BRYAN WILSON – 05.17.2023
That was a gutsy, full team effort.
The Wranglers kept their Calder Cup hopes alive following a 1-0 victory over the Coachella Valley Firebirds at Acrisure Arena on Wednesday night. The best-of-five series is now tied at 2-2.
Cole Schwindt scored the lone goal on the powerplay, while Jakob Pelletier extended his point streak to five games with an assist, and Dryden Hunt registered his fifth point of the postseason.
Dustin Wolf was the difference maker in the contest, turning aside all 27 shots he faced to record his first shutout of the playoffs.
CGY Goal Scorers – Cole Schwindt
The Wranglers carried over their strong road play from Game 3 into the first period, outshooting the Firebirds 16-9 in the opening frame.
Once again, both netminders were the story early on, with Wolf making multiple massive glove saves in the period, while Joey Daccord stood tall for the Firebirds to keep the game scoreless after 20 minutes.
The Wranglers would take the lead in the second period on the powerplay.
Pelletier had possession of the puck in the offensive zone and sent a pass across the ice to Hunt, who whipped it quickly to Schwindt in the high slot, as he picked his spot and wired it over the glove of Daccord to give the Wranglers 1-0 lead.
Both goaltenders continued to ‘one-up’ each other throughout the second period, both making multiple timely and important saves in the frame.
It remained 1-0 at the break.
The Firebirds carried the play in the early going of the third period, but once again Wolf stood tall, while the team played selfless defence in front of him.
With the net empty at the Firebirds end, the Firebirds desperately tried to find the tying marker, but the Wranglers played relentless defence in the dying minutes – and all game long – to help secure the victory and push the Pacific Division Finals to a fifth and deciding game.
Game 5 goes on Friday night. Puck drop is 8pm MST.