Wranglers struggle defensively against Flyers
Landon Siegle of the Blackfalds Wranglers crashes into High River Flyers goaltender Dylan Jensen after scoring a goal on Sunday at the Blackfalds Multi-plex Arena. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)
A hat trick by Landon Siegle and another three goals pitched in by teammates wasn’t enough to lift the Blackfalds Wranglers over the High River Flyers.
In what was a fast-paced and high-scoring game at the Blackfalds Multi-plex Arena, the Wranglers fell 7-5.
The result almost in their favour, but a few bad bounces - including one that saw the puck bounce over goaltender Rylan Bardick and into the net - worked against them.
“We hit a lot of goalposts tonight. We had a lot of shots, a lot of chances - we outshot them by a bit but some nights they just don’t go in,” said Head Coach Sean Neumeier. “The first 11 games the puck bounced our way. That’s not going to happen all the time and we knew that.”
The Wranglers put 49 pucks on net, while the Flyers had 33.
On just their second shot of their game - 45 seconds in - Tyrees Goodrunning opened the scoring to put the Wranglers up 2-0. Midway through the first, the Flyers were awarded a goal after the puck bounced over Bardick to tie it. A few minutes later, Braidon Westin found the top corner to regain the Wranglers lead.
In the second period, Siegle crashed the net to extend his team’s lead to 3-1 but the Flyers scored the next two, including a breakaway goal where Braiden Burke slipped behind the Wrangler defence on a stretch pass from Liam Bollivar to tie it 3-3.
Siegle scored his second of the game to take the lead again, but the Flyers responded 31 seconds later and added another goal before the end of the period would claim a Flyers lead that they never relinquished.
In the third, Connor Minchin scored eight minutes in, and Siegle scored his third of the game through traffic. With four minutes left, it looked like Ryan Chambers had tied the game on the powerplay, but his goal was waived off by refs due to goaltender interference.
While Neumeier said waiving off a potential game-tying goal with four minutes to play was a “gutsy call,” he also said his team didn’t play great defensively.
“We’ve got to be tighter in our d-zone,” he said. “We’re just watching too much. We need to start taking away time and space. We’re giving them too much time and if you do that, they’re going to score seven on you.”
The result dropped the team to 11-4 on the season and down to third in the northern division standings. They sit a point behind the Red Deer Vipers with a game in hand, and only two points back of the Airdrie Thunder with three games in hand.
They will now travel to Stettler on Tuesday night, and head to Strathmore on Dec. 2 before returning home to host the Okotoks Bisons at the Blackfalds Multi-Plex Arena on Sunday, Dec. 3. Puckdrop is at 3:30 p.m.
The Wranglers were the top team of the HJHL’s “Power Five” rankings as of Nov. 15....Currently they lead the league in win percentage with 0.733....The Wranglers are third in goal differential and second in goals against average with 3.33 goals per game.