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Wranglers Drop OT Decision to Canucks

April 20, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Calgary Wranglers News Release

Settled for a point.

Christian Wolanin played overtime hero in the final minute of extra time, as the Abbotsford Canucks edged the Calgary Wranglers 4-3 Friday in the Fraser Valley.

The Wranglers earned a point in the standings thanks to Jakob Pelletier's late third-period equalizer, while Clark Bishop and Mitch McLain added singles in Calgary's penultimate regular season contest.

Calgary started the game on the front foot, coming close on a pair of early opportunities from Pelletier and Cole Schwindt before solving Canucks netminder Arturs Silovs 3:21 into the contest.

After misfiring on his first attempt, Bishop stayed with the play as he strode towards the net from the right circle, eventually finding, and snapping the puck past Silovs for his 10th goal of the season.

The 1-0 Calgary advantage held up through the opening 20 minutes, though the Canucks held a 13-12 edge in shots on goal at the break.

Wranglers netminder Connor Murphy was steady, turning aside everything he faced including a partial break opportunity from Marc Gatcomb with 3:30 left on the clock.

The hosts evened the score 1:42 into the middle stanza thanks to Linus Karlsson, who backhanded a loose puck just past Murphy's outstretched left pad.

But Calgary responded after a long stretch of special teams and 4-on-4 play.

McLain grabbed a loose puck just outside Silovs' crease after Jordan Oesterle directed a point shot on goal, then roofed the disk high over the Abbotsford goaltender's left shoulder to give the Wranglers a 2-1 advantage at 10:23.

Sheldon Dries tied things at 2-2 just under a minute later, before Aidan McDonough gave the home side its first lead of the game with a powerplay one-timer with 7:01 left in the middle frame.

Calgary outshot Abbotsford 16-11 in the second period, pushing for the equalizer right from the drop of the puck in the third.

Schwindt missed the net on a golden opportunity on an early powerplay, as he was set up on a nifty between-the-legs pass from Mitch McLain at the back post.

Moments later, he was foiled again by Silovs, who flashed the blocker to turn aside a clear-cut chance from in tight.

At the other end, Murphy made arguable his best save of the night off ex-Calgary Hitmen forward Tristen Nielsen at the 6:30 mark, snagging a hard shot from the low slot with his glove hand.

With four-and-a-half minutes left, Calgary tied the score at 3-3, when Pelletier marched to the front of the Abbotsford net off a face-off, tucking the puck past an outstretched Silovs for his fifth goal of the season.

That goal forced overtime.

And in the extra frame, the goaltenders strutted their stuff.

Silovs denied Schwindt on a grade-A opportunity from the low slot, while at the other end, Murphy made breakaway stops off Max Sasson and Nielsen in short order to keep the game going.

But at the tail end of the overtime session, Abbotsford found itself on the powerplay, where Wolanin ended things with a snapshot from the top of the left circle.

Shots on goal were even at 36 apiece - Pelletier led all Calgary skaters with six attempts on target.

Sam Honzek, the Flames first-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, made his AHL debut Friday.

The two teams will meet again in Calgary's regular season finale Saturday night in Abbotsford, with puck drop slated for 8 p.m. MT.

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