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 Calgary Wranglers

Wranglers Notebook - 01.05.24

May 1, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Calgary Wranglers News Release

It's a rematch that was a year in the making.

The Wranglers begin their second-round, best-of-five playoff matchup with the Coachella Valley Firebirds on Friday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome. (TICKETS)

The two teams faced off last season in the third round, a series which saw the Firebirds win 3-2, with four of the five games being one-goal outings, and two of them - including Game 5 - going to overtime.

That defeat is still fresh for many returning Wranglers players.

"They're a good team," said Wranglers forward Jakob Pelletier after practice Wednesday. "They are the ones who kicked us out of the playoffs last season. It's a new year but we still have that on our mind."

Goaltender Dustin Wolf echoed Pelletier.

"We've had some good games against them the past couple of years," he said. "They got the best of us last year and now is the opportunity to give it back to them."

What Went Right:

The seventh-seeded Wranglers took out the second-place Tucson Roadrunners in two-straight games in their Round 1, best-of-three series.

Wolf stopped 86-of-88 shots in the series and says everyone stepped up in big moments to secure the win.

"I think we scored goals at critical moments," he explained. "We only trailed for maybe a minute in the series. We probably want to limit our chances, clean up our D-zone a little bit, but that's my job to handle that.

"If we put a couple pucks in the net at the other end I think our chances are going to be pretty good."

Adam Klapka, who led the team in regular-season scoring and has a team high three points this postseason - laid out his version of what the team needs to bring from the Tucson series into the battle with Coachella Valley.

"We play simple and we play hard," said Klapka. "We protect each other and we play like a team. The Wranglers are really close, all the guys and that's the main thing to be successful in the playoffs."

Calgary went just 2-6 against the Firebirds in the regular season but, as they showed in Round 1, anything can happen during playoff time.

Home Cookin':

The Wranglers will host their first two playoff games of the postseason on Friday and Sunday (SUNDAY TICKETS). They proved they could pick up a series win on the road and now they are excited to make their way back to the 'Dome.

"It's exciting," said Wolf with a smile. "Playing in the 'Dome is special. It's only going to be around for a couple more years so take it in while we can and at the same time the fans will be pretty excited and we're excited to get going."

The Wranglers went 3-1 during the 2023 playoff run on home ice.

Puck drop on Friday night is 7 p.m.

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