A season that saw the Calgary Wranglers finish first overall in the American Hockey League regular season standings came to a disappointing end last night (May 19) in Palm Desert, California.

The best-of-five Pacific Division final went five-plus games before the Coachella Valley Firebirds skated away with an exciting 6 - 5 overtime victory for a 3 - 2 decision in the series.

The teams could only muster a single goal in the first 20 minutes, that coming from Coachella Valley.  Calgary got second-period goals from Kristians Rubins and Clark Bishop while only allowing the Firebirds to score one time to even the score at 2 - 2 after 40.  That set up a furious third period where each team would score three goals.  

The Calgary markers came from Nick DeSimone, Jeremie Poirier and  Cole Schwindt.  Schwindt's marker came when he tipped in a point shot and gave the Wranglers a 5 - 4 lead.  Less than a minute later, Coachella tied the game up and forced the overtime session where both teams had chances to win.  The Firebirds' Andrew Poturalski would get the game, and series winner seven minutes into extra-time to give the California team the win.  

The Firebirds will wait to find out who they'll face in the Western Conference Finals.  The series between the Milwaukee Admirals and Texas Stars will go to a fifth and deciding game after the Stars won game four in double overtime by a score of 4 - 3.  The deciding game goes tomorrow night in Texas.

The Eastern Conference final is set with the Hershey Bears meeting the Rochester Americans.  Hershey eliminated the Hartford Wolf Pack in three straight while Rochester did the same to the Toronto Marlies.   The winners from those two series will play for the Calder Cup.

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