BRYAN WILSON – 03.17.2023
All hands on deck in this one.
The Wranglers extended their winning streak to six games, blanking the Roadrunners 5-0 in Tucson, AZ on Friday night.
Clark Bishop opened the scoring for the Wranglers with his ninth goal of the season – which would prove to be the game winner. Nick DeSimone converted on the powerplay, while Alex Gallant and Emilio Pettersen padded the lead in the final frame. Adam Klapka had a two-point night for Calgary, registering an assist and adding an empty-net goal, Kevin Rooney picked up two assists and Calder Brooks (1a) registered his first point since joining the Wranglers.
Dustin Wolf made 30 saves between the pipes to record his league-leading 36th win of the season and sixth shutout.
CGY Goal Scorers – Clark Bishop – Nick DeSimone – Alex Gallant – Emilio Pettersen – Adam Klapka (EN)
Of note: Ben Jones appeared in his 200th career game on Friday night.
It was a balanced first period with both teams trading opportunities, however, the Roadrunners had the better ‘high danger’ chances early on. Tucson hit a post in the period, and were also robbed by the right pad of Wolf, who slid left-to-right to make a marvelous save on Roadrunners’ captain Adam Cracknell.
Scoreless after 20 minutes.
The Wranglers scored twice in the second period, but the storyline throughout was the play of Wolf. He made nine saves in the middle frame, highlighted by his second massive pad save of the game, stretching out to deny Curtis Douglas.
The highlight-reel stop was a turning point for Calgary.
Moments later, while playing 4-on-4, Rooney carried the puck over the Roadrunners’ blueline and spotted Bishop backdoor, who then blasted home a one-timer to give the Wranglers the 1-0 lead.
Calgary continued to create chances and drew their first powerplay opportunity late in the period. After a flurry of chances in the offensive zone, DeSimone walked into a shot from the blueline that found it’s way to the back of the net, extending the lead at the 19:47 mark of the period.
2-0 Wranglers at the break.
Calgary would continue to pour on the pressure in the third period, adding three goals in the final frame. Gallant was rewarded with a gritty effort in front of the net, jamming home his first goal of the season to make it 3-0.
Later in the period, Pettersen showed off his brilliant backhand ability, depositing the puck underneath the cross bar with impeccable precision.
Finally, Klapka put the puck into the empty net to round out the scoring.
The rematch between the Wranglers and Roadrunners goes Saturday evening in Tucson.