BRYAN WILSON – 01.28.2023
Redemption in the desert!
The Wranglers hit the road to take on the Silver Knights in Henderson on Saturday night, skating to a 6-2 decision, their first win against the ‘Knights this season.
Mitch McLain had a big night for Calgary, scoring twice and adding an assist while also dropping the mitts in the game to record the ‘Gordie Howe hat-trick’. He picked up the First Star of the Game nod as a result. Brett Sutter scored a beauty on the backhand for his 10th of the season and Clark Bishop hit the scoresheet, scoring off a fortunate bounce in front of the net to extend his point-streak to four games (2g, 2a).
Walker Duehr was in the lineup on Saturday for his first game with the Wranglers since being recalled from the Flames, scoring two goals in the contest, while Ben Jones picked up two assists against his former club.
Oscar Dansk got the start between the pipes, facing his former team for the second time in his last three starts. He was solid, making 23 saves to register his fifth win of the season and second in a row.
CGY Goal Scorers: Mitch McLain (2) – Brett Sutter – Clark Bishop – Walker Duehr (2)
The first period remained scoreless until the final minutes, when the Wranglers started to turn momentum in their favour. After killing off a penalty, Calgary went on the powerplay, where Emilio Pettersen swiftly sent a pass cross-crease to McLain, who had his stick on the ice and redirected the puck into the back of the net.
On his next shift, McLain would drop the mitts with Kyle Marino for a spirited scrap in the final seconds of the frame.
The Wranglers took a 1-0 lead into the break.
Henderson was searching for the equalizer early in the second period and had some chances to pull even, but their best opportunity was ultimately turned aside in highlight reel fashion. Dansk made a massive save by getting his glove on a shot from Sheldon Rempal to deny the Silver Knights the tying marker.
The save sparked the Wranglers, who quickly added to their lead courtesy of the captain. Sutter stole the puck along the boards and walked into the zone, skating methodically towards the net on a 2-on-1. He waited, then went to the backhand, sliding the puck through the wickets of goaltender Laurent Brossoit to double up the lead.
Calgary kept pressing.
Later in the frame, Nick DeSimone took an initial shot that was stopped, but the rebound bounced off the body of Bishop in front and into the back of the net. Not long after, McLain swept the puck on net which fooled Brossoit and so, to find the puck, the ‘Knights netminder backed into the net which enabled the bobbling puck to bounce across the line.
It was 4-0 Calgary after two periods pf play.
The game was far from over, however…
Henderson came out of the gates quickly in the third period and, after killing off a penalty, they got a boost from their offence. Two goals in thirty-seconds changed the complexion of the game in a hurry. First Ivan Morozov found the back of the net, followed by another quick strike by Gage Quinney, who went upstairs on Dansk to score his 19th goal of the season to close the gap to 4-2.
But Henderson’s comeback hopes were dashed soon after.
At the 7:27 mark of the frame, the Wranglers were heading up the ice on a 3-on-1. McLain chipped the puck to Jones, who fed it across to Duehr; he then one-timed the puck into the back of the net with an enthusiastic slapshot to extend the lead. He would add an empty net goal, as well, to seal the deal.
With the ‘W’ Calgary sits tied for first in the AHL with 29 wins on the season.
The Wranglers are right back in action on Sunday, January 29, when they face the Ontario Reign for the third time in their last four games.
Puck drop is at 6pm (MST).