their playoff series against the Coachella Valley Firebirds. They took game one by a 4-1 decision and looked to put their opponents on the brink of elimination if they wrapped up the week with a win. This game went the distance and then some with five goals in the third period that forced overtime. The Firebirds took game two in a 4-3 overtime decision and brought the series to 1-1 before they return home to host the Wranglers.

Lineup notes

You know what they say when it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Wranglers kept the same lineup they’ve been rolling with since game one of the post-season skating with 11 forwards and seven defencemen. Dustin Wolf was in for his fourth straight start and the Firebirds opted to go with Chris Driedger in net for this second game of the series. 

Game at a glance

The Wranglers got out to another great start with a lot of speed and a clear agenda in mind. They had some decent scoring chances in the opening minutes including a breakout from Riley Damiani that Driedger extended his glove on. To further their opening momentum, the Wranglers also found themselves on an extended power play when Max McCormick was called for a double minor for high sticking. 
Calgary got four shots on this first power play and had some really good looks but nothing to beat the Coachella Valley netminder. By the time the first was nearing the midway mark, the Wranglers had eight shots and the Firebirds had yet to register any. 
That changed at 9:51 when they registered their first shot on Wolf. Then at 10:28, the Wranglers were penalty-killing due to a too many men call. Mitch McLain was in the box to serve this call. Before the power play came to an end, Max McCormick was called for goaltender interference and made it a 4-on-4 for 37 seconds before the Wranglers returned to the power play. 
The special teams wrapped up and these two were back skating at full strength. Dustin Wolf had his post to thank for a couple of chances in the opening period but still managed to keep the puck out. In the dying seconds, Adam Klapka had a shot on goal and then was tripped on his rebound attempt. This did not result in a call. By the end of the first, these two were still scoreless and the Wranglers had a 16-10 edge in shots. 
In the second period, the pace of the game dialed back a bit but the action continued. The Wranglers had another chance on the power play at 8:31 and registered two shots on this man advantage. They were back on the power play again at 10:59 when Max McCormick was called for his third penalty of the game. 
Once this man advantage came and went, the Wranglers activated their penalty kill when Ben Jones rolled over Chris Driedger and was tagged for goaltender interference at 14:37. By 16:21, the Firebirds managed to put the puck in the back of the net with a power play marker from Kole Lind. A passing play off the face-off set up Lind for a bank shot off the far post. The Firebirds registered one more shot in the dying seconds of the period and by the end of the middle frame, Calgary trailed 1-0 but led 20-17 in shots. 
In the third period, the Wranglers didn’t let the comeback wait too long with a goal just 1:41 into the frame. Cole Schwindt won a defensive zone face-off, got the puck up the ice, and Matt Coronato cut off a Coachella Valley pass to get it back to Cole Schwindt. Schwindt was right up near the net and jammed the puck past Driedger to tie this game up.
The Wranglers kept the zone pressure going without any pucks making it back to Wolf for the next couple of minutes. At 4:19, the Wranglers won an offensive zone face-off, Adam Klapka skated the puck around the net and took a shot, Jordan Oesterle attempted off the rebound and Sam Morton scored off a slow shot that cut the crease past Driedger. 
Just over four minutes later, the Firebirds woke up their scoring again with a one-timer from Andrew Poturalski. It was a well-executed play that Wolf only had a split second to react to. Just like that, it was a 2-2 game. 
A few minutes went by and Cole Schwindt managed to find the back of the net again. Matt Coronato came up on the rush and fed the puck up to Schwindt on the doorstep. Jeremie Poirier also picked up a secondary assist. 3-2 Calgary.
Just over two minutes later, Max McCormick scored goal number three for the Firebirds when Connor Carrick took a shot that McCormick deflected off his skate and in. This goal came at 14:33. 
Each side only registered one more shot on goal by the end of regulation and this game went to overtime after 60 complete minutes of play. Shots in the third period were 13-7 for Coachella Valley.  
Overtime very well felt like a scramble for the next goal. The Wranglers had the better of the opportunities to start the frame but it started to swing in the Firebirds’ direction. Just shy of the eight-minute mark of overtime so many things happened. 
Matt Coronato was taken down to the ice, then the Firebirds skated the puck into Calgary’s zone, Calgary was on a delayed penalty call, a shot was made from the point that appeared offside then Devin Shore scored on a wraparound. The Firebirds celebrated their overtime win and the Wranglers players and fans evaluated in confusion. 
No further review took place and Coachella Valley secured a 4-3 win in overtime to even up the series 1-1. Shots finished 33-30 and Cole Schwindt cracked the three stars earning the third star of the night. In Trent Cull’s meeting with the media after the game he confirmed he agreed with the goal call and that the guys are moving on and looking forward to game three in Coachella Valley. 

Scoring stat summary

Jeremie Poirier – 1A
Cole Schwindt – 2G
Jordan Oesterle – 1A
Matt Coronato – 2A
Adam Klapka – 1A
Sam Morton – 1G

Highlights

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Next up 

This game concluded the Calgary side of the series. The next two to three games will be played in Coachella Valley. This is what the higher-seeded Firebirds chose for their match-up to take advantage of home-ice advantage to wrap up the series. Game three takes place on Wed., May 8 with an 8:00 p.m. MT start time.

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