BRYAN WILSON – 02.02.2023

On to the next one.

The Wranglers hosted the Condors at the Scotiabank Saddledome for the first of two meetings in two nights, falling to Bakersfield 5-1 on Thursday night.

It’s the Wranglers’ first loss of the season against their budding rivals (6-1-0), with the Condors scoring four unanswered goals in the third period to pick up the decision.

The lone Wranglers marker was scored by captain Brett Sutter, who notched his 11th goal of the season.

CGY Goal Scorers: Brett Sutter

It was a fast-paced first period, with a chorus of dueling chants of ‘Go Wranglers’ and ‘Go Condors’ raining down from the stands in the early stages of the aptly named ‘Battle in  Berta’.

Both teams traded chances in the opening frame, with Wolf stopping 11 shots, while his counterpart at the other end, Calvin Pickard, turned aside all nine shots he faced.

It remained scoreless after 20 minutes.

Time and space were hard to come by in the 2nd Period. Midway through the frame, however, the Wranglers would take the lead courtesy of the captain. First, Walker Duehr found the puck on his stick in the high slot and, spinning and firing, he forced the puck through traffic and onto the net. The initial save was made by Pickard, but standing on the doorstep was Sutter who jammed the puck in past the Condors’ goaltender to give the Wranglers the lead.

It would not last, however.

With just over two minutes remaining in the period and the Wranglers on the powerplay, the Condors took advantage shorthanded. Justin Bailey scored the first of his two goals in the game as he streaked up the ice and found a lane to the net, going upstairs with a well-placed shot to tie the game.

1-1 after 40 minutes.

Bakersfield would take the lead in the third period with a goal at the 2:20 mark of the frame when Raphael Lavoie pounced on the loose puck in front of the blue paint and backhanded it over the pad of Wolf to make it 2-1. Later, the Condors would extend their lead when Greg McKegg redirected a point shot upstairs for his fourth of the season.

With less than five minutes to play in the game, Bailey notched his second tally of the contest, finishing off a give-and-go play with Brad Malone to give the Condors a 4-1 lead. Noah Philp would seal it for Bakersfield, adding an empty-net goal to ultimately put the game out of reach.

5-1 the final.

The Wranglers and Condors are right back at it on Friday night at the ‘Dome. Puck drop is 7pm.