TORIE PETERSON – 05.05.2023
The Calgary Wranglers have another chance to close out their second round series vs. the Abbotsford Canucks on Friday in Game 4.
Puck drop is set for 8:00 p.m. MT with AHL TV carrying the stream and Sportsnet 960 The FAN hosting the radio broadcast.
Series Head-To-Head: 2-1
Game 1 – 3-2 CGY (OT)
Game 2 – 4-3 CGY (OT)
Game 3 – 3-2 ABB
The Wranglers dropped their first game in the best-of-five series on Wednesday night in Abbotsford, necessitating Game 4 on Friday.
“Any time you’re trying to put a team away in a hockey series, whether it’s a best-of-five or a best-of-seven, it’s typically the hardest game,” head coach Mitch Love said in his post-game media address. “They came out, had a lot of jump. We anticipated that here in this building. I didn’t mind our start, even in the first period. I thought there were maybe one too many chances on both sides, where both teams were getting really good looks. That’s probably an area we’d like to clean up for Friday.
“We hung around. If you look at some of their goals, deflections off our own sticks and into the back of the net. We hit a couple of posts. I thought our execution was a little slow tonight. I thought we hung onto pucks a little too long – we’ve got to either make decisions to put pucks towards the net or transition pucks through the neutral zone quicker.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and that’s a good hockey team over there. We’ll reset.”
Jeremie Poirier opened the scoring in Game 3, snapping a shot in the slot past Canucks goaltender Spencer Martin at 4:37 of the first period. The Canucks were able to tie the game up before the end of the opening frame, with Linus Karlsson scoring on the power play at 9:58.
Abbotsford took the lead in the second period, courtesy of a goal from Christian Wolanin at 4:44, and gave themselves a 3-1 cushion at 1:10 of the third period when Kyle Rau was able to sneak a shot past Dustin Wolf.
Nick DeSimone drew the Wranglers within a goal at 9:15 of the third period, but Martin was able to shut the door and preserve the victory for the home team.
Wolf made 27 saves on the 30 shots he faced in Game 3.
Regular Season Head-To-Head: 8-4-0
AWAY: Abbotsford Canucks (40-25-3-4) (87 Pts. – 4th in Pacific)
HOME: Calgary Wranglers (51-17-3-1) (106 Pts. – 1st in Pacific, 1st in AHL)
- November 25, 2022 vs. Canucks – CGY W, 5-1
- November 27, 2022 vs. Canucks – CGY W, 4-3 (OT)
- January 2, 2023 vs. Canucks – ABB W, 5-2
- January 4, 2023 vs. Canucks – CGY W, 3-0
- January 18, 2023 @ Canucks – CGY W, 3-2 (OT)
- January 20, 2023 @ Canucks – CGY W, 5-4 (SO)
- January 21, 2023 @ Canucks – CGY W, 5-3
- February 14, 2023 vs. Canucks – CGY W, 4-1
- February 15, 2023 vs. Canucks – ABB W, 4-2
- April 15, 2023 @ Canucks – CGY W, 3-2
- April 14, 2023 @ Canucks – ABB W, 4-1
- April 12, 2023 @ Canucks – ABB W, 2-0
Player to Watch: Jeremie Poirier
The rookie blueliner showcased his offensive prowess throughout the regular season, posting 41 points through 69 games, and has continued to generate plenty of chances in the postseason.
In Game 3, he had one goal and five shots on net, which led all Wranglers skaters. In the first three games of the playoffs, he has two points and nine shots.
Defenceman Nick DeSimone on Game 3:
“We just didn’t have it for the full 60, I don’t think. We had an alright start, just couldn’t get it clicking really, with their forecheck and everything. It was a little choppy. But we know what we have to do to be better.”
DeSimone on special teams:
“Special teams either way is a big focus. They scored a power play goal (in Game 3) and we didn’t. We lost by one.”
DeSimone on his offensive production in the playoffs:
“There’s no secret, really. Scored a couple power play goals, just try to bring offence when I can – shoot the puck, try to create when we know the opportunity is there.”