The Sylvan Lake Wranglers Junior B. Hockey team had a rough weekend with two defeats against the Airdrie Techmation Thunder Dec. 10 and Dec. 11 as part of the Heritage Junior Hockey League regular-season game.
“The Wranglers took to the road Friday and looked to continue their winning ways when they visited the Airdrie Techmation Thunder. With a 17-3-1 record and winners of their last seven games, the Wranglers were favourites heading into the weekend. “The Thunder got on the scoresheet first when Joey Haden scored just over four minutes into the first period. A few minutes later, Airdrie extended their lead with a goal from Dace Carlson. Brandt Grimeau and Zachary Jones drew assists on the goal. Grimeau would add to the lead with four minutes left in the period on an assist from Carlson. The penalty box was a hotspot in the second period as both teams registered 29 minutes in penalties during the second frame.
“The Thunder were able to take advantage of one of their three second-period powerplays. Dylan Westlake had the powerplay tally on assists from Jeremy Jobin and Brett LeGrandeur. Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the third period despite both having three powerplays, as the march to the box continued. This was just the first time the Wranglers were shut out this season,” said Brandon Goody, Wranglers team board of directors.
From the coaches to the players, Airdrie was the better team, said the Wranglers head coach Pat Garrity.
“They came at us and we didn’t match their intensity or desire,” said Garrity, adding, “They entered our zone and exited their zone with relative ease. The Wranglers would look to rebound the following night at home against the Thunder.”
Saturday’s rematch against the Thunder offered the Wranglers a chance for redemption in front of their home crowd, said Goody. “However, the Wranglers did not do themselves any favours and continued their uncharacteristic behaviour of taking penalties. Kolby James got the Thunder on the board first with the man advantage, 5:51 into the first period. Trey Stovin and Luke Jensen collected assists on the goal. Matthew MacDonald scored just two minutes later to increase the Thunder lead. Dace Carlson and Justin Legrandeur picked up assists.
“The Wranglers would try to claw back some momentum in the second period on the back of a Brandt Seland power-play goal. Payton Wright and Cole Muir added the assists.”
Airdrie answered right back and killed the Wranglers momentum just two minutes later.
“Joey Haden was able to get one past Wranglers Netminder Peyton Lobe. Justin Legrandeur produced his second assist of the game. The Wranglers struggled to put pressure on in the third period, only registering four shots on the net. It was all Airdrie in the third. Trey Stovin helped Airdrie pull away on a powerplay marker at 12:16. Jeremy Jobin and Dylan Westlake picked up points on the play. Kolby James would bookend the affair with just over four minutes left on an assist from John Haden,” said Goody.
The rough weekend marks the first time the Wranglers have dropped back-to-back games, said Goody. The Wranglers secure second place in the Heritage Junior Hockey League’s (HJHL) North division with 17-5-1 (35 points).
The Wranglers will be playing the first place Conchrane Generals at the NexSource Centre Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. The Wranglers have one win and two losses against the Generals so far this season.
“This weekend was a learning moment for us. A little humility is good if you learn from it. We will be better prepared for Cochrane on Friday night,” said Wranglers Head Coach Pat Garrity.
Game tickets are available on the Wranglers website at www.sylvanlakewranglers.com, the Showpass app, or at the door.