TORIE PETERSON – 05.11.2023

Calgary Wranglers head coach Mitch Love said it best: it’s time to reset.

After picking up a 3-1 series win over the Abbotsford Canucks in Round 2 of the Calder Cup Playoffs, the club has a new challenge ahead of them in the Pacific Division Final vs. the high-powered Coachella Valley Firebirds.

“They present a lot of different challenges, they’re a good hockey team,” Love said earlier this week. “We had some meaningful affairs in their building down the stretch. I think that was a little more of the makeup of each team.”

Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. MT at the Scotiabank Saddledome, with limited tickets available HERE. AHL TV will carry the stream and Sportsnet 960 The FAN will host the radio broadcast.

Regular Season Series – Head-To-Head: 4-4-0

In a tightly-contested battle for first place in the division, conference, and league, the Wranglers and Firebirds were evenly-matched in the regular season. Calgary wound up taking top spot in the AHL with a 51-17-4 record and 106 points, edging Coachella Valley’s 48-17-7 record and 103 points.

“They’re a really good team,” Love said. “Everybody in the league knows that – we know that – and our challenge will be, sticking to our game plan and being mature and managing the games. No different than last series, it just gets elevated from series to series.”


Oct. 16, 2022 – 6-5 CV

Oct. 17, 2022 – 3-1 CV

Oct. 28, 2022 – 6-4 CGY

Oct. 29, 2022 – 5-3 CV

Nov. 22, 2022 – 5-3 CGY

Nov. 24, 2022 – 4-3 CV

Mar. 1, 2023 – 3-1 CGY

Apr. 5, 2023 – 3-1 CGY

Dustin Wolf was in net for seven of those eight meetings, posting a 4-3-0 record and allowed just one goal in each of the final two meetings in the regular season, stopping 55 of the 57 shots he faced.

Player To Watch – Matthew Phillips

Phillips was the Wranglers top scorer in the regular season and it should come as no surprise that he provided plenty of offence against the Firebirds in 2022-23. He led Calgary against Coachella Valley with five goals and 12 points in the regular season series.

In four postseason skates this spring, he has one goal and four points.


Mitch Love the atmosphere around this series:

“If you don’t have intensity and emotion this time of year, you’re in big trouble and you probably shouldn’t be playing.”

Brett Sutter on Coachella Valley:

“We had a heck of a battle with them all year long. We split the season series, so I am expecting this to be a long series and a hard series. Our whole division, I don’t think it really mattered what team we played we knew we were going to get a tough opponent, but I think it’s fitting that we see these guys.”

Emilio Pettersen on facing the Firebirds:

“This is the team we want to beat – we have a little bit of a rivalry with these guys. We have to be ready to go from puck drop, because they’ll bring it.”