Harley Bootsma playing against the Revelstoke Grizzlies earlier this season. (File photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Wranglers end season on a high note

The 100 Mile House Wranglers ended their regular season on a high note beating the Sicamous Eagles 6-3 in the latter’s arena on Feb. 22, after losing to Revelstoke 3-0 the day before.

“The rink was packed, I think it was just an exciting game the last time we were there, there was a quite the buzz in the community,” said head coach and general manager Dale Hladun, about the game in Revelstoke. “We lost 3-0 but I thought the boys put in a good effort.”

Hladun admitted that Revelstoke has one of the best powerplays in the league and was proud that his team only conceded one powerplay in four opportunities.

However, he said he also disagreed with officials on a decision over an incident that saw defenceman Eric Smith get a non-fighting game misconduct and a three-game suspension for kneeing. At best, he said, it was a two-minute penalty. His suspension will include the first two games of the playoffs.

Against Sicamous, the team just rolled four lines as a precaution for players with the flu or still nursing some bruises. Affiliate players were also featured, including Finley Enns.

“We may have to use him for the first round of the playoffs,” Hladun said of Enns, mentioning that he did a good job. “Overall, in the team, there is a lot of confidence. You look at how we’ve been playing I think we only have one regulation time loss in 10 games and that was against Revelstoke on Friday.”

He mentioned that a key player was Aidan Morrison, calling him dynamic on the back end and has been a leading force for the team in preparing them for the playoffs.

Kolby Page, the team’s captain, also officially played 200 games for the franchise against Sicamous.

“I think every season has its successes,” said Hladun about how he rates the Wranglers’ 2019-20 season. “This group of guys has been as tight as a group as we’ve ever had. I liked the camaraderie amongst the men. There is a focus. Perhaps we could have won more games during the year but I think looking back we had to play physically to learn who we are. I think the boys did exactly what they needed to do – they used the regular season like practice. They honed their skills, they tightened as a group… I’m really happy with the season.”

He added that he feels like by the end of the playoffs, the team will be the talk of the KIJHL.

The Wranglers will start the playoffs away against the Chase Heat on Feb. 28 and Feb. 29 at the Art Holding Memorial Arena. After those two games, the Wranglers will return to 100 Mile House and face the Heat on March 2 and March 3.


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