Photo by Byron Hackett - Red Deer Advocate
Red Deer, AB (CKLQ) - Connor Ungar kicked aside 34 shots for his first career shutout while Ty Thorpe's first career goal stood up as the game-winner in a 4-0 win over the Red Deer Rebels on Wednesday night.
For the second straight night, the Wheat Kings opened the scoring. Midway through the period, Ty Thorpe chased a loose puck down behind the Red Deer goal, stripped Hunter Donahoe of the puck and tucked home his first career WHL goal past Ethan Anders to send the Wheat Kings bench into a frenzy.
The Wheat Kings would add some insurance in the 2nd period from another unlikely source. Defenseman Braden Schneider fooled everyone including Anders as he sent a rolling puck towards the Rebels goal. Somehow the puck found a way in, and the Prince Albert native notched his 7th goal of the season.
Brandon outshot the Rebels 8-3 in the 2nd period and although it's not a stat that is kept by the WHL officials, the Wheat Kings blocked at least eight shots from quality scoring areas in the frame.
Early in the third, it looked like the Wheat Kings had put the game out of reach when Stelio Mattheos scored what appeared to be a powerplay goal. The officials on the ice ruled a goal, but after video review, it was waved off.
Brandon would finally break through on the powerplay late as Luka Burzan took a pass from Stelio Mattheos and buried the insurance marker to put Brandon up by three.
A late penalty by Ridly Greig set up a wild finish. Connor Ungar kicked aside 20 third period shots including several on the penalty kill but a late empty-net goal from Caiden Daley would relieve the pressure and send the Wheat Kings to their 21st victory of the season.
The shutout was the first for the Wheat Kings this season, who got three last year from Logan Thompson.
Brandon's victory moves them to 21-19-3-4 and keeps them within five points of the Calgary Hitmen for the final playoff spot. Calgary beat Swift Current tonight and have won four straight.
The Wheat Kings scratched Braydyn Chizen (Suspended - TBD), Jake Chiasson (Healthy), Jiri Patera (Lower Body) and Linden McCorrister (Upper Body).
Brandon will continue this Alberta road trip on Friday in Calgary at the Stampede Corral. (8:00 on QCountry Radio).
BWK - Ty Thorpe (1) (Unassisted) 11:06
Shots: 11-10 Red Deer
BWK - Braden Schneider (7) (Salame, Reinhardt) 10:35
Shots: 8-3 Brandon
BWK - Luka Burzan (28) (Mattheos) 17:00 PPG
BWK - Caiden Daley (3) (Unassisted) SH/EN
Final Shots 34-29 Red Deer