Photo by Brandi Crowe
Brandon, MB (CKLQ) - It may not have been a "must-win" game by mathematical standards, but the Brandon Wheat Kings earned a critical two points in a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings on Wednesday night.
Opening up a three-game in three-night road trip the Oil Kings got off to a good start in Brandon leading 1-0 after one.
The Wheat Kings had plenty of jump to start the game but as the period went on, the Oil Kings gained momentum and capped it off with Connor McDonald's 17th of the year. The lone goal of the period was the 23rd time this season the Wheat Kings had surrendered the games opening goal.
Brandon came out of the gate flying in the 2nd period, tying the game just 1:55 in. Connor Gutenberg started a nifty tic-tac-toe passing play that was finished off by Ben McCartney for his 16th of the year.
Both teams went back and forth throughout the period, but a late goal from the Oil Kings put them back in front. After McCartney hit the post at one end, Edmonton took off on a three-on-two and Winnipeg's Vince Loschiavo made no mistake beating Jiri Patera for his 24th of the season.
The Wheat Kings offense exploded in the third period. The outburst all started just 0:26 into the frame as Linden McCorrister found a loose puck, raced into the Oil Kings end and buried his 2nd shorthanded goal in as many games to tie the game back up at two.
Brandon's first lead of the game came on an innocent looking play. Brayden Chizen fired a wrist shot on goal that deflected off Luka Burzan and past Dylan Myskiw to put the Wheat Kings in front for the first time on the night.
Myskiw, who was making his 2nd start in the Wheat City since being traded to Edmonton turned aside 17 shots in the losing effort.
Moments after the Burzan goal, Baron Thompson sent a perfect rink-wide pass to Stelio Mattheos who made no mistake and gave the Wheat Kings the insurance marker they desperately needed.
Jiri Patera, in just his 2nd start since returning from injury, shut things down in the third period making 14 saves for his 16th win of the season. Patera finished the night with 36 saves and was named the game's 2nd star.
Late in the game, with the extra attacker on and the Oil Kings pushing, Connor Gutenberg muscled his way into the Edmonton zone and put the game on ice and lifting the Wheat Kings to a HUGE victory, keeping their playoff hopes alive.
**The Hitmen/Hurricanes game was still underway as this was published.**
The Wheat Kings will continue this busy stretch of games on Friday as they kick off a weekend home and home series with the Prince Albert Raiders. (7:00 on QCountry Radio)
EOK - Connor McDonald (17) (McLeod, Atkinson) 17:37
Shots: 11-5 Edmonton
BWK - Ben McCartney (16) (Greig, Gutenberg) 1:55
EOK - Vince Loschiavo (24) (Benjafield, Alistrov) 17:25
Shots: 13-8 Edmonton
BWK - Linden McCorrister (13) (Unassisted) 0:26 SHG
BWK - Luka Burzan (31) (Chizen, Mattheos) 6:30
BWK - Stelio Mattheos (34) (Thompson) 13:01
BWK - Connor Gutenberg (13) (Mattheos) 19:43 ENG
Final Shots: 38-22