Pelletier lifts Wranglers to Game 1 victory

Jakob Pelletier scored 11:52 into overtime to give the Calgary Wranglers a 3-2 win over Abbotsford in their first-ever Calder Cup Playoff game on Wednesday night.

Game 2 is set for Friday night back at the Saddledome.

Pelletier snapped a shot from the right-wing circle that beat Canucks goaltender Spencer Martin, giving the Wranglers a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five Pacific Division semifinal series. Pelletier, a first-round draft pick by the Calgary Flames in 2019, had notched 16 goals and 21 assists in 35 regular-season games for the Wranglers this season.

Dryden Hunt and Adam Klapka scored in regulation to give Calgary two separate one-goal leads, but Abbotsford came from behind twice in the third period to eventually force overtime. Marc Gatcomb scored 1:35 into the final frame to make it 1-1, and Aatu Räty found the net with 4:50 to play in regulation to even the score at 2-2.

Dustin Wolf, the AHL’s MVP and top goaltender in 2022-23, made 37 saves to defeat the Canucks for the 11th time in 14 starts over the last two seasons.

Martin (1-1) finished with 37 saves as well.

Calgary played most of the game without First Team AHL All-Star forward Matthew Phillips, who was assessed a match penalty midway through the first period.

Pacific Division Semifinals (best-of-5)
P1-Calgary Wranglers vs. P4-Abbotsford Canucks
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 26 – CALGARY 3, Abbotsford 2 (OT)
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 28 – Abbotsford at Calgary, 9:00
Game 3 – Wed., May 3 – Calgary at Abbotsford, 10:00
*Game 4 – Fri., May 5 – Calgary at Abbotsford, 10:00
*Game 5 – Sun., May 7 – Calgary at Abbotsford, 10:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern