Blackfalds Wranglers 3 – 6 Morinville Kings
The Blackfalds Wranglers had a difficult task squaring off against the NCHL leading Morinville Kings – especially down some key players.
“The two or three players that were missing today were a big difference for our team. That’s the way it is in in senior hockey — you don’t get everyone out all the time,” Assistant Coach Brian Lenz said.
The Wranglers, despite being shorthanded, would play their northern rival fairly even but a early third period slump would ultimately lead to 6-3 Kings win.
“We lost the game in about five minutes during the third period. We gave up three goals and just died for that few minutes. Other than that, we played pretty well,” Lenz said.
Blackfalds thoroughly outplayed Morinville in the second period but a beautiful goal by Jordan Denesuik — his second of the game — would take the wind out of the Wrangler sails.
“That has been a bit our problem all year. We gave up one to Daysland with 0.6 seconds left in the first period the other night and we did the same thing in Devon. That last minute has always been a problem for us for some reason. I don’t know why but we are young and it is a learning experience,” Lenz said.
Adam Wilson, Mikey Mantello, Kyle Harris and Jordan Pelletier would round out the Kings score sheet.
Michael McAdam would score for the Wranglers and Ian Kirk would score two — one of which came really late in the game when Blackfalds tried to make a push.
It is our first year. We are competing and we are pretty pleased with the progress we have made. At the start of the year, it didn’t look like we were going to amount to much and then in the last while the guys have put it together,” Lenz said.
He added if they didn’t have their third period slump, the game would likely be 4-3 either way.
The Wranglers now hit the road to take on the AA Lacombe Generals on Dec. 21 at 8 p.m.
Lenz hopes to get a full 60 minutes out of his squad.
“There will be a rivalry over the years once it sets and that is good. It is good for crowds and good for our teams,” he said.