Photo by Brandi Crowe
Moose Jaw, SK (CKLQ) - Jiri Patera shut the door, kicking aside 27 shots on route to a 3-2 Wheat Kings win over the Moose Jaw Warriors on Saturday night.
In the 2nd game of a weekend three-in-three, the Wheat Kings found themselves behind early in Moose Jaw. The WHL's leading rookie scorer, Brayden Tracey took a pass in front of Jiri Patera and snapped it upstairs in a hurry for his 17th of the year to open the scoring.
Both goaltenders put on a clinic in the first period, highlighted by Warriors netminder Adam Evanoff's highway robbery of Stelio Mattheos at the tail end of the first Wheat Kings powerplay. Evanoff would make 18 saves on the night.
With 0:30 seconds left in the first, former Warrior Luka Burzan was hauled down on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot. The Surrey, BC native made no mistake and buried his 24th of the season to tie the game at one.
Brandon jumped out to an early lead in the 2nd period as Stelio Mattheos fired an innocent-looking wrist shot towards the Warrior goal. Somehow, the puck found its way through the legs of Evanoff and into the back of the net.
Late in the period, the Wheat Kings ended up on the right side of a controversial call from the officials. On the powerplay, Ridly Greig crashed into the Warriors netminder at the same time Baron Thompson buried his 2nd of the season into the open cage. After a brief discussion, the officials determined that there was no goaltender interference on the play and the goal would stand.
Here is where it gets goofy... Grieg was then a minor penalty for goaltender interference before the ensuing puck drop. The Warriors would fail to convert and Brandon went to the locker room up 3-1.
The Warriors would add a fluky powerplay goal in the third to cut the lead to one but the Wheat Kings netminder locked it down late in the game and weathered a complete shooting gallery from the Warriors to secure the victory.
With the win, Brandon moves back to .500 on the year, with a record of 17-17-3-3, snapping a three-game losing skid in the process. The loss was the fourth in a row for the Warriors.
Brandon will wrap up the weekend on Sunday afternoon in Swift Current (4:00 on QCountry Radio)
MJ - Brayden Tracey (17) (Langan, Almeida) 6:42
BWK - Luka Burzan (Penalty Shot) 19:32
Shots: 13-9 Moose Jaw
BWK - Stelio Mattheos (28) (Unassisted) 1:14
BWK - Baron Thompson (2) (McCartney) 16:57 PPG
Shots: 9-7 Moose Jaw
MJ - Alec Zawatsky (14) (Unassisted) 9:13
Final Shots: 29-21 Moose Jaw