The Coachella Valley Firebirds have done it! The Firebirds beat the Calgary Wranglers in a high-scoring Game 5 to advance to the Western Conference Finals.
MAKING HISTORY pic.twitter.com/6DhelZDPlt— x - Coachella Valley Firebirds (@Firebirds) May 20, 2023
The Firebirds won 6-5 in front of an absolutely FIRED UP home crowd at Acrisure Arena Friday night.
News Channel 3's Samantha Lomibao spoke with fans at tonight's game. Check out how they got excited for the (current) biggest in franchise history.
Jeremy McKenna scored 2 goals. Other goalscorers included Ville Petman, Jasper Frödén, Gustav "Goose" Olofsson, and Andrew Poturalski.
Game 4 lacked goals, but that was not a problem in Game 5. Both teams came out swinging in what could've potentially been the last game of the season for either team.
The Firebirds took the lead earlier in the game, scoring the first goal late in the first period.
FRODES IS BACK BABY!!— x - Coachella Valley Firebirds (@Firebirds) May 20, 2023
BIRDS LEAD 1-0 pic.twitter.com/ElSFonbUZq
But the story of the game, every time the Firebirds got the lead, the Wranglers would come right back and tie it up.
BIRDS TAKE THE LEAD BACK 2-1 pic.twitter.com/1jUqTJGqhQ— x - Coachella Valley Firebirds (@Firebirds) May 20, 2023
BIRDS LEAD 3-2 pic.twitter.com/OUr1DpH5Au— x - Coachella Valley Firebirds (@Firebirds) May 20, 2023
But the third period will forever live in the minds of fans of both teams. The Firebird and the Wranglers combined for six goals in the third period, five coming in a span of 6:59.
At one point in the third period, the Wranglers gained the lead, a stressful moment for the home crowd. But the Firebirds came right back and tied it up to make it 5-5.
TIED GAME 5-5 pic.twitter.com/6E2UQ3VMYr— x - Coachella Valley Firebirds (@Firebirds) May 20, 2023
The game went into overtime AGAIN. As you may recall, Game 3 featured a legendary triple overtime game that the Firebirds were able to win.
It was the same case in Game 5 and the same result.
Andrew Poturalski was the hero of the game, scoring his first goal of the Calder Cup Playoffs in the middle of overtime to give the Firebirds the series win. Poturalski returned to the Firebirds lineup on Monday after missing 44 games due to injury.
According to the AHL, the Firebirds joined the 2002 Chicago Wolves as the only teams in AHL history to win three winner-take-all games in a single postseason. The Firebirds are also now 4-0 when facing elimination.
The Firebirds will face either the Texas Stars or the Milwaukee Admirals in the Western Conference Finals. The Stars won in double overtime tonight to force a Game 5. The final game of that series takes place on Sunday.
The Western Conference Finals between the Firebirds and the Stars/Wranglers will start next week. Stay tuned for more information on that series.