BRYAN WILSON – 12.29.2023
Closing out 2023 with a ‘W’.
The Wranglers picked up a 5-0 win over the Abbotsford Canucks at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night in their final game before the new year.
Mitch McLain notched his seventh goal of the season; Matt Coronato scored twice and added two assists, while Adam Klapka and Clark Bishop added solo tallies.
Dustin Wolf (13-4-1-3) was between the pipes for the second straight night, turning aside all 37 shots he faced to record his 10th career AHL shutout and third of the season.
The Wranglers won most of the board battles in the offensive zone early in the first period which generated a plethora of chances, as they outshot the Canucks 15-3 at the midway point.
Calgary would open the scoring at the 6:59 mark, when McLain picked the pocket of a defender in the slot and drove the net with authority.
After two shot attempts, he chipped the puck past Arturs Silovs to make it 1-0.
Calgary would add to their lead at the 14:01 mark when an original shot from Ilya Solovyov was tipped through the wickets of Silovs by Coronato, who slipped away from coverage in front and got his stick on the low point shot.
2-0 Wranglers at the break.
The second period started with a Wranglers’ powerplay, and though they didn’t score on the advantage, they would add to their lead moments later.
At 3:44, Coronato made a nice play off the wall to get into a shooting area and threw the puck on net where Klapka – who was parked in front- swatted home the rebound to extend the lead.
3-0 Wranglers through 40 minutes.
With a powerplay in the third period, the Canucks pulled their goaltender for an extra-attacker, but Coronato turned the puck over in his own zone and found a streaking Bishop who was hooked on his way to the net resulting in an automatic shorthanded goal. (8:51).
Calgary would put the game officially out of reach at the 15:52 mark when Coronato scored on a wrap-around for his second goal of the game.