CALGARY WRANGLERS DEFEAT ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS 5-1 IN FIRST EVER MEETING
The Abbotsford Canucks rolled into the Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday afternoon for their first ever clash with the Calgary Wranglers. Winners of two straight, Abbotsford are looking to close out their six game road trip in Calgary, with a rematch lined up for Sunday.
Christian Wolanin came into this one tied for 5th in the AHL in assists among defencemen (11) and riding a six-game assist streak. Lane Pederson entered the contest with a five-game goal streak as well, scoring six times in five games.
Collin Delia started in net for Abbotsford, having won four of his last five starts in a Canucks sweater. At the other end, it would be Oscar Dansk between the pipes for the Wranglers. Searching for his first win of the season, Dansk has played second fiddle behind Dustin Wolf in the Calgary goal.
Regardless, the puck was dropped from the Saddledome on Friday afternoon, and the first installment of the Wranglers-Canucks rivalry was underway.
Delia was called into action early, making a massive blocker save as he came across the crease to deny Martin Pospisil. Despite a pair of scrambles in Delia’s crease in the first ten minutes, the Wranglers were able to pull ahead just after the mid-way mark of the period.
Jeremie Poirier let fly a slapshot from the point with traffic in front of Delia, which was steered home by Matthew Phillips. The tally would be Phillips’ twelfth of the year, enough to lead the AHL so far.
Despite a high shot count, the first period was evenly balanced, with shots finishing up at 12-12. The Wranglers took a 1-0 lead into the locker room, leaving Abbotsford with work to do in the remaining 40 minutes.
Phillips wasn’t finished there, opening the scoring for the second period just after the restart. Bursting down the right wing, Phillips jammed home an effort over the shoulder of Delia, increasing Calgary’s lead to two.
Abbotsford would retaliate quickly, with John Stevens and Chase Wouters connecting to find Linus Karlsson in the slot. Karlsson’s effort rang off the inside of the post, giving Abbotsford their best scoring chance.
At least, until the dying minutes of the second period.
Justin Dowling collected the puck along the boards, who threw a centering pass to a streaking Will Lockwood. Without hesitation, Lockwood dropped a slick pass back to a trailing Wolanin, who buried home his second of the year off the post.
Wolanin extended his point streak to seven games, and pulled Abbotsford within one as they headed to the second intermission.
It would take four minutes into the third period for Calgary to pull ahead, thanks to Walker Duehr. Taking the feed in stride from Emilio Pettersen, Duehr closed down on goal and slotted his fourth goal of the year between Delia’s pads.
Jakob Pelletier would further add to Calgary’s lead, waiting out Delia and sliding home Calgary’s fourth of the night. Walker Duehr would add a late one for the Wranglers, and the game would finish up 5-1 in favour for the Wranglers.
The shots finished in favour of Calgary, 39-28, with Densk stopping 27 shots of the 28 that Abbotsford threw his way. Next up for Abbotsford is a rematch between the two sides on Sunday afternoon. The puck drops from Calgary at 12:00pm in Abbotsford’s sixth and final game of this eastern road trip.
After their road trip concludes, Abbotsford will be home for a six-game homestand, featuring key nights such as Teddy Bear Toss (December 3rd) and Hockey Fights Cancer Nights (November 29th/30th).
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For the full box score from tonight’s game, click HERE.