What started out as a dream for Tom Bachynski, Rick Takagi, Bill Forman and others to have a Junior B hockey team in 100 Mile House, became a reality in December.
Bachynski, who is president of the 100 Mile House Wranglers Junior B Hockey Club, got the good news that 100 Mile’s purchase of the Penticton Lakers was approved by the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) board of governors on Dec. 6.
He was ecstatic about the purchase going through, and called it an early Christmas present.
However, 2012 was a bumpy roller-coaster ride of emotions for Bachynski and the club’s directors.
They were on a huge high at the beginning of the year, as it looked like the Wranglers were going to buy the KIJHL’s Revelstoke Grizzlies franchise. The club was having some difficulties and it looked like Junior B hockey was coming to 100 Mile.
However, the community rallied around the Grizzlies and former majority owner Michael Roberts, who Bachynski was dealing with, sold his shares to Lew Hendrickson who applied to keep the club in Revelstoke.
On May 6, the KIJHL board of governors gave Hendrickson approval to operate the team in Revelstoke.
Bachynski, who attended the meeting, said he was peeved at the way the board handled the takeover, but was pleased he was able to meet the governors face-to-face.
Obviously, the Wranglers president was extremely disappointed and said he would want confirmation from the KIJHL board that it would seriously consider inviting 100 Mile into the league before he would take another run at it.
Obviously, that confirmation arrived and the Wranglers were given an invitation to make a bid to take over the Penticton Lakers in the fall.
Eventually, the league’s board of directors voted 15-2 in favour of accepting the Wranglers proposal, and the congratulatory phone call came was made on Dec. 6
After a couple of days of jubilation, it was time for Bachynski, the club’s directors and group of volunteers to get down to work.
It wasn’t long before the Wranglers got a dry run at what it would be like to have home games at the South Cariboo Rec. Centre. The club hosted a KIJHL regular season game between the Kamloops Storm and the Penticton Lakers on Jan. 11.
The stands were full, the Lakers won a fast-skating, hard-hitting entertaining hockey game 3-1.
The Wranglers directors and volunteers left the arena with big grins on their faces, knowing things bode well for Junior B hockey in 100 Mile House.