The 100 Mile House Wranglers are currently sitting in first place of the Doug Birks Division with 11 points after splitting home-a-away weekend games with the Chase Heat, which is one point behind in the standings.
Justin Bond (James Gordon, Brevin Gervais) scored a power-play goal at 9:16 of the first period on Sept. 30. Bond is tied with Gordon and Frazer Dodd in team scoring with eight points.
With his first goal as a Wrangler, Eric Tigges (Colton Thomas and Travis Gook) extended the lead to 2-0 at 8:26.
Chase closed the gap to 2-1 with 34 seconds left in the period.
Dodd (Austin Turner, Mitch Turko) extended the Wranglers lead to 3-1 at 13:35 of the second stanza.
Chase got one back eight minutes later, but Dodd (Riley Coish, Turner) got his second at 3:17, which gave the Wranglers a 4-2 lead going into the third period.
From there, it was all Chase on the score board with two markers in the third and the overtime winner.
Dodd picked up the game star for the Wranglers.
Coach/general manager Dale Hladun says he’s happy with the skill level of the club, “the effort level is “pretty decent and the character level is outstanding.”
“So, it comes down to structure and we’re just not working enough on that yet. We’re working a lot of skills and a little bit on line rushes and so on.
“We’re going to have our moments where we’re going to [get on a roll] and explode and run the show, but the defensive zone coverage will wander or we’ll take silly penalties. It is what it is, but Chase is a good club. “Obviously, that game could have gone either way.”
Rocky road to Chase
On the way to Chase the next day, the Wranglers bus broke down in Valleyview outside of Kamloops, so they had to find a bus to charter and finally got one thanks to folks in Kamloops.
“Kudos to the kids for dealing with a little bit of adversity before the game even started.
“We were an hour late for the game, and when we walked in the arena, [the Heat] started warming up while we were putting on skates. The boys got out there and they [won].”
Both teams showed the potent offensive skills with the Heat firing 47 shots at Wranglers goalie Brendan Henderson who was the game’s star for the 100 Mile House squad.
The Wranglers replied with 45 shots on Heat goalie Zak Larson who was the game’s star for the Heat.
100 Mile House went one for 12 on the power play, while Chase scored twice on five power-play opportunities.
Wrangler goals came from Gordon (Bond, Rob Raju), Turko (Gordon) and Bond (Gordon, Todd Bredo).
Noting it was a chippy game between two teams that hate each other, Hladun says he was happy with the effort but a little disappointed with the penalties.
“Henderson was huge for us. He played an amazing game and he showed why he’s going to be one of the up-and-comers in our league. He made three or four game savers for us late in the game.”
The Wranglers next home game is against the Kelowna Chiefs on Oct. 15 at 7 p.m.