They lost back-to-back games last week but the 100 Mile House Wranglers won some valuable experience.
Coach Dale Hladun said despite a 3-1 loss to the Chase Heat on the road last Friday and a 3-0 shutout at home by Kelowna Chiefs Saturday, his players are getting good practice playing stronger teams.
“We’re still trying to create a structure for our team. I’ve been stressing skill development and practice more than systems,” Hladun said. “I think we need that skill development before we can run a really good system. The kids are moving the right way and I’m happy with that.”
Saturday’s game marked the first time Cory Castonguay was the Wrangler’s primary goalie on home ice. While the Chiefs were able to score two early goals in the first period, Hladun said Castonguay held his ground in the next two periods. The Chiefs scored their third goal on an empty net late in the third period as Hladun pulled Castonguay to capitalize on a power play.
For his efforts, Castonguay received player of the game.
Hladun said another standout player from the weekend was Nathan Bohmer, a young forward called upon to play defence in both games who did a “spectacular job.”
“I thought we outplayed Kelowna late in the game,” Hladun said.
“Hockey isn’t always about wins but it’s about ‘are you better than yesterday?’ You can’t beat yourself up on losses in the same way you can’t be celebrating hard on wins, we got to stay the course.”
Hladun is optimistic for upcoming games against the Kamloops Storm Friday with the return of players like Tyler Lalikeas, Solomon Oldham, Reid Stumpf and Colton Thon to the ice.
The Wranglers will host the Storm on Tuesday, Oct. 26 at the South Cariboo Rec Centre.