The 100 Mile House Wranglers of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League are on a three-game undefeated streak after beating the Chase Heat 4-1 on Nov. 5, the Grand Forks Border Bruins 5-4 on Nov. 8 and drawing with the Osoyoos Coyotes 2-2 on Nov. 9.
The 5-4 victory against the Border Bruins came in overtime, with defenceman Quinn Mulder scoring the winner. It was Mulder’s fifth goal and 12th point of the season. Mulder also had a three-point game, assisting on two goals.
“Grand Forks is a very tough building to play in due to its smaller ice surface. It’s generally a scrambly game in that facility. That being said, the Bruins have built a good club to play in their home rink. They work very hard and make good quick passes on their powerplay, plus they know exactly where to dump pucks in opponents zone to get good bounces on attacks,” said Dale Hladun, general manager and head coach of the Wranglers.
Other goals came from Tristan Williams (his first point of the season), Kaden Dempsey (2), and Darian Long.
Jordan Wilde was in net for the Wranglers. The 19-year-old Kelowna native faced 47 shots, saving 43 of them. His performance allowed him to win his fifth game of the season and the Wranglers’ ninth.
“The game was tight for the most part and our goaltender, Jordan Wilde, was his typical magnificent self in making key saves throughout the game,” said Hladun.
Dempsey, who scored two goals in the game, received a five-minute major for checking from behind and was given a three-game suspension. However, videotape was sent to the KIJHL office for review, and it was determined Dempsey was pushed into the opponent and the hit was not intentional. The suspension was rescinded.
“Saturday night we faced an excited club that gained confidence in attaining their first win of the season the evening prior against the Kamloops Storm. It must be noted that Osoyoos has been in many one-goal games and they are certainly a more competitive club than their record states.”
As for the Coyotes game, goals were scored by Williams (scoring his second goal in as many games) and Cody Barnes, his fifth of the season. Harley Bootsma, Mulder and Aidan Morrison got assists during the game. Both goals were in the first period, with Jordan Wood of the Coyotes scoring in the second period and Blake Astorino levelling it up in the third period, bringing the game to overtime. Nobody managed to score in the five minutes of overtime, ending the game in a draw.
Hladun noted that late in the first period, an Osoyoos player tried to engage Bootsma into a fight by shaking his gloves at him. However, nothing came out of it. In the second period, the challenge was repeated and this time Harley obliged.
“The Coyote immediately turtled as Harley was winning the scrap. Meanwhile, two Coyotes jumped on Harley to start a full line skirmish. Once again, the officials were confused about who took penalties etc., to the point of asking for players’ numbers that they said were in the battle. One player asked for was on our bench the whole time and the other player wasn’t even dressed to play in the game as he was in the stands. Obviously, throughout this confusion, we were disappointed in the way penalties were handed out and we have to kill a seven-minute penalty which allowed Osoyoos to get on the game sheet.”
Wilde continued his good form between the pipes, saving all but two of 34 shots. He was named as the Wranglers’ player of the game.
Overall, Hladun said the club had a good weekend, collecting three points out of a possible four.
“We now have a five-game homestand and the kids have been playing well at home. We are currently 5-2-1 in our last eight games.”