Pat Garritty has been selected to guide the Sylvan Lake Wranglers forward.
After the club relocated to Sylvan Lake from Blackfalds for the upcoming Heritage Junior B Hockey League season, the club set out to form a new staff behind the bench.
Garritty will take the reins for the 2019-2020 season in Sylvan Lake, alongside assistants Bryce Campbell and Karson French.
After a long career coaching minor hockey, Garritty is making the jump to junior B hockey. He has coached minor hockey in Sylvan for almost 30 years and was also an assistant with the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs during their dynastic run. He also served as the assistant GM for the Red Deer Rebels in the 1999-200 season. Most recently, he guided the West Central Midget AA Tigers to a north division title in the South Central Alberta Hockey League.
“This is an amazing opportunity for our town to have a team in the Heritage Junior Hockey League and to get a franchise like Blackfalds that has such a rich history is just a bonus,” Garritty said in a press release.
“The quality of hockey in this league is outstanding and will provide affordable family entertainment while giving a team for local players to go after their minor hockey days are over.”
Campbell and French both bring a championship pedigree to the Wranglers. Campbell is a Sylvan Lake native and was a member of the 2005-06 Red Deer Vipers that won a provincial title and the Keystone Cup, handed out to the top Junior B team in Western Canada.
French also played in the HJHL, suiting up for three years with the Blackfalds Wranglers. He helped them to an HJHL title in 2010 as well as provincial and Western Canadian titles in 2011.
Wranglers team president Wendell Jones noted that the new coaching staff was picked in part for their enthusiasm and experience.
“When we began this search, it was imperative that we find enthusiastic, local talent to ensure a smooth transition and a successful season on the ice,” he noted in a press release.
“We are fortunate to have such an experienced, versatile group step forward with one goal in mind, working together to build a powerhouse franchise for this town to enjoy for years to come.”
The Wranglers will kick off the HJHL season against the Central Alberta rival Red Deer Vipers on Sept. 21 in Red Deer. On Sept. 22 at 7 p.m., the Wranglers will play their home opener at the NexSource Centre in Sylvan Lake.