During a timout the 100 Mile House Wranglers listen intently as coach Dale Hladun lays out their gameplan. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

During a timout the 100 Mile House Wranglers listen intently as coach Dale Hladun lays out their gameplan. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

100 Mile Wranglers in tough battle for playoff spot

Wranglers on multigame losing streak after bout with COVID-19

The 100 Mile House Wranglers will have to battle hard for a playoff spot after three losses on the road last weekend.

Coach Dale Hladun said a recent bout with COVID-19 took it out on the team, which had just one practice game last week before taking on back-to-back games against Revelstoke Friday and Saturday.

The team rallied hard in the first game against the Grizzlies Friday, but were unable to come up with a win, losing 4-2, followed by a 7-0 shutout on Saturday and a 1-0 loss to Sicamous Sunday.

“It was a tough weekend for the kids, it really was,” Hladun said, saying the players could only manage 40 minutes on the ice during practice. “You could see the energy kicked out of them playing three games in a row. That COVID really impacted the guys.”

Despite the losses, Hladun said there were a few “bright spots” over the weekend. Still missing a couple of players due to COVID, the Wranglers were able to bolster their lineup with Williams Lake affiliates Ethan Smid, who “was a good player for us,” Hladun said, and defenceman Boston Pierce.

Goaltender Loic Mainguy-Crepault also “continues to be a premier goaltender,” Hladun said, especially after goaltender Jesse Schindel aggravated his knee in the second period of the first game against Revelstoke.

“That was a lot of ask from him and he did a good job,” he said of Mainguy-Crepault.

The Wranglers, who have added forward Matteo Caputo to the lineup, were set to hit the road again Wednesday to face off against the Kamloops Storm Wednesday night before welcoming Chase to the South Cariboo Rec Centre Friday and heading to Sicamous Saturday. They only have one home game in the next nine days.

“We have an uphill battle now. We’re five points out of playoff spot,” Hladun said, adding the team is “trying hard.

“We can only do what we can do. It’s tough. The good thing is we have a lot of head-to-head games with Sicamous. If we can beat them, we have a chance. But every game is important.”



kelly.sinoski@100milefreepress.net

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