The 100 Mile House Wranglers got off to a sluggish start in game 2 of the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference championship playoffs, and it cost them dearly – a 2-1 defeat.
The Summerland Steam’s Jarrett Malchow (Riley Pettitt, Calvin Hadley) got one by Wranglers goalie Zane Steeves 30 seconds into the first frame, and it seemed to take the wind out of the 100 Mile House players’ sails.
The Steam went up two nothing when Paulsen Lautard (Jack Mills) found the back of the nest at 7:39 in the first.
Wrangler Justin Bond (Todd Bred, Nick McCabe) cut the lead in half at 10:51 of the second, but that was the end of the scoring for both teams.
Wranglers coach Dale Hladun says says he didn’t mind the team’s overall effort.
“We started a little to confident and a little flat-footed early and Summerland had a little more jump in their step because a bit of a rest.
“They capitalized early, but once things settled in, we did a lot of things right except to score goals. i think we pushed back and took charge in the second half.”
He notes moving Michael Lynch back on defence helped the team again because of his ability to move the puck and to set up plays.
The Wranglers travel to Summerland for game 3 and 4 on March 18-19, and the 100 Mile boys need to get a win to maintain home ice advantage.
Hladun is already on record as saying the conference finals is going to be a long, tough haul.
“I think it’s going to be a long series. We’re going to lose games but we’re not going to lose four of them.”
The Wranglers coach says the only lineup change he’s going to make is Adam Derochie is going to start in goal for game 5.
“We have to great goalies, so Derochie can win big games for us and it give [Zane] Steeves an opportunity to stay fresh.”
Game 5 will be in 100 Mile House at the South Cariboo Rec. Centre, starting at 7 p.m.