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 Calgary Wranglers

Wranglers Drop Regular Season Finale to Canucks

April 21, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Calgary Wranglers News Release

On to the playoffs.

The Calgary Wranglers battled, but came up a goal short in their regular season finale, falling 3-2 to the Abbotsford Canucks Saturday in the Fraser Valley.

Sam Morton recorded his first multi-goal game as a pro - scoring twice - as Calgary welcomed back a quartet of players from the Flames in their final tune-up before the post-season.

The two sides grinded through a scoreless opening frame, with the home side holding a 10-6 edge in shots on goal at the break.

Goaltender Dustin Wolf, making his return to the Wranglers crease after the conclusion of the Calgary Flames' season, looked sharp off the hop, with his most challenging save coming off Max Sasson on a one-timer from the low slot as the visitors were killing a penalty.

The game's first goal came less than two minutes into the second period, and it came courtesy of Morton.

The Wrangler forward parked himself in front of Canucks netminder Nikita Tolopilo, then re-directed William Stromgren's long-range writer just inside the left post for his fourth goal of the campaign.

Morton added a second marker at the 10:16 mark on a nifty individual effort.

From the right corner, he skated behind Tolopilo's net, then slammed on the brakes, reversed, and jammed a puck past the Canuck netminder's left toe, ushering it over the line on a second effort.

Abbotsford tied things up at 2-2 on quick strikes from Linus Karlsson and Tristen Nielsen; that scoreline held at the conclusion of the period.

Wolf was the busier of the two goalies in the middle stanza, adding an exclamation point to his 13 second-period saves with a breakaway stop off John Stevens in the final minute of play.

Abbotsford's decider came with 8:36 to play, when the puck caromed to Arshdeep Bains in the right circle; he slotted home his 16th goal of the season to break the tie.

Calgary continued to press - outshooting the Canucks 15-7 in the final frame - with Mitch McLain coming closest to equalizing with about a minute left, on a chance from just outside the crease that found Tolopilo's left pad.

Wolf made 29 saves in his return to the Wranglers crease, while both Adam Klapka and Ilya Solovyov registered assists in their first games back since being re-assigned.

Both clubs finished 0-3 on the powerplay.

Morton was named the game's Second Star.

The Wranglers do not yet know their opponent in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs, though: that will be determined Sunday afternoon, when the Ontario Reign face the Colorado Eagles.

An Ontario win would secure a first-round set between the Reign and Wranglers, while any other result would mean Calgary will face the Tucson Roadrunners in a best-of-three affair.

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