The Calgary Wranglers (30-10-2-0) scored late goals in each period to defeat the Ontario Reign (22-16-1-1) by a score of 4-1 Sunday night at Toyota Arena.
Lias Andersson netted the lone goal for Ontario in a losing effort, scoring his 20th of the season to extend his point scoring streak to eight games. Cal Petersen started in goal for the second consecutive day and stopped 28 shots to keep the Reign within one until the Wranglers posted two late empty net goals.
More from head coach Marco Sturm and Frederic Allard below.
For the second straight day, Andersson got the scoring started and put the Reign ahead 1-0 with a wrist shot from the left circle off a rush into the offensive zone at 4:06 of the first period.
Assists on the tally went to Jordan Spence and TJ Tynan. Tynan extended his point streak to seven games, during which he has posted 17 points on two goals and 15 assists.
With 1:45 to go in the opening frame, Jakob Pelletier tied the game at 1-1 with a power play goal for the Wranglers.
The game remained even for the majority of the second, but Calgary went in front for the first time in the final minute of the stanza when Matthew Phillips scored his league-leading 24th goal of the season to put the Wranglers up 2-1.
Ontario produced 10 shots on goal in the third in an attempt to even things back up, but were unable to find an equalizer against Dustin Wolf, who finished with 21 saves to earn the win for Calgary.
The Wranglers scored twice in the closing seconds when the Reign net was empty in exchange for an extra attacker. Walker Duehr posted the first goal at 18:57 of the third before Ben Jones added on with the fourth Calgary score of the game at 19:52.
Despite Ontario’s late push in the third, the Wranglers held a 32-22 edge in shots on goal overall in the contest. Calgary also scored the only power play goal, finishing 1-for-4 on the man-advantage while holding the Reign to an 0-for-3 mark.
On the younger players improving throughout the game
It took them awhile because they were probably showing a lot of respect [to the opponent] at first, but then all of the sudden, they knew they can play with these guys too. Helenius, and especially his line, definitely got better and created some good momentum for us.
On how last month’s losing streak has shaped the team’s recent performances
Those losing streaks seem really long, but you always hope you’ll learn from it. I think, in general, the coaches and players get used to each other too. I feel like now they know exactly what I want from them and what I expect from them, and how I want to play as a team and an organization. I feel like now its slowly clicking and there’s no more surprises anymore. They know my language now, and I know they’re body language too. It just takes some time, and yeah, I feel like now we’re clicking. Some other teams are sometimes better than us one day, but overall, I’m happy with these guys. Some of the guys just need more experience too, so you’ve got to be patient. That Calgary team had like two thousand more games of experience. But again, I’m proud of how the guys competed today.
On recovering for Tuesday’s game against Colorado
We just played a back-to-back. Now we’re going to get some rest and go back to work tomorrow and try to get enough energy for another good team. I don’t worry. These guys have played so hard all year long and they’re going to show it again with a good effort.
On tonight’s game
Their forwards are big like Sutter, Bishop and Rooney. They’ve been around enough [to know how] to win tight games, so for us, it was a big test against a back-to-back. They had their full lineup and I think we played a really good game while missing a lot of guys here. We’ve shown that we can play against anybody with whoever is in the lineup, so it’s a good sign for us.
On playing more consistently:
It took me, unfortunately, five months to get back but I got some bad bounces. It’s part of the game. That happens. You also don’t expect to break your throat, probably, so I’m happy I got some more confidence. I think I’m just getting my game back. I wish it was back before but now I feel very good.
On Tuesday’s upcoming game against Colorado
They’re exactly the same kind of team [as Calgary]. They’re well-coached and they play a good system, so we know what to expect on Tuesday for sure.
Ontario is back in action on Tuesday when the host the Colorado Eagles at Toyota Arena at 7 p.m.
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