Photo by Brandi Crowe
Regina, MB (CKLQ) – For just the third time since the 91-92 season, the Brandon Wheat Kings will miss the WHL Playoffs after falling 5-4 in Regina on Friday night.
In the first official “Must-Win” game of the season, Brandon got the game started off on the right foot opening the scoring just 1:52 into the game. Cole Reinhardt followed up and got his own rebound for his 22nd of the year.
The Wheat Kings then found themselves on their heels giving up a pair of early powerplay chances to the Pats. Regina fired two shots off the post and were stymied on both chances by Jiri Patera, who was making his 16th consecutive start.
Luka Burzan quickly put an end to the Regina momentum with his 39th of the season taking a great feed from Cole Reinhardt to put Brandon up 2-0.
The Pats would finally crack the Wheat Kings penalty kill early in the 2nd on their third opportunity of the night. Cole Dubinsky, son of former Wheat King Mike Dubinsky found a loose puck and beat Patera for his 5th of the year putting the Pats on the board.
Late in the period, Nikita Sedov sent a perfect breakaway pass to fellow Russian import Sergei Alkhimov. Alkhimov made no mistake going to his backhand with Chad Nychuk all over him. The late goal from the Pats sent the teams to the room tied at two.
It was another quick start for Brandon in the third period as Braydyn Chizen fired home his 2nd of the season through a screen to put Brandon up 3-2 just 1:12 into the final frame.
The Pats would respond, exploding for three goals in a span of 1:31 to take a 5-3 lead and put Brandon’s playoff hopes on the brink.
Liam Schioler and Brett Clayton scored 34 seconds apart, followed up by Sergei Alkhimov’s 2nd of the night. The three-goal outburst sent the sold-out crowd of 6,484 into a frenzy.
Luka Burzan would get one back for Brandon, his 2nd of the night and 40th of the year but it was a close as the Wheat Kings could get to mounting a comeback.
Jiri Patera finished the night with 39 saves while Dean McNabb turned aside 34, including 16 in the third period to earn the win.
Regina, who is dealing with a plethora of injuries right now started the game with just 16 skaters. They lost defenseman Makai Mitchell in the 2nd and finished the game with just 15 skaters on the bench.
Brandon will wrap up the WHL Regular Season on home ice on Saturday night at Westoba Place. Game time is scheduled for 7:30, the QCountry pre-game show hits the air at 7:00.
BWK – Cole Reinhardt (22) (Sekundiak) 1:52
BWK – Luka Burzan (39) (Reinhardt) 12:04
Shots: 14-9 Regina
REG – Cole Dubinsky (5) (Evans, Wright) 7:46 PPG
REG – Sergei Alkhimov (12) (Sedov, Poteau) 16:!5
Shots: 13-11 Regina
BWK – Braydyn Chizen (2) (McCartney)
REG – Liam Schioler (5) (Pratt, Zonneveld) 9:13
REG – Brett Clayton (5) (Massier, Sedov) 9:47
REG – Sergei Alkhimov (13) (Dubinsky) 10:44
BWK – Luka Burzan (40) (Salame, Mattheos) 11:40
Final Shots: 44-38 Regina