Wheat Kings Double up Ice Saturday
Winnipeg, MB. - The Western Hockey League officially returned to Winnipeg Saturday and the Brandon Wheat Kings spoiled the party, doubling up the hometown Ice 4-2 in front of a crowd of 1,600 fans at renovated Wayne Fleming Arena.
The Wheat Kings, who lost 3-2 Friday night in their 2019 Home Opener, returned the favor on Saturday by scoring two unanswered second period goals en route to their first victory of the 2019-20 WHL season.
Trailing 2-1 after twenty minutes of play, Luka Burzan scored twice in the second, including the eventual game winner.
In the third, Caiden Daley had a goal waved off due to a high stick but Lynden McCallum iced the insurance goal moments later.
Ben McCartney, who would leave the game in the second period after being assessed a charging major, rounded out the scoring for the Wheat Kings, who despite running into penalty trouble throughout the game, were much better than Friday night's season opener.
"We were mostly invested in the game and I thought we played with more pace," Brandon coach Dave Lowry told the Brandon Sun. "The urgency and the compete were there tonight. We're still taking too many penalties. It's taking a lot out of our top buys...really extending their minutes."
In addition to losing McCartney in the second, the Wheat Kings were forced to play without 17-year old center Ridly Greig, after he was suspended by the league for a first period hit on Chase Hartje on Friday night. The length of his suspension has yet to be determined.
Brandon's Jiri Patera - for the second straight night - was excellent between the pipes, stopping 33 shots. Dean McNabb had 35 saves in the Winnipeg net.
Scoring goals in a losing cause for the Ice were Brad Ginnell and Michal Teply.
Saturday's game was the first WHL regular season game for a Winnipeg home team since 1984 when the old Winnipeg Warriors shared the Winnipeg Arena with the National Hockey League Jets.
Ironically, the Wheat Kings have played a number of regular season games in Winnipeg over the years. Both at the Arena and at Bell MTS Place.
The Wheat Kings return to action next weekend with a home and home series with Moose Jaw, beginning Friday night at Westoba Place.
Tickets to that game as well as all remaining regular season home games will go on sale Tuesday morning at the Keystone Centre box office. Fans can also call (204) 726-3555 or online at keystonecentre.com.
• Discuss this story on the Western Hockey League message board...
Western Hockey League Stories from September 22, 2019
- Sawchuk Snipes Twice as Oil Kings Make It Back-To-Back Wins vs. Rebels - Edmonton Oil Kings
- Rebels Struggle Offensively in 4-1 Road Loss to Oil Kings - Red Deer Rebels
- Nolan Foote returned to Rockets - Kelowna Rockets
- Game Day Hub: September 22 - Portland Winterhawks
- Wheat Kings Double up Ice Saturday - Brandon Wheat Kings
- Wheat Kings Double up Winnipeg ICE 4-2 on Saturday Night - Winnipeg Ice
- Brkin Backstops Warriors to Win over Pats - Moose Jaw Warriors
- Blades Downed 1-0 in 2019 Merlin Ford Lincoln Home Opener - Saskatoon Blades
- Giants Complete Weekend Sweep of the Cougars with a 4-1 Victory - Vancouver Giants
- Hamaliuk beats the buzzer to lift the Rockets to victory - Kelowna Rockets
- Cougars Swept by Vancouver to Open Season - Prince George Cougars
- Wolf Shutout, Plenty of Offense Spell Silvertips Win - Everett Silvertips
- Tigers Split Season Opening Weekend - Medicine Hat Tigers
- Americans Close Opening Weekend with Loss to Portland - Tri-City Americans
- Kiviniemi's Overtime Winner Lifts Broncos over Hitmen - Swift Current Broncos
- Impressive Home Opening Win for the for the Hawks - Portland Winterhawks
- Rebels Drop Season Opener to Oil Kings, But Show Positive Signs - Red Deer Rebels
- Chiefs Head Home with Three Points After OT Loss at Kelowna - Spokane Chiefs
- Ross Douses Blazers for T-Birds Home Opener Win - Seattle Thunderbirds
- Royals Blanked by Silvertips in Season Opener - Victoria Royals
- Bilous, Fonstad Lead Raiders to Win in Saskatoon - Prince Albert Raiders
- Hitmen Can't Hold off Swift Current in OT - Calgary Hitmen
- Oil Kings Open Regular Season with Win over Rebels - Edmonton Oil Kings
- Pats Rally but Fall to Moose Jaw - Regina Pats
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.