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Controversy Takes Over Game Two of Calgary Wranglers Playoff Series



Calgary Flames Wranglers

In terms of financial decisions, it’s a tough one deciding whether to attend one game or subscribe to the rest of AHL action as the Calgary Wranglers navigate the first (non-play-in) round of the AHL playoffs. 

Tickets vary between about 35 dollars to over 50 to attend in person. 

From what we saw in game two of the rematch between the Calgary Wranglers and the Coachella Valley Firebirds, either decision will not waste your money. 

Facing off for their second of five series in two years, Calgary and Coachella brought out their stiffest, most conservative inner-zone protection for roughly thirty minutes of regulation time.

Mental and physical fatigue wore on, and the goals started coming. Puck battles started going by the wayside. The game began to devolve. What was a clinic in perimeter control began to unravel into a lesson in chaos management. Which team was going to capitalize on the next major net-front implosion became the name of the game. 


The Unravelling

Both teams exchanged outside opportunities for most of two periods, finally, the Wranglers were first to blink when a set-play familiar to many Flames fans was executed by the Firebirds’ first line of Andrew Poturalski, Max McCormick, and Cole Lind.  

The 25-year-old Lind, in a similar trigger spot to the old Gaudreau-Tkachuk-Lindholm passing play, fired a snap shot past goaltender Dustin Wolf’s blocker to make the game 1-0 Firebirds.  

Little did both teams know what was in store for the third period. What ensued was a five goal tug-of-war that settled on a 3-3 game that required overtime to settle.  

Early in the third, Cole Schwindt jumped on a rebound to tie the game at one-one. 

Minutes later, NCAA newcomer Sam Morton collected a bit more trash out front off of chaotic sequence for his third goal in three playoff games.  


The Firebirds answered back less than five minutes later with a backdoor sequence from the same first line that broke the scoring. 30-year-old Andrew Poturalski recorded his first goal of this year’s playoffs.  

Cole Schwindt once again answered back. This time with a backdoor goal of his own for his second of the game.  

An extra period was needed, with the score tied at 3-3. In a wildly controversial sequence, Coachella’s Devin Shore scored the game-winner on a wrap-around.

Tough to say. Here is a closer look. 

 Flames Wranglers Firebirds

A tough call for officials. What resulted was even more chaos. The crowd turned on the officiating crew as the stripes deliberated whether the play in question was offside. Fans began to throw garbage on the ice surface as the officiating crew provided firm words to the appealing Wranglers players as they left the area of play.

AHL hockey. If you’re not watching it, you’re missing out.  


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(AP Photo/David Becker)

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