Photo by Brandi Crowe
Brandon, MB (CKLQ) – The Moose Jaw Warriors used a three-goal first period on route to a 6-2 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings on Wednesday night.
It was not a great start for the Wheat Kings who found themselves in an early hole, down 1-0 just 3:46 seconds into the game.
After the Wheat Kings failed to convert on their first powerplay, the Warriors quickly made their way back into the Brandon zone and the two European’s connected as Yegor Buyalski put the Warriors up 1-0.
Moments later, WHL rookie leading scorer Brayden Tracey scored a highlight reel goal, burning Neithan Salame wide and tucking home his 35th of the year past Jiri Patera on a beautiful deke.
Things when from bad to worse for Brandon as the Warriors added a powerplay goal just minutes later. Justin Almeida connected with Tristan Langan on the back door and his 51st of the season put the Warriors up 3-0.
Despite the circumstances, the Wheat Kings didn’t fold the tent after the 3-0 goal, and in fact responded with a goal of their own just 0:24 later. This time it was Stelio Mattheos with the highlight reel goal to give Brandon some life and put a stop to the Moose Jaw momentum.
The scoring stopped in the 2nd period as both teams skated to a scoreless 2nd. Moose Jaw outshot Brandon 9-4 in the middle frame, with the teams trading chances at both ends.
Caiden Daley brought Brandon within one early in the third period but moments later an innocent looking point shot from Brandonite Daemon Hunt tipped in past Patera off the stick of Braydyn Chizen. The fluke goal would restore the two-goal lead for Moose Jaw.
Despite outshooting the Warriors 16-10 in the third period, the Wheat Kings couldn’t mount a comeback and Moose Jaw would ice it with a pair of late empty-net goals to secure the victory and put the Wheat Kings playoff hopes on life support.
The loss combined with the Medicine Hat Tigers win over Red Deer tonight clinches the Tigers a playoff spot. That leaves Brandon and Red Deer fighting for the remaining wild-card position.
The most points Brandon can end up with is 72 (By beating Regina twice), meaning that a single Red Deer point (Moving them to 73 pts) in the final two games vs Lethbridge and Kootenay will eliminate Brandon from playoff contention.
If Red Deer and Brandon both end up with 72 points, upon completion of the WHL Regular Season, it would set up a one-game single elimination scenario with the winner moving on to face the #1 seeded Prince Albert Raiders.
The Wheat Kings head to Regina on Friday for a date with the Pats. Game time at the Brandt Centre in Regina is 8:00 MB time, the QCountry pre-game show goes live at 7:30)
MJ – Yegor Buyalski (6) (Stepanov) 3:46
MJ – Brayden Tracey (35) (Unassisted) 12:56
MJ – Tristan Langan (51) (Almeida, Brook) 14:30 PPG
BWK – Stelio Mattheos (44) (Burzan, Iorio) 14:54
Shots: 12-11 Moose Jaw
Shots: 9-4 Moose Jaw
BWK – Caiden Daley (9) (Sekundiak, Nychuk) 1:41
MJ – Daemon Hunt (6) (Denomie) 5:53
MJ – Dalton Hamaluik (4) (Woo) 17:59 ENG
MJ – Cameron Sterling (1) (Sekunda) 18:31 ENG
Final Shots: 31-31