The Sylvan Lake Wranglers took to the ice on in their first pre-season games Sept. 9 and 10 against the Beaumont Chiefs – one game away and one game at home.
Pat Garritty, head coach for the Wranglers, said the team brought home wins in both games, but he wasn’t concerned about winning and losing at this point. The Wranglers are still narrowing down their roster and these pre-season games are another way to evaluate potential players.
“We got the win, but we were looking at different players and different situations and seeing what they can bring to the team,” Garritty explained.
In the first game on Sept. 9, which was played in Beaumont, there was a new face in the net and he did not disappoint.
“Our rookie goaltender, Kaden Toussaint, was outstanding with a 42-save shutout,” said Garritty. The final score for that game was 6-0 for the Wranglers.
Saturday’s game showed a lot of progress.
“It was a great game,” Garritty said. “It was a quicker, faster pace than Friday. Both teams had a more veteran line up.” The final score for Saturday’s game was 3-2 for the Wranglers.
“Score aside, we saw a lot of positive things,” Garritty said. “I think we’re kind of right where we want to be. Our goal isn’t to be the best team in September, our goal is to be the best team leading into playoffs.”
Garritty said the next few games coming up will help the coaching staff decide who officially makes the team.
“We have some tough decisions to make.”
The Wranglers play in Wetaskiwin on Friday, Sept. 16 and then at home at the NexSource Centre on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 2:45 p.m. The team will play two more away games before the home opener game to kick off the season on Friday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. Admission is $5 or a non-perishable food donation for the Sylvan Lake Community Food Bank.