The Blackfalds Wranglers had a successful game against the Ponoka Stampeders Tuesday evening at the Blackfalds Arena, where they won with a score of 9-2.
The Wranglers added another win to their stats, bringing their total to 18 wins and a single loss in an overtime shootout.
This season they are currently first in the Heritage Junior Hockey League.
Coach Brian Lenz said the team has been working hard for their achievements and he wishes they had a little more of a challenge, so that they could build their skills.
“Sometimes we wish we had a little more competition. It would probably be better for the guys to lose the odd one, but they’ve been playing well. They were strong last year and we’ve got most of our guys back so that makes a difference, too. They’ve just come together as a strong team,” said Lenz.
Within the first period, Wranglers players scored four goals with Stampeders scoring none. During this time, the Wranglers offensive players were able to take 24 shots on the Stampeders goaltender, with the Stamps hardly able to get a hold of the puck and only taking six shots on their opponent’s net.
By the end of the second period, the Stampeders were able to score two goals, with the Wranglers scoring another four.
“Our offence is really good. We’ve been working on trying to keep goals out of our net, trying to keep it down below two. Most of the time we can do that, but sometimes we get a little careless.
“They’ve been working hard. There were 60 shots or something tonight against Ponoka – we very seldom get under 40 shots. It’s hard to not have good offence when you’re getting that many shots.”
The scoring players on the Wranglers were Bryce Boguski with two goals, Wally Samson with two goals, Bryce Marshall with two goals, Andrew McLennan with one goal, Robin Carlson with one goal and Jordan Jakubow with one goal. Trent Hermary was noted as having four assists.
Throughout the game, several fights broke out resulting in multiple penalties, some minor injuries to players on both teams and a number of players being sent off the ice for the remainder of the game.
There were several calls for cross-checking and misconduct.
Lenz said it was unusual for his team to scrap but after repeated jabs in the first and second period by the Stampeders, he felt that the team warranted their response.
“This is the worst game we’ve played all year (in regards to fighting). Ponoka thought that they could rough us up a bit and we had to retaliate,” said Lenz.
“We had a wild night out in Stettler a couple of nights back (lots of fighting) and we held the guys back, so today we thought we better let them go. We had a few injuries out there, which didn’t really play out well for us as we tried to hold (Ponoka) back. The guys are fine now. It took us two periods before we started fighting back. We decided that we couldn’t do that anymore – you’ve got to hammer back sometimes.”
The Wranglers have had a successful season so far and will face the Airdrie Thunder on Dec. 5th in Airdrie.
Lenz said the team will have a little more of a challenge with Airdrie, as they had to fight a little harder to secure a win the last time the two teams played each other. He added that they would continue with their strategy of taking as many shots as possible and keeping the puck away from their goal.
“To keep winning is the strategy for the rest of the season.”