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Calgary Wranglers

Wranglers come back to beat Canucks in overtime, take two-game AHL playoff series lead

It took extra time for the second straight game, but the Calgary Wranglers are now two-for-two on home ice in the AHL playoffs.



That was close. Again.

It took overtime for the second straight game, but the Calgary Wranglers are two-for-two on home ice in the AHL playoffs after Matthew Phillips scored in sudden death on Friday to cap a come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Abbotsford Canucks.

The winning marker by the Wranglers’ leading scorer came on the power play at 7:49 of the extra frame. With Canucks forward Nils Hoglander in the penalty box for tripping, Phillips, who was kicked out of Calgary’s Game 1 win on Wednesday after taking a spearing penalty, scored on a wrister through traffic to lift the Wranglers to victory in front of 8,029 fans at the Saddledome.

Phillips’ tally came after a two-goal third period by the Wranglers, who found themselves trailing the Canucks 3-1 heading into the frame in Game 2 of their second-round AHL playoff series. Ben Jones scored 37 seconds into the third, followed by Dryden Hunt’s tying goal at 5:48.

The Wranglers had opened the scoring midway through the first period on a goal from Clark Bishop. Then, with the Canucks shorthanded due to goalie Arturs Silovs’s roughing penalty, Abbotsford scored twice minus a man, with Arshdeep Bains tallying both goals in less than a minute near the end of the frame to give the Canucks a 2-1 lead. Tristen Nielsen would score in the second period to add to the Canucks’ lead.

Wranglers goalie Dustin Wolf stopped 24 Canucks shots in the win, while counterpart Silovs was kept busier, turning aside 38 by Calgary shooters. Game 2 was Silovs’s first action against the Wranglers in the series. The Latvian netminder replaced Spencer Martin, who patrolled the Canucks goal in Game 1.

The series shifts to Abbotsford for the remaining games. The Wranglers can take the series with a win in Game 3 on Wednesday at the Abbotsford Centre. If necessary, Game 4 will be held on Friday and Game 5 on Sunday, May 7. All start times are scheduled for 8 p.m.

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