Wranglers lasso KIJHL Championship in five games

100 Mile House boys knock off Kimberley Dynamiters 2-1

Wranglers Nick McNab

The 100 Mile House Wranglers are the 2015/16 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) Champions.

Our Okanagan/Shuswap Conference champs knocked off the Kootenay Conference champion Kimberley Dynamiters 2-1 in a nail-biter, ebb-and-flow barn-burner on March 31.

They claimed the prestigious title in front of 760 appreciative fans who were on the edge of their seats for the full 60 minutes of Junior B hockey action.

The Wranglers opened the scoring at 7:46 of the first period when 100 Mile House hockey product Brett Harris (Austin Turner, Ryan Friesen) found the back of the net on a power play.

Kimberley tied the score at one apiece with two minutes to go in the second when Eric Buckley (Jared Marchi, Sawyer Hunt) scored after significant pressure in the Wranglers end.

The home-town boys came out for the third with a crash-and-bang attitude, which Kimberley was willing to play for about eight minutes. However, they backed down a bit after the Wranglers a series of thunderous hits.

Then Brady Ward, who lives in 100 Mile House, came off the bench will just over four minutes and made three consecutive big hits, and stole the puck away from a defenceman. He ended up putting the rubber disk in the back of the net for the winning goal, assists going to Stephen Egan and Cole Zimmerman.

The players and the crowd erupted when the red light went on.

Kimberley pulled goalie Tyson Brouwer, who made several great saves during the game, for the extra attacker.

Wranglers goalie Zane Steeves was stellar throughout the game and held his ground in the last four minutes when Kimberley through everything and everyone at him in a desperate attempt to get the tying goal.

The Wranglers move onto the four-team, round-robin Cyclone Taylor Cup in Victoria, April 7-10.

Read more details on the Wranglers KIJHL Championship game 5 victory in the sports section of the Free Press website.