Sunday’s game between the Lacombe AA Hockey Club and the Blackfalds Wranglers was a tale of two teams looking for bounce-back wins after Saturday night losses, but Lacombe would be the only one to earn the victory.
The team shutout the Wranglers 6-0 on the road at the Bentley Arena, after falling to the Devon Barons 6-5 in Lacombe the night before.
“We were up against a good team last night – they definitely have some offence and our d-zone needs a bit of work,” said Lacombe’s Jordan Koopmans. “Our power play was looking good tonight. We just need to tighten up the d-zone and we’re in the win column going forward.”
Lacombe was four-for-four on the night with the man advantage, which included an Arseni Oursov goal to open the scoring midway through the first, as well as a Jared Williams goal with 27 seconds left in the frame to go up 2-0.
In the second period, it took Lacombe less than two and a half minutes to score their first even-strength goal from Taylor Mulder, and a few minutes later Jagger Bowles added a second even-strength goal.
Williams and Oursov would both score their second power play goals of the game within the final five minutes of the period.
“I think we just got settled down a little bit. We were making some crisp breakouts and our wingers were supporting a little more, which allowed us to break out,” said Koopmans. “They (the Wranglers) played a really aggressive game, but we caught them with some odd-man rushes.”
While the Wranglers had a little more jump and better possession in the third period, Lacombe kept them from breaking the shutout, and held on for the 6-0 win to come out of the weekend with two of a possible four points and improve their record to 2-3-0 on the season.
The Wranglers, however, fell to 1-5-0 on the season, and were unable to bounce back from their 8-4 road loss Saturday at the hands of the Morinville Kings, the NCHL’s only undefeated team this season.
“It was not our best effort – not a great game,” said Wranglers Head Coach Damon Dreeshen. “Any time you’re having a quick turnaround guys are going to be tired but the other team had a back-to-back, too. We didn’t have the effort tonight. It was a poor showing.”
Not getting a break early offensively, then going down midway through the first period, took any wind they had out of their sails, not to mention being sent to the penalty box, which worked in Lacombe’s favour.
“They were fighting the puck – they really wanted this one – and couldn’t find the net,” he said. “It’s an unfortunate one we’re just going to put behind us and move forward.”
The Wranglers will now head on the road for the next two weekends, including Saturday, Nov. 9 to face the NCHL’s newest team, the Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs at 8:15 p.m., followed by a game in Westlock against the Warriors on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 8:30 p.m.
They will return home Sunday, Nov. 24 to host the Bonnyville Sr. Pontiacs at the Blackfalds Multi-plex Arena. Puck drop is at 3:30 p.m.
Lacombe, meanwhile, will also travel to Fort Saskatchewan on Sunday, Nov. 23. On Friday, Nov. 29 they will host the Red Deer Rustlers at 8:15 p.m. at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex in Lacombe.