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100 Mile House Wranglers look to the future now that season is over

“I sense that we may have only half a dozen of guys back”
Kevin Fillier of the Wranglers and Revelstoke’s David Lenzin (91) fight for the puck in the Wranglers end during Game 7 KIJHL playoff action. The Revelstoke Grizzlies eliminated the 100 Mile House Wranglers after beating them 4-1 to advance to the Okanagan/ Shuswap Conference Final. Marissa Tiel photo.

The 100 Mile House Wranglers took the Doug Birks Divisional leaders to Game 7 in the second round of the playoffs but ultimately fell 4-1 away in Revelstoke, who will now go one to face the Osoyoos Coyotes in the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference final. The winner will take on the Kimberley Dynamiters or the Nelson Leafs in the championship.

“That was one of the few games where weirdly enough we outshot them and we couldn’t score. We had chances but it was just not enough, it wasn’t going our way,” said Dale Hladun, head coach and general manager. “We’re not happy with the loss but I can say I’m happy that the effort was there and the guys were trying to win that thing.”

Despite missing out on more playoff action the general manager and head coach of the club, Dale Hladun, said the club had a good year and was proud of the boys.

“We had a bit of a funk in December but I thought we were a premier team and it’s nice to see that we’re getting quality kids to continue to come to 100 Mile and it says a lot for our program,” he said, adding all the pieces in the organization from billets to trainers and the community make the club successful.

The team’s biggest win of the season was 11-1 against North Okanagan Knights on Nov. 19, while their biggest loss was at the hand of the team that kicked them out of the playoffs, Revelstoke on Jan. 20. The score was 9-1.

Joel Patsey, a defenceman with the team who gathered four accolades this year including the Fan’s Favourite and Rookie of the Year awards, said the team’s most defining moment was Game 6 of the series against the Revelstoke Grizzlies on March 12.

“The team never got tired and we kept pushing and then our chance came for us and we scored to push for another game, I think it just sums up our year,” said Patsey. “We had an up and down year, we started off good at the start of the year, we were first in the division at one point and went down a skid in December. We kept pushing and we were able to regroup and get a good finish to the season.”

The game went to three periods of overtime before Julien Dewey scored the winner.

Hladun will be on the road in British Columbia and Alberta on scoutings trips looking for players to fill the void of those ageing out such as Jakob Severson, Justin Bond and Kolten Carpenter. Some players will be moving on to Junior A leagues such as the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) or the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL).

“We’re going to have to fill a lot of holes. I sense that we may have only half a dozen of guys back. You know, guys are either moving on with life or moving on to play,” he said.

He is also actively shopping his players around to higher level leagues and disclosed that he is trying to get defencemen Nolan Parr and Kevin Fillier onto a junior A team in the prairies and thinks forward Frazer Dodd has a good chance to stick with the Merritt Centennials in the BCHL.

Some players will also be going on to continue their hockey careers while studying in university or college. According to Hladun, James Gordon is going to Trinity Western, Jakob Severson is going to Simon Fraser University and Travis Gook will be attending Grant McEwan in Alberta, though it is unclear if they will actually be playing hockey there but Hladun said he is doing what he can to help get them on the schools’ respective rosters.

Some of the players are still a wild card, with them still contemplating their futures.

Kolby Page, a forward, has been with the team for three seasons and has scored 36 points in 115 games, hopes to make a transition into Junior A.

The 18-year-old Vanderhoof native is hoping to join his older brother, Tate, at the Kindersley Kippers in the SJHL. He attended a camp for the team, based 200 kilometres southwest of Saskatoon, at the beginning of this season and was invited back.

He’s hoping on to moving on to a higher level of play but had nothing but plaudits for 100 Mile House and the Wranglers. “The fanbase is awesome, it’s a really good organization. Duner (Hladun) is great for moving people off. It was really fun in 100 Mile.”

About the Author: Brendan Jure

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