Riley Pollock – 26.04.24

Underdog no more.

The Calgary Wranglers pulled off the upset as they swept the two-seed Tucson Roadrunners with a 4-3 win on Friday night in Arizona.

Sam Morton, Riley Damiani, Ilya Solovyov and William Stromgren found the net for the Wranglers and Dustin Wolf made 40-saves in the victory.

They will take on first place Coachella Valley starting next week in the Pacific Division Semi-Final best-of-five.

It was a physical start to game two Friday night in Tucson. Both teams threw their bodies around and had plenty of energy.

The Wranglers took the first penalty of the game with 4:15 to go in the first-period and the Roadrunners make them pay as Dylan Guenther went coast-to-coast through the middle of the defence and beat Dustin Wolf five-hole to make the score 1-0.

Calgary would get a powerplay of their own less than two-minutes later and Sam Morton evened the score from the slot early in the man advantage to make it 1-1 heading into the first intermission.

Riley Damiani gave the Wranglers their first lead of the game seven-minutes into the second-period picking up his own rebound and tucking the puck home making it 2-1.


Justin Kirkland struck for Tucson while the two teams played four-on-four making it 2-2 with just over seven-minutes to play in the second-frame.

The Wranglers hit right back 30-seconds later as Ilya Solovyov ripped one on the rush to give Calgary the 3-2 lead. That would be the score heading into the final 20.

Tucson had a great chance about eight-minutes into the third period but Wolf made a couple of huge saves to maintain the one-goal Wranglers lead.

William Stromgren made a beautiful dash through the defence and finished off his great individual effort to give the Wranglers a two-goal lead, 4-2 halfway through the final period.

Tucson would not go away as Hunter Drew beat Wolf short-side high off a rebound to make it 4-3 with 7:31 remaining in the game.

The Wranglers took a penalty with 5:12 to go but Wolf made another point-blank save on the kill and the game remained 4-3 after the minor penalty.

The Roadrunners pulled their goalie with one-minute to go but were unable to get anything in on Wolf and the Wranglers hung on for the 4-3 victory to advance to the Pacific Division Semi-Finals.