The 100 Mile Wranglers picked up four points last weekend (Sept. 23-24) with a 3-2 home victory over the Sicamous Eagles and 4-3 win over the North Okanagan Knights in their barn on Saturday.
They weren’t easy wins, though, as both victories came with some lessons for the Wranglers who are icing a much younger team.
Head coach and general manager Dale “Duner” Hladun is absolutely correct when he says this will be an exciting team to watch.
They have a lot of young guns who have great speed and play-making ability.
Noting the boys came out with a lot of energy against Sicamous, the coach says his boys outshot them handily but “didn’t bury many of the chances they had.”
He adds, however, the Eagles changed their style in the second and third periods and got back into the game in the third with two goals after giving up a 3-0 lead.
“We’re still, in my opinion, playing pond hockey as a team. That’s not a slight against our kids; it’s just we haven’t worked a lot at structure in the D zone or forechecking and that’s going to be our focus this week.
Hladun notes they started the season by practising a lot of skills and people can see that by the way the players pass the puck.
Now, he adds, the coaches are stressing “structure” to get the players to where the team is going to play.
He adds the game against the Knights was similar to the Sicamous tilt as the Wranglers threw the puck around well and had a good transition game, but they fell short on the defensive part of the game and came up short on penalty killing.
“There are chinks in the armor but that is on me because we have work on them yet. But, it’s coming along nicely.”
The Wranglers host the Chase Heat on Oct. 1 for a home-and-away weekend. The puck drops at the South Cariboo Rec. Centre at 7 p.m.