Wranglers cut down by Copperheads in series championship

Next up for the team is the provincial tournament over the Easter weekend

The two top teams in the Heritage Junior Hockey League, the Blackfalds Wranglers and the Coaldale Copperheads, faced off last week in a championship game that Coaldale ultimately won.

 

The Copperheads finished the game with a score of 4-1, after a scrappy three periods with intense participation from both teams. Coaldale Head Coach Derek Wiest was proud of his team.

 

“It’s an unbelievable feeling. These guys battle so hard all year – it’s a much-deserved championship. To beat a team that had such a great record three games in a row –it’s just an unbelievable feeling right now and I can’t express it,” he said.

 

Tension was palpable in the arena and visible amongst the players. Several fights broke out on the ice, a few penalties were given and some aggressive checking was put forth. Although the Wranglers tried hard to maintain control of the puck, they were thwarted by the Coaldale goalie and intense energy of the Copperheads.

 

Wiest said the championship title was a lot of work and he truly felt his team deserved to win.

 

“We always kind of build for the playoffs all season long. We just try to play a simple game, keeping to our structure and our systems, and getting pucks deep. We get on the fore-checking and just battle hard. I thought our guys did a great job of doing that. I’m super happy.”

 

As the scoreboard buzzer sounded, a rush of cheers and release of energy was felt throughout the arena. The Copperheads threw their gear about the ice in excitement, and were eager to hoist their championship cup.

 

For the Wranglers, the game had not ended in victory but Coach Sean Neumeler was still proud of the team and said they would re-focus their sights on the upcoming provincial tournament.

 

“(The Copperheads) are a great team and we knew they were going to be tough. We didn’t play very well the first game against them – they deserved to win that. Down south, they won on their home ice like they’re supposed to,” he said.

 

“We came back home and we played really well tonight – really well. I think we got burned a bit and their goalie really helped them out. That’s what happens when you can’t score, and it was one of those nights. I was still proud of the guys and how they played. I really was.”

 

Last year the Wranglers lost the league final to the Okotoks Bisons but were still able to proceed to provincials. Neumeler said although the loss stings, it is nothing to dwell on or seriously worry about because the team still has a bigger picture to focus on – provincials.

 

“Provincials takes place over Easter weekend. It’s a long tournament so we’ve got to be ready. If you don’t win two of your first three games, you’re out,” he said.

 

“Those first three games are huge so we’re going to start with those and then if we can, continue. I wouldn’t change a lot from tonight; I just hope that we can get through the net when we get up to Stony Plain.”

 

The Wranglers finished the regular season with a record of 34 wins, two losses and two ties. They were the top scoring team in the Heritage Junior league with 70 points.

 

kmendonsa@lacombeexpress.com

 

 

 

Just Posted

Lacombe Police Service requests help finding missing person

Melissa Oswell was last seen on May 15th, after walking away from a health facility in Lacombe

Lacombe Composite High School students win gold at Skills Alberta Competition

Camryn Grant and Ben Rainforth will represent Team Alberta at Nationals in Halifax

Lacombe Police joins in on Canada Road Safety Week

1,841 motor vehicle fatalities and 9,960 serious injuries due to motor vehicle collisions in 2017

City of Lacombe council highlights – May 13, 2019

The next scheduled Regular Council Meeting is on May 27th

Social justice at the forefront at Father Lacombe Catholic School

Charity projects highlight Catholic Education Week

VIDEO: LCHS Hair Massacure supports children’s charities

Event supports kids living with cancer

Authorities warn out-of-control wildfire could cut northern Alberta town’s electricity

Alberta Transportation has closed Highway 35 south of High Level due to the fire

‘Rope-a-dope’: Environmentalists say Alberta war room threat won’t distract them

Those against Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aren’t worried about promise to fight critics of energy industry

Almost $13 million to be paid to Grande Prairie hospital subcontractors, others

No reasons for the Court of Queen’s Bench order were released

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Speed, alcohol considered factors in deadly Calgary crash: police

Two female passengers in the Corolla, aged 31 and 65, died at the scene

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

‘What’s your number?’: Advocates urge Canadians to check their blood pressure

May 17 is World Hypertension Day, marked to spread awareness on the risks of high blood pressure

National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day is May 18

Alberta RCMP participates in Canada Road Safety Week during Victoria Day long weekend

Most Read