Skip to content

Sylvan Lake Wranglers prepare for Junior B provincial championships

They’ll head to Okotoks on April 5-9
The Sylvan Lake Wranglers became HJHL North Division champions but lost in the league finals. They’ll now regroup for the provincial championship in Okotoks on April 5-9. (Photo by Sylvan Lake Wranglers/ Facebook)

It’s been over a week since the Sylvan Lake Wranglers lost in the Heritage Junior B Hockey League Finals but their season is far from over.

Beginning on Wednesday, April 5 to Sunday, April 9 the Wranglers will compete against five other teams in the Alberta Junior B Provincial Championships in Okotoks.

Wranglers head coach Pat Garritty said his team will need to be prepared and they’ll take it one game at a time.

“We’re going to be playing some very good opponents who are champions in their own right. We’ve seen a very good champion in the Okotoks Bisons and we learned a ton from that,” Garritty said.

“We’re excited for the opportunity and we’re ready to show what we can do.”

The Wrangler’s first opponent will be the champions from the North Eastern Alberta Junior Hockey League, the Wainwright Bisons.

“They’re a perennial powerhouse, very well coached, and we know we’re going to have our hands full. But we’re going to go with eyes wide open and we feel for the last six to eight weeks we’ve just been getting better through the playoffs,” he said.

Just last weekend the Wranglers were swept in the HJHL Finals by the Okotoks Bisons 3-0 after a fantastic season where they captured the number one seed in the North Division.

Garritty said they were definitely the underdogs going into the series. At that point the Bisons had yet to lose a game in the playoffs.

“We had a hot goalie, and we were playing well as a team, but at the end of the day, we just ran out of runway against a really good team,” he added.

“I thought we got better as the series went on and really found our game once we realized we could compete with a team of that stature.”

They began the season with 14 new players and 10 rookies and despite it being a rebuilding year in the Wranglers’ eyes it didn’t take them long to find chemistry.

“We grew as a team and as individuals. We believe in each other and we’re really confident in the group that we have,” Garritty said.

“We know that playing in April is a privilege and we’ll treat it as such.”

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
Read more