100 Mile House Wranglers lassoed a win from the Revelstoke Grizzlies Friday but were unable to notch a victory Saturday against the Osoyoos Coyotes.
The Wranglers took the Grizzlies into overtime on home ice, winning 4-3 after an intense and exciting game. They were humbled Saturday, however, when the Coyotes beat them 5-1.
“I thought playing Revelstoke on Friday night we had a game plan but I didn’t really see it come to fruition,” Coach Dale Hladun said.“Revelstoke stung us a few times but our goaltending certainly kept us in the game. By the third period, the guys got tired of running around in our own end and we started pinning guys low, chipping pucks to the middle and I was really happy with how we came back.”
The Wranglers began on the right foot against the Grizzlies Friday with an early goal by Ethan Sanders triggering the Wranglers’ Toque and Toe Toss. Dozens of scarves, toques, socks and other warm clothing rained down onto the ice as the arena celebrated, with Wrangler president Greg Aiken rushing to the rink to collect the donations.
This jubilation didn’t last, however, as Grizzly forward Bennett Khunlein rushed the Wranglers net, tying the game. Carter Bettenson followed up this momentum with a powerplay goal to wrap up the first period.
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The Grizzlies kept the pressure on as the second period began, widening their lead to two after Brady Augot slipped another puck past Wrangler goalie Loic Mainguy-Crepault. Nathan Bohmer kept the home team in the fight, however, with a goal in the third period bringing the score 3-2.
Neither team seemed able to gain an advantage during the final period. As the last minute of play began, Bohmer made a Hail Mary shot with the assistance of Finley Enns, tying the game. The South Cariboo Rec Centre erupted into wild cheers as the game went into overtime.
With that energy fueling him, Bohmer snagged the puck once more, racing down the ice to score the winning goal. As the crowd cheered the entire Wrangler team mobbed Bohmer.
“I was really happy for the kids to get a victory and that’s an important victory. Our goal is always to finish higher in the standings but there’s a good chance we’re going to finish fourth and there’s a good chance Revelstoke will finish first and they could be our first-round opponent, so that bodes well,” Hladun said.
Bohmer will be leaving the Wranglers this month after the Coquitlam Express Junior A team offered him a position. Hladun said he’s proud the program is already developing players for Junior A teams.
When they faced the Coyotes, Hladun said their gameplan was left by the wayside as four goals by the opposition went unanswered in the first period. However, he said the Wranglers settled in and played relentlessly as a team for the next two periods, answering the Coyotes’ next goal with one of their own.
Tyler Lalikeas was a key player against the Coyotes, Hladun noted. Usually a defenceman, Lalikeas volunteered to play forward when the offence was shorthanded and helped fill the gaps.
“I couldn’t be prouder even though we lost 5-1. Those kids played toe-to-toe with the Osoyoos Coyotes and that’s a good sign,” Hladun said. “We had three really bad periods this weekend and three pretty good ones to and all you can do is build off of that.”