Saskatoon, SK (CKLQ) - The Brandon Wheat Kings ran into a hot goaltender in Saskatoon on Friday night and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Saskatoon Blades.
With five 16-year-old rookies in the lineup, the injury-riddled Brandon Wheat Kings came out with some jump on Friday night. Ridly Greig opened the scoring just 5:17 into the hockey game, as he finished off a 3on2 rush started by Ben McCartney.
The Blades would quickly respond however, Brandon Machado tipped home his 2nd of the year past Ethan Kruger, who was making his 7th career WHL start.
Saskatoon struck again late in the period as Josh Paterson sent a shot that ricocheted off Neithan Salame's outstretched stick and into the Brandon net.
The Wheat Kings found themselves in some penalty trouble late in the period and down a pair of men the Blades appeared to open up a 3-1 lead as Kirby Dach scored a highlight reel goal. However, Gary Haden crashed into Kruger and the goal was waved off. Haden was instead handed a minor penalty for goaltender interference.
In the second, Linden McCorrister extended his point-scoring streak to six games when he scored a highlight reel shorthanded marker late in the period to tie the game up at two. With an assist on the goal, Ben McCartney picked up his 2nd point of the night.
Brandon dominated the third period, outshooting the Blades 18-5 but couldn't beat Yorkton's Nolan Maier who made several highlight reel saves to earn his 17th win of the season.
The Blades game-winning goal came after Ethan Kruger had made what seemed to be a routine save on a shot from Josh Paterson. The rebound had a mind of its own and bounced off a backchecking Wheat King and into the open net with just 4.8 seconds left in the game.
Kruger, finished the night with 19 saves while Maier was named the game's first star kicking aside 33 shots for the win.
Defenseman Jack Zayat made his WHL debut, paired on the backend with Chase Hartje. The Calgary native finished the night -1 with no points or shots on goal.
With the win, the Blades move 11-points up on the Wheat Kings in the East Division playoff race. Brandon drops to 14-10-3-3 on the season and will look for revenge on Saturday night in the annual Shoppers Mall Teddy Bear Toss game vs the Blades Saturday night. (7:30 on QCountry Radio).
BWK - Ridly Greig (7) (McCartney) 5:17
SSK - Brandon Machado (2) (Davidson, Huber) 8:39
SSK - Josh Paterson (10) (Kneen, Schuldhaus) 15:51
Shots: 9-6 Saskatoon
BWK - Linden McCorrister (11) (McCartney) 17:19 SHG
Shots: 11-8 Brandon
SSK - Gary Haden (14) (Paterson, Wouters) 19:55
Final Shots: 35-22 Brandon