The 100 Mile House Wranglers won’t have the chance to break their four-game losing streak this weekend.
The Wranglers’ away game Friday, Jan. 14 against the Kamloops Storm and their home game Saturday, Jan. 15 against the Sicamous Eagles were postponed Thursday due to COVID-19 protocols after several Wranglers tested positive for the virus. There is no word yet as to when the games will be rescheduled.
The Wranglers had hoped to redeem themselves following a losing streak that started Jan 2. when they were shut out 5-0 by the Eagles.
Wranglers coach Dale Hladun had hoped to light a fire in his players but the shut-out was followed by a hard-fought 3-4 loss to the Kamloops Storm on home ice Jan. 5 and two weekend losses to North Okanagan Knights 3-1 and Summerland Steam 6-2.
In the game against Kamloops, several of the Wranglers’ veteran players sat in the stands to observe as Hladun deployed associate players on the ice.
The coach remarked last week he planned to “shake things up” with a series of trades to bring some new faces into the team.
The first period of the game was largely quiet as the Kamloops and 100 Mile players took each other’s measure. With five minutes left in the period, Wranglers forward Solomon Oldham, with the help of Reid Stumpf, was able to slip the puck past Storm goalie Cody Creasey for the team’s first goal of 2022.
Throughout the game and especially in the second period, any momentum the Wranglers gained was stalled by their frequent penalties.
While they were successful in killing Kamloops’ powerplays, the Storm’s Kasey Jackson and Jayden Russell were both able to score on Wranglers’ goalie Casey Thomson.
On a powerplay early in the third period Jackson Altwasser was able to tie the game up for the Wranglers.
However, Kamloops soon followed up with a powerplay goal of their own, courtesy of Kyle Sanford.
With 10 minutes left in the third period, the Storm secured their lead and ultimately the win when Zakery Anderson put another point on the board.
Despite being down by two, the Wranglers stayed in the fight for the rest of the game. During a powerplay, Hladun gambled and pulled Thomson to get six men on the ice, ultimately allowing Kaden Ernst to score a goal with less than two minutes to go.
Even with the extra player, the Wranglers were unable to penetrate the Storm’s defenses for a second time and push the game into overtime.