Regina, SK. – For the first time since 2013 and only the third time in the past 27 years the Brandon Wheat Kings will not be heading to the Western Hockey League playoffs.
Facing a must win situation Friday night in the opening game of a season ending home and home series with the Pats, the Wheat Kings fell 5-4 in Regina.
The Wheat Kings, who will bring the curtain down on their 2018-19 season Saturday night at Westoba Place, lost for the fifth straight time and saw their overall record slip to 30-29-4-4.
Brandon hosts the Pats on Saturday in the annual Awards Night, presented by the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre.
Brandon got off to a good start in this one, jumping out to a 2-0 first period lead, only to see the Pats tie things up with two unanswered in the second. In the third, the Wheat Kings took a short lived 3-2 lead but the Pats responded with three straight goals to close out Brandon’s playoff hopes.
Luka Burzan scored twice, including his 40th of the season, to pace the Wheat Kings, with singles coming off the sticks of Cole Reinhardt and Braydyn Chizen.
Sergie Alkhimov had two goals for the winners, while Brett Clayton, Cole Dubinsky and Liam Schioler rounded out the scoring for the Pats, who beat Brandon for the fourth time this season and will be hoping for the weekend series sweep on Saturday.
The Pats, who won despite a series of injuries and a short bench – playing with just sixteen skaters – outshot Brandon 44-38.
Tickets to Saturday’s season finale go back on sale at 10am Saturday morning at the Keystone Centre box office, by calling 726-3555 or online at keystonecentre.com
Trophies will be handed out before, during and immediately following Saturday’s game. It will also mark the final WHL game for a number of Wheat Kings, including 20-year old veterans Chizen and Linden McCorrister.