Dustin Wolf, Wranglers looking to sweep best-of-three series in Tucson

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The Calgary Wranglers would like to stay out of the penalty box.

And then get the heck out of Arizona.

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That’s no knock on this desert destination, but the Wranglers are hoping Friday to complete a sweep of their best-of-three series against the host Tucson Roadrunners.

The Flames’ farm-clubbers notched a 2-0 victory in Game 1 of this opening-round showdown. Rising-star netminder Dustin Wolf, brimming with confidence after his strong end-of-season audition at the NHL level, delivered a 46-save shutout and the Wranglers were unscathed in five shorthanded situations.

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“We killed a lot of penalties, probably something we don’t want to be doing,” head coach Trent Cull told Wranglers TV after his squad opened its Calder Cup quest with Wednesday’s win in Tucson. “But I thought there was a lot of compete, a lot of battle, and I was really happy with a lot of guys’ performances. That’s probably the best I’ve ever seen Dustin play for us, as well.

“Overall, just happy with our performance and happy with how we played as a team.”

The challenge now is to do it again in Game 2.

The Roadrunners have home-ice advantage after finishing second in the AHL’s Pacific Division standings, and the Flames of the future know this won’t be an easy out.

“We just have to weather the storm,” said Wranglers centre Cole Schwindt, who charged to the net and drained a crafty backhander for Wednesday’s game-winning goal. “They’re going to come out hungry and that’s going to be our task — to make sure that we come out hungry, too.”

Friday’s could-be clincher will be broadcast on Sportsnet 960 The Fan, with puck-drop at 8 p.m.

If the Roadrunners force a winner-take-all showdown, Game 3 will be set for Sunday.

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