ALEX MEDINA – 05.12.2023
New day, new game.
There’s still a lot of series to be played.
The Calgary Wranglers will look to get back on track tonight for Game 2 tonight at the Scotiabank Saddledome, after dropping Game 1 to the Coachella Valley Firebirds Thursday night by a 6-3 decision. Tickets are available HERE.
They weren’t at their best and they know it.
“I didn’t like our game at all,” head coach Mitch Love said after the game. “Scoreboard aside, they executed on their game plan and we didn’t.
“That’s one. We gotta try and win a home game tomorrow (tonight) and that’s it.”
Jakob Pelletier, Dryden Hunt and Adam Klapka provided the tallies with Dustin Wolf making 16 stops on 21 shots before being replaced by Oscar Dansk in the middle frame, with Dansk stopping seven of eight shots fired his way.
Of course, this series was expected to be a tough one as the clubs each had four wins over each other during the eight-game regular season series.
Despite not starting the series how they wanted, during playoffs all a club can do is learn from it then move on. And with this series being a best-of-five, a team has to hit the reset button pretty quick after each game.
“A lot of the stuff we talked about over the last two, three days that they would present to us they executed on and nothing really changed,” Love said. “Nothing surprised me over there. I think they just wanted it a little more than our guys and I thought maybe our guys thought it was going to be a little easier than it was.
“This time of year you can’t afford to have those nights but again, reset, you have to have a short term memory and come back to work with a response.”
Tonight will mark the 22nd back-to-back of the year and first of the playoffs for the Wranglers. During the regular season, the Wranglers finished with a 14-5-2 mark in the second half of the back-to-back games.
Player To Watch – Adam Klapka
Klapka scored his third goal of the Calder Cup Playoffs in Game 1, and is now tied with Dryden Hunt for the team lead through five playoff games. Klapka was the hero in Round 2 against the Abbotsford Canucks, scoring the series-clinching goal and has goals in back-to-back tilts.
Mitch Love on Dustin Wolf:
“He’s a pro. I’ve seen a lot of years when he’s had response. It definitely wasn’t on him all night. As a unit of five in front of him we weren’t very good, we exposed him too much. I’m not worried about him.”
Dryden Hunt on changes needed for Game 2:
“We just need to sustain more pressure. We had good shifts, we had spurts of the game where I thought we should be happy but just too much ups and downs. We need to stay more even keel not just emotionally but with our play.”
Brett Sutter on the mindest heading into Game 2:
“Make sure we take a look at the video and know things we can get better at. We talked as a team in there already about getting back to the way we want to play and tightening things up a bit. We’ll be alright. We trust our group and our room and we’ll try to get the job done tomorrow (tonight)”