The Wranglers seemed to have improved for this weekend’s outings compared to recent performances.
On Friday, Jan. 24 they faced the Kamloops Storm in 100 Mile House. A loss would have seen the Storm overtake the Wranglers in the division (although the Wranglers have still played one fewer game). The game was one of total domination. In the first period, the Wranglers managed to find the back of the net three times, twice at the hands of Darian Long and once at the hands of Harley Bootsma. The second period saw the Wranglers go up 4-0 with a goal by Cody Barnes before Storm managed to net a goal themselves. Darian Long and Aidan Morrison grew the lead to 6-1 before the end of the period.
In the third period, one goal for both the Wranglers and the Storm finished the game at 7-2 in favour of the home team. The Wranglers only took four penalties in total, a drop from recent games.
The Wranglers completely outshot the away team with 100 Mile’s Jordan Wilde facing 22 shots to 46 shots for Kamloops’ Ethan Paulin-Hatch.
The next game against the Revelstoke Grizzlies on Jan. 25, despite being a loss, had plenty to be optimistic about. Revelstoke are the division leaders, eliminated the Wranglers from the playoffs last season and are arguably one of the tougher opponents.
The Wranglers fell behind in the first period but managed to tie it up in the second with a powerplay goal by Khale Skinner. Skinner struck again early in the third period putting the Wranglers ahead before Revelstoke struck three times with powerplay goals. 100 Mile’s Cory Loring managed to claw one back putting the score at 4-3 for the division leaders. With only 45 seconds left on the clock, the Wranglers didn’t manage to get an equalizer. In total, the Wranglers picked up eight penalties and the Grizzlies seven.
The game featured an outstanding performance by Wranglers goalie Jordan Wilde, who was named first star and managed to save 31 out of Revelstoke’s 35 shots. The three 100 Mile goals were off of a total of 22 shots.