BRYAN WILSON – 02.01.2024

Onto the next one.

The Wranglers fell 5-2 to the Coachella Valley Firebirds at Acrisure Arena on Thursday night.

Yan Kuznetsov notched his fourth goal of the season, Kevin Rooney tallied his first, while Emilio Pettersen picked up an assist and a fighting major in the contest.

The Wranglers controlled the first period offensively, outshooting the Firebirds 13-4 in the opening 20 minutes.

It started to get chippy midway through the frame, when Pettersen dropped the mitts with Luke Henman for a quick scrap; Pettersen scored the takedown.

It was scoreless at the break.

The Firebirds scored early and often in the second period.

At the 1:51 mark, Max McCormick pounced on a loose puck in the slot and shoveled it past Oscar Dansk and into the net. 1-0.

Coachella Valley added to their lead on the powerplay at 4:31, as Andrew Poturalski took a pass in front and hammered the puck past Dansk. 2-0.

Then, at 6:36, Poturalski stepped to the top of the circle and whipped a wrist-shot through traffic to extend the advantage. 3-0.

John Hayden converted on the powerplay at 12:57, which ushered in a goalie change, as Dustin Wolf entered the game for the Wranglers. 4-0.

Calgary would get one back late in the frame (15:42) on a powerplay of their own, as Kuznetsov let a shot go from the blueline that went off the bar and in.

4-1 after 40 minutes.

Coachella Valley added another goal in the third period off the stick of Ryan Winterton at 10:38 to make it 5-1.

Rooney managed to sneak a shot past Firebirds’ netminder Ales Stezka late in the game, but it was too little too late for the Wranglers, who dropped their fifth straight game against Coachella Valley this season.