April 17th, 2024

Cubs drop Game 1 to Sylvan Lake

By JAMES TUBB on March 5, 2024.

jtubb@medicinehatnews.com@ReporterTubb

The Medicine Hat Cubs look to rebound from a marathon Game 1 loss Sunday evening.

The Cubs dropped the opening contest of their semifinals series against the Sylvan Lake Wranglers, falling 2-1 in double overtime. Sylvan Lake doubled up the Cubs in shots, 62-30.

Head coach Randy Wong says they didn’t play with the intensity needed at this stage of the playoffs.

“You have to keep going and bringing your A game, you have to bring more intensity as the series keep going because you’re playing better teams,” Wong said. “We gave up 60 shots, luckily (Tyler) Wakelam played as well as he did and gave us a chance to win, but you’re not going to win many games when you give up that many shots.”

Wakelam made 60 saves, Makhi Carriere had the Cubs’ lone goal.

Starting the series on the road with a longer bus ride ins’t an excuse Wong is willing to use, he says they just didn’t have enough guys ready when the puck dropped. He liked how they played in the middle frames but says the Wranglers took over again in overtime and capitalized.

Sunday’s loss was the Cubs’ first defeat in the HJHL playoffs, coming off a 3-0 series sweep of the Coaldale Copperheads.

Game 2 is Thursday back at Sylvan Lake where Wong says they have to start better if they want a chance in the best-of-five series.

“If you’re getting a series on the road you have to win one on the road, and hopefully your home games look after itself, but you have to come with a lot more intensity and be prepared to start the game,” Wong said. “The way we played in the middle portions, the second and third, I was happy with our play and thought we took it to them a bit. You just have to do that for 60 minutes and you can’t give them any breathing room. We obviously give them too much in the first period and get on our heels a bit.”

Game 3 of the series is back in Medicine Hat on Saturday with a potential Game 4 also at the Kinplex on Sunday. If they want to play in that game Sunday it’ll come through their character coming out Thursday.

“You expect guys who maybe didn’t play well to come and redeem themselves, and guys who did play well, you just hope they continue to offer some success against against these guys,” Wong said. “We have to make sure we get more guys on board to start the game and I think that’ll come to fruition Thursday.”

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