Wranglers lose season opener to Chase Heat

Brayden Haskell takes a shot on Casey Thomson during the 100 Mile House Wrangler’s season-opening game on Saturday. Thomson went on to win player of the game after blocking 38 of 43 shots on net. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Brayden Haskell takes a shot on Casey Thomson during the 100 Mile House Wrangler’s season-opening game on Saturday. Thomson went on to win player of the game after blocking 38 of 43 shots on net. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
the 100 Mile House Wranglers’ Rylan Kent checks the Chase Heat’s James Poole to the ice during the season-opening game at the South Cariboo Rec Centre. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)the 100 Mile House Wranglers’ Rylan Kent checks the Chase Heat’s James Poole to the ice during the season-opening game at the South Cariboo Rec Centre. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
The 100 Mile House Wranglers takes to the ice at the South Cariboo Rec Centre. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)The 100 Mile House Wranglers takes to the ice at the South Cariboo Rec Centre. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Chase Heat player Aidan Brown takes a shot on net as 100 Mile House Wranglers goalie Casey Thomson defends the net. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Chase Heat player Aidan Brown takes a shot on net as 100 Mile House Wranglers goalie Casey Thomson defends the net. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Roger Daoust and his granddaughter Michaila Daust grab some snacks during the 100 Mile House Wranglers’ opening game. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Roger Daoust and his granddaughter Michaila Daust grab some snacks during the 100 Mile House Wranglers’ opening game. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Chase Pincott and Rowan Johnston were proud to be cheering for the 100 Mile House Wranglers. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Chase Pincott and Rowan Johnston were proud to be cheering for the 100 Mile House Wranglers. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Ken Meville and Nancy Meville snuggle under a quilt together during the 100 Mile House Wranglers’ opening game. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Ken Meville and Nancy Meville snuggle under a quilt together during the 100 Mile House Wranglers’ opening game. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
100 Mile House Wrangler Jace Myers looks for an opportunity to score a goal. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)100 Mile House Wrangler Jace Myers looks for an opportunity to score a goal. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
100 Mile House Wranglers Christain Gambler checks a Chase Heat player into the boards while Rory McNabb looks for the puck. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)100 Mile House Wranglers Christain Gambler checks a Chase Heat player into the boards while Rory McNabb looks for the puck. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Jace Myers lines himself up for the 100 Mile House Wranglers first goal of the 2021/2022 season. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Jace Myers lines himself up for the 100 Mile House Wranglers first goal of the 2021/2022 season. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Jace Myers (centre) celebrates both his and the 100 Mile House Wranglers first goal of the season. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Jace Myers (centre) celebrates both his and the 100 Mile House Wranglers first goal of the season. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Chase Heat’s James Poole braces to be checked by Rylan Kent during the 100 Mile House Wranglers’ opening game. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Chase Heat’s James Poole braces to be checked by Rylan Kent during the 100 Mile House Wranglers’ opening game. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Brayden Haskell of the Chase Heat fights 100 Mile House Wrangler Rylan Kent for control of the puck during their season-opening game on Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Brayden Haskell of the Chase Heat fights 100 Mile House Wrangler Rylan Kent for control of the puck during their season-opening game on Saturday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

The 100 Mile House Wranglers played hard but in the end, they were no match for the Chase Heat at Saturday night’s season opener.

The Wranglers lost 5-2 following a highly physical game that forced several team members to leave the ice with injuries. Coach Dale Hladun said Chase was a more structured team than his Wranglers’ and it showed on the ice.

“We knew we were going to be up against it right away. Chase has been going for a while and has played a lot of games already,” Hladun said. “I knew they’d be far more structured than us and it certainly showed. They had 12 guys in their lineup who have played (in the league) before compared to our one.”

Chase kept up the pressure throughout the game, with 43 shots on the Wranglers’ goalie Casey Thomson. There were no goals in the first period, but there was a lot of action in the second, with goals by Chase’s Lucas Ouelette and Keegan Pittendreigh quickly answered by 100 Mile.

“We got a couple of nice goals. Jace Myers got a nice goal and I thought Ethan Sanders, a local fella, got a beautiful goal as well,” Hladun said.

Although the Wranglers hit their stride in the second period, Hladun said his team’s youth and inexperience began to show in the third when they were unable to match three goals in quick succession by Chase’s Jacob Blensch, Aiden Brown and Matthew Poole.

The loss of several Wranglers due to injury meant he had only three lines of players and they were tired. Thomson, who kept the Wranglers alive, was named player of the game.

“The kids were disappointed we lost but I don’t want them to beat themselves up. We do have a lot of building to do,” Hladun said. “Sometimes it’s good to stub your toe on every piece of furniture because now you know where they all are in the room. I think they realized our d-zone coverage is not very good and our communication has to improve.”

Hladun said the Wranglers tend to be average at the start of the season but expects they will become real competitors by the end of October.

The opening game was also a good chance for the players to be introduced to the Wranglers Nation, Hladun said, which turned out in force for the game with more than 300 masked and vaccinated fans in attendance.

The Wranglers are back at the South Cariboo Rec Centre this Friday, playing against the Princeton Posse at 7 p.m.



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

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