The Calgary Wranglers have seen the Reign three times in the last month and they’re about to see each other twice more before the week comes to an end. They kicked off a mid-week series on Tuesday night and the Wranglers had the better of game one with a 4-3 victory.

Lineup notes

Emilio Pettersen was back in the lineup after missing Saturday’s game against the Abbotsford Canucks. Likely a healthy scratch situation. Ilya Nikolaev came out of the lineup in this game to make space for Pettersen.
There was a swap on the blue line too with Dennis Gilbert being suspended by the league for two games. This was for a match penalty for an illegal hit to the head in their last game against the Canucks. Ilya Solovyov slotted in and Gilbert will miss the entire Reign series. 

Game at a glance

Emilio Pettersen was back in the lineup and didn’t make a very good case for himself at the start of the game. He appeared to be chirping the ref and was called off the bench for unsportsmanlike conduct just 5:27 into the game. Thankfully, this penalty didn’t do any damage but not the best way to come back after being scratched in your last game. 
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Other than the brief moment of drama, it was a pretty even opening period. Both teams were getting their chances and both netminders were looking solid. It wasn’t until 14:20 into the period that something finally gave. 
The Wranglers were trying to get set up in their offensive zone when Matthew Phillips lost control of the puck and fell causing the puck to get picked up by the Reign and taken all the way to the other end and shot past Dustin Wolf. 
The Wranglers had a few opportunities to get one back but weren’t so lucky in the first 20 minutes. They got a late power play opportunity and Radim Zohorna rang a shot off the post. The first finished up with the Wranglers trailing 1-0 but ahead 13-8 in shots. They had 42 seconds left in their power play to start the second. 
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They didn’t generate much with the remaining power play time but the Wranglers were quickly given another opportunity on the man advantage. A Reign skater blew an edge and slid right into the back of Dustin Wolf while he had his back turned to the play trying to play the puck. Wolf got up cautiously but did not show any signs that he was worse for wear.
This power play was a little more fortunate for the Wranglers as Emilio Pettersen scored on this opportunity. The initial call on the ice was no-goal but Pettersen’s reaction on the ice was showing he was positive the puck crossed the line. After further review, Pettersen was proved right as he jammed the puck over the goal line while Cal Petersen was unable to gain control of the it.
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The Wranglers were tied up for a good portion of the second until Mitch McLain scored his 10th goal of the season off of Colton Poolman’s rebound. Cole Schwindt also picked up an assist. This put McLain up to two points on the night as he assisted on Pettersen’s opening goal as well. 
The third also started with a Wranglers power play but they did not capitalize on it. A few minutes later, Radim Zohorna lost control of the puck right in front of the Wranglers net and T.J. Tynan of the Reign was right there in position to chip the puck past Wolf and this game was tied up once again. 
It didn’t stay tied for long as Radim Zohorna made up for his play earlier in the period and buried a rebound that had the perfect bounce back to his stick. Zohorna scored 5:41 into the period with Nicolas Meloche and Yan Kuznetsov picking up assists. 
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The Reign appeared to had shot themselves in the foot a little bit with a tripping penalty at a key moment in the game. With 5:28 to go in regulation, the Wranglers had the man-advantage. However, that only lasted 35 seconds when Ben Jones got called for tripping as well. 
Both these penalties expired and the Reign took advantage of their zone pressure to get another goal past Wolf and tie the game up once again. With 2:28 to go in regulation, one of these teams needed a goal to avoid overtime. 
The Wranglers were that team. Connor Zary and Nick DeSimone set up a passing play that Clark Bishop finished up with a monster slap shot right past Cal Petersen.
That pretty well closed up the game and the Wranglers narrowly defeated the Ontario Reign 4-3. Shots were 35-27 favouring Calgary and Wolf picked up his 24th win of the season. Wolf and Phillips were both excluded from the three-star recognition, a rare occurrence for a home win. Clark Bishop earned the second star on the night for his game-winner and Mitch McLain earned the first star for his two-point night. 
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Highlights

Next up

Short turnaround for these two teams with the rematch coming the following day. The Wranglers and the Reign will face off on Wednesday night same time, same place. The puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. MT at the ‘Dome.