This past weekend was another successful one for the Blackfalds Wranglers.
Last Sunday the Wranglers hosted the Strathmore Wheatland Kings and defeated them 9-5.
Last week, coach Sean Neumeier spoke of how the Wranglers were prone to ‘slow starts’ and falling behind early in the game. That was not the case this week at home as they began the game by scoring a 2-0 lead in the first.
However, overconfidence led the Wranglers to lose their lead within the same period.
While the Wranglers managed to tie the game 3-3 at the end of the first, Neumeier said they paid for their mistake.
“We kind of felt like it might be easy and then they came back hard on us and before we knew it we were down 3-2,” he said. “When you take a little bit of time off in a game, it costs you.”
The Wranglers realized their mistake quickly and spent the second period establishing a comfortable lead over the game.
In the second, it became apparent that Blackfalds’ offensive game was stronger than that of their opponents. While the strong Strathmore defense didn’t make it easy for the Wranglers to score, the Wheatland Kings couldn’t keep up with the aggressive style of Wranglers play.
By the end of the second, the Wranglers were well ahead of the Wheatland Kings with a score of 7-4. Once again, Neumeier commented on the ability of his team to come back from behind.
“They get themselves in trouble but they are really good at getting themselves out. They never really panic if we get down.”
In the third period, the Wranglers continued to control the game with their aggressive style of play and extend their lead.
Dominating the scoreboard in the third, the Wranglers ended the game with a score of 9-5 in their favour.
The majority of play in the second and third periods was spent in the Wrangler’s offensive end. Neumeier said the Wrangler’s have a strong offensive group and try to play everything on the net, making for a lot of shots on net each game. He said this may have given them an edge over the more defensive Strathmore team.
Once again, it was a fairly rough game at home for the Wranglers with lots of time being spent in the box by both teams, Blackfalds in particular. Neumeier said players will always get more careless and frustrated as score margins widen, but he said discipline might be something to work on with the Wranglers. “You don’t want to take that many penalties.”
Strathmore was not Blackfalds’ only victory this past weekend. On Oct. 10th, they traveled to Cochrane where they defeated the Cochrane Generals 4-1. Neumeier said the Wranglers played well in Cochrane and they showed great improvement in playing hard right from the start of the game.
While he admitted that last Sunday’s performance could have been more complete, Neumeier said the Wranglers played two great games of hockey over the weekend and just need to continue playing full games. “(Sunday) we had a little bit of lapse, but we were pretty solid then too.”