Quinn Mulder (right) in action against the Golden Rockets on Sept. 14. Mulder scored again against the Spokane Braves, bringing his goal tally to three in just as many games. Raven Nyman photo.

100 Mile House Wranglers get mixed results on first long road trip

‘The kids got to know each other a little bit more’

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s (KIJHL) 100 Mile House Wranglers split the weekend during their first road trip of the season, losing 8-1 to the Beaver Valley Nitehawks on Sept. 20 and beating the Spokane Braves 5-2 on Sept. 21.

“We actually played good. We lost 8-1, you’re not happy with a loss but the boys actually did good. We outshot them in the first period. It was just a tough go for our young goaltender [Caelan Armstrong]. It was his first game in this league and you know, six goals in seven shots – it’s a big hole to dig out of but the guys did. They worked hard,” said head coach and general manager Dale Hladun.

He added he was proud of the team’s resilience, especially with the team missing Darian Long who couldn’t make the trip due to a stomach ulcer and captain Kolby Page being injured in the first period with a broken rib. The two injuries forced the Wranglers to play with three lines of forwards. Garrett Hunter, a defenceman from Qualicum Beach, was also hurt late in that game.

Hladun noted defenceman Quinn Mulder had a good game, as well as forwards Harley Bootsma, Cody Barnes and Jackson Kowblick.

“There were a lot of good signs out of our game in Beaver Valley. So what made me happy was the way the kids pushed back. They didn’t want to be measured by that game on Friday.”

The team headed across the border to take on the Spokane Braves, again only putting out three lines of forwards and six defencemen.

“We put Caelan back in net and I just wanted Caelan to get back on the horse and I know it would have bothered him just how that game [against Beaver Valley] went,” said Hladun. “At the end of the game, the players pick a player of the game out of our own group and the boys chose Caelan. So that just proves we made the decision bringing him here and he’s a good goaltender.”

The game against the Spokane Braves resulted in a 5-2 win for the Canadian team, with goals scored by Quinn Mulder (his third in as many games), Kowblick and Bootsma.

“The boys outplayed Spokane right from the drop of the puck to the end of the game. All three lines did very good and a lot of good character, a lot of perseverance.

Hladun said it was a good road trip overall, despite the many hours the team had to sit on the bus for.

“The kids got to know each other a little bit more. We juggled up who hangs out with who in the hotel rooms. There was singing and talking and fun stuff on the bus. I enjoyed what I heard.

The Spokane arena staff had a little trouble with their Zamboni causing a late start, so the Wranglers didn’t end up leaving Washington until somewhere between 10:30 and 11 p.m. and didn’t arrive back in 100 Mile House until 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Hladun said due to the long bus rides (to and from) the weekend was full of team building.

As for injuries, Darian Long was skating this weekend and might play on the weekend against Chase Heat (Sept. 27) and Creston Valley Thunder Cats (Sept. 28). However, he is more unsure of Page, and doesn’t want to rush the forward on his recovery.

“He’s such a cowboy. For him, pain is something to expect. My concern is that you never know how exactly hurt they are and Kolby just seems invincible but I don’t want it to turn into a nagging injury or a nagging injury for the rest of his life. We’re certainly monitoring him. I don’t sense he’ll be playing this weekend or for some time. We got to make sure the doctor gives us the go-ahead first.

Describing Chase Heat as the club’s archrival, Hladun seemed more intrigued about the game against Creston, who have won all four of their opening games so far, and have two players in the top five for league scoring, Carson Small (10) and Josh Dalquist (9).

Hladun also praised their head coach and general manager, Nick Redding, for his recruitment efforts.

Hosting Creston at home, fans of the Wranglers will at least see two new faces in the club’s colours due to Hladun’s recruitment efforts of his own.

The two players are coming into town from Saskatchewan, Brandt Fiske and Kyler Opp.

Hladun described Fiske as a hard-working player who is tenacious on the forecheck.

“I sense fans will love watching him play, quite a character kid and a real gamer.”

Opp is a defenceman, coming from the Nipawin Hawks in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. According to Hladun, Opp loves to finish hits and fills the mould the Wranglers are trying to establish.

100 Mile House Wranglers

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Grants for assistance extinguished for independent fire departments within Cariboo Regional District

Ten fire departments will be impacted, CRD-funded and managed fire departments will not be impacted

Bighorn sheep undergoing COVID-like test

‘If only the bighorn sheep knew to socially-distance from their domestic cousins’

Dynamic Reforestation tree planters donate $8,400 to Cariboo food banks

‘Right now I have almost 90 workers in the 100 Mile District’

From the archives of the 100 Mile Free Press

40 YEARS AGO (1980): Local members of the British Columbia Government Employees… Continue reading

Disaster recovery resources available for CRD residents impacted by flooding

Deadline is Aug. 5, 2020 to apply for disaster financial assistance

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

‘Great Regional Air Hug’ being organized by the Vanderhoof International Airshow Society

A multi-aircraft flyover over the region is being planned for August 15.

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read