The Wranglers picked up their seventh win in the last eight games with a 3-2 victory against the San Diego Gulls on Sunday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Matthew Phillips scored twice for Calgary – including the game-winner – taking over the AHL lead in goals (32) in the process. Clark Bishop found the back of the net in his 300th career AHL game, scoring shorthanded for his 10th goal of the season.
Dustin Wolf – who played in his 100th career AHL game on Sunday – turned aside 28 shots to record his league-leading 38th win of the season.
CGY Goal Scorers – Matthew Phillips (2) – Clark Bishop (SH)
The first period didn’t start the way the Wranglers intended, as San Diego took the lead in the opening minute of the game.
Chase De Leo (1g,1a) sent a shot from the blueline through traffic that managed to slip through Wolf. It was then pounced on by Benoit-Olivier Groulx, who whacked home his 13th goal of the season to give the Gulls the lead. 1-0.
CALGARY, AB – MARCH 26, 2023: The Calgary Wranglers against the San Diego Gulls at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday night (Angela Burger/Calgary Wranglers).
However, Calgary would start to implement their game plan as the period ticked along and would eventually tie things up. At the 12:40 mark, Nic Meloche directed a shot on net that ended up sitting loose in the crease. Phillips located the puck and chipped it past Gulls’ goaltender, Olle Eriksson Ek to draw the score even. 1-1.
Kristians Rubins added an assist on the goal for his second point in Calgary colours.
The Wranglers would take the lead just over a minute later, while shorthanded, as Bishop carried the puck up the ice on a 2-on-1. Despite losing the puck on his initial shot attempt, he found it again at the side of the goal and backhanded the biscuit into the back of the net to give Calgary the edge. 2-1.
Wolf was steady in the second period, making 12 saves in the middle frame, while his counterpart Erickson Ek turned aside all 16 shots he faced in the San Diego net. Both teams were unsuccessful on two powerplay opportunities apiece in the period and the score remained the same through 40 minutes.
The third period started in a similar fashion as the first, with the Gulls striking early in the frame.
1:07 into the period, De Leo sent a seeing-eye shot on net from a tough angle that somehow managed to squeeze through the body of Wolf and slip across the goal line to bring the Gulls within a goal.
Wolf turned aside the rest of the chances he faced to hold on for his 38th win of the season, which leads all AHL netminders.
"It was a tight game but good to come out on top."
The Wranglers – who are holding on to top spot in the AHL standings – have just two home games left in the regular season, as they get set to face the Henderson Silver Knights for two games beginning on Wednesday at the Scotiabank Saddledome. (CLICK FOR TICKETS).