BRYAN WILSON – 10.21.2023
Now that was a wild finish.
It came down to the wire, but the Wranglers defeated the Abbotsford Canucks for the second time in two nights, following a 7-6 overtime win at the Abbotsford Event Centre on Saturday night.
Martin Pospisil scored twice, including the game winner, Adam Klapka picked up his fourth goal of the season and added two assists, and Connor Zary had four helpers in the contest.
Zary now has eight points (8a) in four games to start the season.
Lucas Ciona was credited with his first career AHL goal, Ben Jones tallied his first of the season, while Clark Bishop ripped home his second tally.
Between the pipes, Dustin Wolf (3-0-0) picked up his third win with a 34-save performance.
The Canucks lit the lamp just 24 seconds into the game when Sheldon Dries scored his first goal of the season to give Abbotsford the early advantage.
However, Calgary answered back at 4:18 when Solovyov sent a low wrist shot through a maze of bodies, past Arturs Silovs and into the back of the net.
Midway through the frame, off the faceoff, Clark Bishop dropped the mitts with Marc Gatcomb for a spirited scrap, which presumably answered the bell for a hit delivered in Friday’s game.
Wolf turned aside 17 shots in the opening period, keeping the score tied 1-1 through 20 minutes.
Both teams traded goals in the second period, as the back-and-forth battle was just beginning to heat up.
Abbotsford took the lead at 6:39, on the first goal of the season from Chase Wouters.
The Wranglers answered right back, 25 seconds later, when Zary whipped a puck on net and the rebound popped onto the stick of Jones in front, who swept it into the net.
The deadlock wouldn’t last very long, though.
At the 14:17 mark, Nils Aman picked off a pass in front of the net and quickly snapped it through the legs of Wolf to make it 3-2 Canucks.
Calgary would respond as time ticked down in the frame, when Yan Kuznetsov blasted a puck towards the goal which was tipped in front by Ciona to tie the game once again.
3-3 after 40 minutes.
At 4:09 of the third period, Bishop skated swiftly into the Canucks zone and fired a quick shot into the top corner to give the Wranglers their first lead of the game. 4-3.
Later, Klapka parked himself in front of the Abbotsford net and pounced on a loose puck, pulling it to the forehand and sliding it past Silovs to make it 5-3.
Klapka now has seven points (4g,3a) in his first four games.
Pospisil added to the Wranglers advantage when he tipped a shot from Nick DeSimone that snuck through the netminder. 6-3.
However, the Canucks surged back in the final minute and after pulling their goalie late in the game, they proceeded to score three-straight goals to tie the game.
Aman found the back of the net two times in less than three minutes, including the tying goal at 18:30 to complete his hat-trick, while Vasily Podkolzin scored his second goal in his last two games.
6-6 the score.
Overtime would be needed.
At the 3:24 mark Pospisil picked up a drop pass from Zary at the hashmarks and rifled home a wrister to the blocker side of Silovs to end it.