Wranglers round up Vipers
Curtis Rangen of the Blackfalds Wranglers keeps the puck away from Logan Linnell of the Red Deer Vipers during Heritage Junior B action at the Blackfalds Multi-plex Arena on Tuesday night. The Wranglers defeated the Vipers 6-2. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)
The Blackfalds Wranglers are standing a little more surely atop the Heritage Junior Hockey League standings after battling it out with their Central Albertan rivals Tuesday night.
The Wranglers dropped the Red Deer Vipers 6-2 at the Blackfalds Multi-Plex Arena, staying on top of the north division. The Vipers are third and Airdrie is second. Blackfalds has games in hand on both teams.
“That was a big, big win. You look at the standings - they’re only three (points) back from us so it adds a little separation with games in hand. That was a huge two points for us,” said Wranglers Head Coach Sean Neumeier.
It was a chippier game than most, with a revolving door on the penalty box, but the Wranglers came out as the more disciplined team, capitalizing three times on the powerplay.
Landon Siegle opened the scoring just two minutes into the opening frame, followed by a Bronson Spearing goal nine minutes later to take a 2-0 lead into the second period.
Braden Olsen scored eight minutes in with the man advantage, before the Vipers’ Dalton Angeltvedt struck back on their own powerplay with 17 seconds left in the second.
Dylan Scheunert opened third period scoring for the Wranglers to make it make it 4-1. The Vipers would get one more back, before Wranglers’ Shawn Rowe and Ryan Chambers scored back-to-back on the powerplay to solidify their victory.
While scoring wasn’t an issue, the story of the game - and season - was goaltending.
“Both those guys have been impressive all year. That’s why we’re 10-2 - it’s the main reason we’re 10-2,” he said.
“When we’re in trouble, they bail us out and when they bail us out, we do our part. Brann and Bardick are a big part of success we’re having.”
Lane Brann and Rylan Bardick are both in the top 10 with save percentage and goals against average in the league and have allowed 35 goals in just 12 games played.
On Tuesday, Brann was the one who secured the victory with a 52-save performance.
“It was probably one of my biggest games, for sure. It was a big win - we needed it - but the team helped out a lot,” Brann said.
The Wranglers previously had an eight-game win streak snapped by the Okotoks Bisons where they fell 7-4. On Sunday, they bounced back with a 4-3 victory over the Mountainview Colts, and officially started another win streak with Tuesday’s win over the Vipers.
The Wranglers next game comes with a schedule change - the Nov. 12 game against Cochrane was moved to Nov. 10. Puckdrop is 7 p.m. at the Blackfalds Multi-plex Arena.
The Wranglers hosted the Atom 1 & Peewee 2 Blackfalds Bulldogs teams….Shots were 54-40 in favour of the Vipers….The Vipers were one for four on the powerplay while the Wranglers were three for 12…. The Vipers had 61 PIM. Keagan Kingwell led all players with 27 PIM including a game misconduct, instigator and fighting penalty. THe Wranglers had 22 PIM with Bronson Spearking leading the team with 12 PIM...Wrangler Shawn Rowe led all players in scoring with a goal and two assists.