Photo by Brandi Pollock
Brandon, MB (CKLQ) - The Brandon Wheat Kings top line of Stelio Mattheos (3G-1A), Luka Burzan (1G-4A) and Cole Reinhardt (1G-2A) combined for twelve points as they handed the Prince Albert Raiders a 6-3 loss on Saturday night.
The Wheat Kings come out flying as they looked to hand the Raiders back to back losses for the first time this season.
Just 2:20 into the hockey game, Cole Reinhardt's powerplay marker opened the scoring and fired a shot of energy into Westoba Place.
The Raiders would tie it, but Brandon came right back and took the lead back. First, Stelio Mattheos finished off a five-on-three passing play for his 35th of the season to put Brandon back in front.
The goal would spell the end of the night for Raiders goalie Boston Bilous, who was pulled after allowing two goals on seven shots. Brett Balas came on in relief and made 15 saves on 18 shots in just his 3rd WHL appearance.
With just 6.7 left in the period, Brandon was awarded a two-man advantage. Right off the faceoff, the puck found it's way to the front of the goal and Stelio Mattheos tapped in his 2nd of the night as the buzzer sounded to increase the Wheat Kings lead to two after one.
Brandon would continue to pile it on in the 2nd period as Luka Burzan scored the Wheat Kings third powerplay marker of the night just 3:35 into the frame. Burzan's 33rd of the year put Brandon up 4-1.
Moments later, Stelio Mattheos would complete the hat-trick and give Brandon a commanding 5-1 lead.
However, the Raiders would regain some momentum, killing back to back two-man advantages and scoring a late goal to cut the lead to three heading to the 2nd intermission.
Brandon's powerplay would finish the night 3/10 while the Raiders scored once on four opportunities.
The Raiders would cut the lead to two in the early stages of the third as Justin Nachbauer barged his way to the front of the net and tucked home his 2nd of the night to put his team back within reach.
Cue the Czech Goalie.
After the early goal, Jiri Patera locked it down, making 19 saves in the third period to help his team to their third straight victory. Patera finished the night with 34 saves.
Ben McCartney would seal the game with a late empty-net goal and send the crowd of 4089 home happy.
The Wheat Kings win, moves them to 26-22-3-4, good enough for 59 points in the race for a playoff spot.
**Calgary and Red Deer both still playing at the time of publishing**
Brandon won't have much time to think about this one as they welcome Swift Current on Monday afternoon for a rare matinee affair. (2:30 on QCountry Radio).
BWK - Cole Reinhardt (18) (Mattheos, Burzan) 2:20 PPG
PA - Dante Hannoun (27) (Fonstad, Weisblatt) 7:28
BWK - Stelio Mattheos (35) (Burzan, Wytinck) 10:12
BWK - Stelio Mattheos (36) (Reinhardt, Burzan) 19:59 5on3
Shots: 9-7 Brandon
BWK - Luka Burzan (33) (Wytinck, Reinhardt) 3:35 PPG
BWK - Stelio Mattheos (37) (Burzan) 11:46
PA - Justin Nachbauer (14) (Hayes, Masella) 12:03
Shots: 12-10 Brandon
PA - Justin Nachbauer (15) (Protas, Martin) 5:17 PPG
BWK - Ben McCartney (18) (Unassisted) 17:34 ENG
Final Shots: 37-26 Prince Albert