BRYAN WILSON – 02.23.2023
Not the result they were hoping for.
The Wranglers wrapped up their six-game homestand against the Henderson Silver Knights falling 5-2 on Thursday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Radim Zohorna notched his 10th goal of the season for Calgary, while Connor Zary scored his 17th goal extending his scoring streak to five games. He has 6 points (3g, 3a) in that span.
Daniil Chechelev got his second start between the pipes for the Wranglers since being recalled from Rapid City earlier this month, turning aside 23 shots in the loss.
CGY Goal Scorers – Radim Zohorna – Connor Zary
The Wranglers got on the board midway through the opening period, courtesy of Zohorna, who entered the offensive zone and using the defenceman as a screen, sent a wrist-shot over the glove of Jiri Patera to give Calgary the lead at the 12:22 mark.
The lead wouldn’t last long however, as Henderson answered back just over a minute later. Calgary native, Sheldon Rempal, parked himself in front of the net and after locating the bouncing puck, swatted it out of midair and into the net for his 16th goal of the season and fifth point in his last two games. He added an assist later in the game, as well.
Chechelev made 11 saves in the first period to keep the game tied after 20 minutes.
The Wranglers had four powerplay opportunities in the second period, including a 5-on-3 advantage, but failed to capitalize, which opened the door for the Silver Knights. First, Pavel Dorofeyev – who scored the OT winner in the previous game – notched his eighth goal of the season on the powerplay to give Henderson the lead. Then, with time ticking down in the frame, Sakkari Manninen picked up a rebound off a shot from the point and slid the puck past a sprawled out Chechelev to extend the ‘Knights lead.
3-1 heading into the break.
Calgary came out with much more urgency in the third period.
However, frustration began to boil over for the Wranglers in the early stages of the third. Jeremie Poirier – who leads all rookie defencemen in scoring – took exception to a play along the boards and ended up dropping the gloves with Rempal for a spirited scrap. It was the first fight for Poirier in his young AHL career.
The Wranglers would finally strike at the midway point of the period, as Colton Poolman picked up the puck along the half wall and sent a low shot towards the net. It was a harmless looking shot, but Zary managed to get his stick on the puck at the side of the net, redirecting it up and under the bar to cut into the lead, giving the Wranglers some life.
They thought they tied the game on the very next shift, as Kevin Rooney stabbed at the puck in the crease and poked it into the net, but the goal was waved off due to goaltender interference.
With less than three minutes remaining in the game, the Wranglers pulled their goaltender, hoping to stir the offence, but the ‘Knights capitalized quickly as Connor Ford scored immediately into the empty net. Jonas Rondbjerg would add another into the yawning cage on the next shift to put the game out of reach.
The Wranglers hit the road this weekend for four games beginning in Henderson with another tilt against the Silver Knights on Sunday afternoon. Puck drop is 3pm MST.