Wheat Kings Dump Oil Kings Friday
Brandon, MB. - The Brandon Wheat Kings kicked off a busy three in three Western Hockey League weekend Friday night by scoring an impressive 5-2 victory over the Eastern Conference leading Edmonton Oil Kings.
On a night that celebrated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 2019 Grey Cup Championship, the Wheat Kings jumped out to a 2-0 lead and led 4-1 through forty minutes of play en route to the win.
Captain Connor Gutenberg paced the winners with two goals and an assist while netminder Jiri Patera turned aside thirty shots as the Wheat Kings improved to 31-20-3-2 and pulled back to within two points of the second place in the Eastern Division. The win also keeps Brandon four points up on fourth place Saskatoon, who doubled up on the Pats 6-3 in Regina Friday night.
"I loved our effort tonight," Coach Dave Lowry told Branden Crowe on Q Country's post game show Friday night. "The last time we played these guys, they embarrassed us in their building and we took it personally. We played like it was a playoff game. We knew we were going to have to make amends and we were going to need everyone to play a certain way. We got on top of them, we finished checks, we got pressure and we got a couple early goals on the powerplay."
Luka Burzan, Vinny Iorio and Ben McCartney rounded out the scoring for the Wheat Kings, who host the defending champion Prince Albert Raiders on Saturday night before travelling to Regina on Sunday.
Ethan McIndoe and Josh Williams meanwhile scored in a losing cause for the Oil Kings.
Defenceman Braden Schneider, who had three assists for the winners Friday night, says special teams were a big factor in the win.
"Your teammates are sacrificing their body for the win. When you see that happening it is a chain reaction. When you put your body in the way and block shots, everyone loves it and it gives the bench a boost."
In addition to scoring two powerplay goals, Brandon killed off four Edmonton powerplays, including a five minute boarding call to Marcus Sekundiak in the third period.
Thanks to the 5-goal effort, fans will receive 50% off their online pizza orders all day Saturday at Domino's Pizza.
Friday's game, which was played before 3,700 fans at Westoba Place, featured the Wheat Kings in special Blue Bomber theme jerseys and a pre-game ceremonial opening face-off starring Stanley Bryant and Paddy Neufeld of the 2019 Grey Cup Champions. The sale of the jerseys to local corporate partners before the game were in support of the Westman Dreams for Kids Foundation.
In addition to Bryant and Neufeld, the Wheat Kings welcomed a special young lady for the pre-game ceremonial opening face-off on Friday.
6-year old Kynley Kristinnson of Virden was born with a congenital heart defect and has undergone a number of surgeries during her young life. She has been waiting for a heart transplant for two years now.
Tickets to Saturday night's game, which is another Kids' Family Night, go back on sale at 10am at the Keystone Centre box office. Fans can also order online at keystonecentre.com or by calling (204) 726-3555.
In addition to special concession pricing and $5 children's tickets, the Wheat Kings are pleased to welcome the Paw Patrol on Saturday night, presented by PUROLATOR. Children purchasing a ticket to the game at the box office will also receive a "free" Happy Meal from McDonalds.
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Western Hockey League Stories from February 22, 2020
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