BRYAN WILSON – 03.24.2023
It was a dominant team effort – start to finish.
The Wranglers’ offence was clicking, the defence was stingy and the goaltending was elite, as they blanked the San Diego Gulls 6-0 at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday night.
Matthew Phillips had a goal and an assist, Jeremie Poirier and Connor Zary (2g, 1a) notched a pair of goals each and Ilya Solovyov added his third goal of the season for the Wranglers. Dryden Hunt picked up three assists in the contest, while newest acquisition, Kristians Rubins registered his first point as a member of the Wranglers.
Dustin Wolf (37-9-2) was the story between the pipes once again, turning aside all 30 shots he faced to pick up his second-straight shutout. He now was seven shutouts and 37 wins this season, which leads the AHL.
CGY Goal Scorers – Matthew Phillips – Jeremie Poirier (2) – Ilya Solovyov – Connor Zary (2)
It was a frantic pace to start the first period, with the Gulls testing Wolf out of the gates, but he made a series of big pad stops early in the game to keep it scoreless.
After killing off a 5-on-3, the Wranglers got their first chance on the powerplay and they made good. Nick DeSimone spotted Phillips, who skated in from the blueline and fired home his 30th goal of the season to give the Wranglers the 1-0 lead. Phillips sits tied for first in the AHL in goals scored this season.
Less than a minute later, Poirier would add to the lead, redirecting a pass from Emilio Pettersen to give Calgary a two-goal advantage heading into the break.
The Wranglers would continue to play a dominant game in the second period.
Midway through the frame, Hunt carried the puck up the ice with confidence, found Phillips with a pass, who then dropped the puck for Solovyov who wired home a shot off the crossbar and in to make it 3-0. Then, with one minute left to play in the period, Zary skated the puck behind the net, wrapping around and slipping a shot between the post and the body of Gulls’ netminder, Gage Alexander.
4-0 after 40 minutes.
Calgary didn’t let up in the third period.
Poirier notched his second goal of the game after driving the net and – with a Gulls defender draped all over him – fired home a quick wrist-shot to add to the lead. JP now leads all rookie defencemen in scoring with 41 points (9g, 32a) this season.
Zary added his second of the game, as Cole Schwindt set him up in front of the net and he fired home his 20th goal of the season.
For the third straight game, Wolf made 30 saves, picking up his third shutout against the Gulls this season.
Calgary and San Diego faceoff again on Sunday for Fan Appreciation Night at the Scotiabank Saddledome. (CLICK FOR TICKETS)