BRYAN WILSON – 01.31.2024

Heartbreak in paradise.

The Wranglers fell 4-3 to the Firebirds in a shootout at Acrisure Arena on Wednesday night.

Jakob Pelletier scored his first goal of the season, recording his 100th career AHL point in the process, Adam Klapka notched his 11th goal, Ben Jones added a goal and an assist, while Matt Coronato was buzzing all game long and picked up a pair of assists.

Dustin Wolf (17-7-2-4) made 23-saves between the pipes for Calgary.

The Firebirds opened the scoring at 5:02 of the first period, when John Hayden walked over the blueline and wired a wicked wrist-shot over the shoulder of Wolf. 1-0.

However, the Wranglers would answer back at the 10:57 mark, after Coronato worked the puck up the ice and spotted Pelletier driving the net who eventually batted the puck in, tying the game. 1-1.

Special teams were a factor in the second period.

Calgary killed off back-to-back penalties to start the period and then Coachella Valley got into penalty trouble late in the frame.

On an extended 5-on-3 at 17:04, Klapka took a nice feed from Jones and went to the backhand, roofing the puck over Firebirds’ netminder, Chris Driedger.

2-1 Wranglers after 40 minutes.

Coachella Valley would tie the game early in the third period.

Logan Morrison won an offensive zone faceoff at the 1:33 mark and Marian Studenic jumped on the puck at the hashmarks and fired it past Wolf to tie the game. 2-2.

Then, with both teams skating 4-on-4 at 4:41, Coronato forced a turnover in the neutral zone, dangled around a defender at the blueline and sent a pass to Jones who ripped a shot inside the post to regain the Wranglers’ lead. 3-2.

However, the lead wouldn’t last long, as Ville Ottavainen sent a shot from the blueline at 6:32 that found its way through traffic and into the back of the net. 3-3.

Extra time was required to determine a winner and, while the Wranglers had multiple chances to seal it in overtime, the game would ultimately head to a shootout.

The lone goal came in the fifth round when Logan Morrison lit the lamp to propel the Firebirds to victory.