Wheat Kings Take Weekend Series Opener
Brandon, MB. - The Brandon Wheat Kings will be looking to climb back over the .500 mark Saturday night when they play host to the Kootenay Ice for the second straight night at Westoba Place.
Brandon opened up the 2-game weekend series Friday night with a come from behind 5-4 overtime victory.
Ridly Greig's goal at the 1:56 mark of extra time was the difference as the Wheat Kings improved to 18-18-3-3 on the season and closed to within four points of the Calgary Hitmen for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Hockey League's Eastern Conference.
"I saw Schneids coming up the ice with the puck and then he carried it into the zone," Greig told Perry Bergson of the Brandon Sun. "I thought he might make a little drop pass, which he did, and I collected it in my feet and just shot it and it went in."
Cole Reinhard scored twice for the Wheat Kings on Friday, with singles coming off the sticks of Luka Burzan and defenceman Braden Schneider.
Bradley Ginnell, Davis Murray, and former Wheat Kings Chase Hartje and Jaeger White scored in a losing cause for the Ice, whose record slipped to 10-29-7-1.
After opening the scoring in the first period, the Wheat Kings found themselves in a 3-3 tie through forty minutes.
In the third, Kootenay grabbed an early 4-3 lead and the score stayed that way until Reinhardt's powerplay goal with nine minutes to play, setting the stage for Greig's overtime heroics.
Netminder Jiri Patera turned aside 37 shots, including two in overtime, to pick up the win while Jesse Makaj made 32 saves in a losing cause.
Kootenay went 2 for 5 on the powerplay while the Wheat Kings went 1-4.
Friday's game, which featured Winnipeg Blue Bomber quarterback Matt Nichols performing the ceremonial opening face-off, signing autographs and tossing souvenir footballs to fans in the stands, also marked the first ever meeting between Winnipeg brothers Jonny and Carson Lambos.
The 15-year old Carson was called up by the Ice to play in his fourth league game on Friday and for Brandon's rookie blueliner, it made for an exciting backdrop to the weekend series.
"It's a pretty cool experience for both of us, to be able to have the chance to play against each other at this level," Jonny told reporters. "I've never played against him before...even in minor hockey so it's pretty cool to be able to get to do it for the first time on this scale."
Wheat King fans that braved the cold Friday and came out to the game can pick up Dominos online pizza for 50% off all day Saturday (using the special Promo Code WK5).
Tickets to Saturday's rematch, presented by MAXIM Truck and Trailer, 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.
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