The Calgary Wranglers (16-7-1-0) scored twice in both the second and third periods on their way to a 4-1 win in the first-ever meeting against the Ontario Reign (15-8-0-1) Tuesday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Alex Turcotte had the lone goal of the contest for the Reign late in the third period, while goaltender Cal Petersen turned aside 37 shots in a losing effort for Ontario. Dustin Wolf earned the win for Calgary with 37 stops and Martin Pospisil found the back of the net twice for the Wranglers.
More from head coach Marco Sturm below.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the opening frame, with each club awarded one power play opportunity that was unsuccessful.
Pospisil broke through at 5:31 of the second, netting his first of the night to put Calgary in front 1-0.
Then after a slashing penalty to Quinton Byfield late in the frame, former Reign captain Brett Sutter deflected a puck past Petersen on the power play to push the Wranglers advantage to 2-0 with just 13 seconds remaining in the middle period.
Calgary tacked on a second power play goal from Walker Duehr at 10:02 of the third before Pospisil picked up his second tally of the contest moments later at 12:32 to make it a 4-0 game.
Turcotte broke up Wolf’s shutout bid at 15:28 of the final period with his second goal of the season, coming on a backhand shot off a pass by Byfield who started the play with a rush into the offensive zone. A second assist on the goal was credited to Kim Nousiainen, his second helper of the season.
The Wranglers finished 2-for-5 on the power play while holding Ontario to an 0-for-2 mark on the man-advantage and also outshot the Reign by a 41-38 margin.
On how this game was different from Saturday’s shutout at home
The difference today is that we were not willing to do it for 60 minutes against a hard physical team. I think we had a really good start and then they took over and that was the game.
On his team’s record when scoring first vs. allowing the first goal
I think it always seems like we play a little bit better with a lead but I think today it already started, it was still 0-0 and we already got away from our game and didn’t play the right way like we can and they did so that was the difference.
On if there was any hesitance to shoot the puck from his team
When you play a team like that, I think you should have a shot mentality and we talked about it, we didn’t want to pass up any opportunities. We also talked about front of our net versus their net, and they were just hungrier than we were. We didn’t show that urgency like they did in front of our net and again, it paid off for them and not for us.
On how he and the group will prepare for the second game of the series Wednesday
We’re going to treat it like any other game preparation-wise. I think it is a big game for us. Obviously, we want to respond after this effort tonight. Also, it’s going to be the last game before Christmas and I think we all we all want to go into break and leave on a good note. We’re going to show some video tomorrow and try to fix a few things and show them what we have to do to win a hockey game and there might be some changes too for tomorrow, get some fresh legs again and and hopefully for a good game.
The two teams meet once again in Calgary on Wednesday night for the second game of the back-to-back series beginning at 6 p.m. PST at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
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