THOMPSON SHUTS THE DOOR ON RAIDERS
Brandon, MB. – It may not have been the prettiest of games but the Brandon Wheat Kings scored a big win Saturday night before over 3,800 fans at Westoba Place.
Rylan Bettens goal at the 2:15 mark of the third period turned out to be the game winner as the Wheat Kings edged the Prince Albert Raiders 4-3.
With the win, Brandon gained a much needed split in the weekend home and home series with the Raiders, who won the opener 5-2 Friday night in Prince Albert.
The win moved the Wheat Kings back into third place in the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Division and six points up on fifth place Saskatoon. The Raiders meanwhile now trail Saskatoon by four and Brandon by ten with one month remaining in the 2017-18 regular season.
The Wheat Kings jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead but had its lead cut to 3-2 after forty minutes.
In the third, Bettens gave Brandon a two goal cushion, only to see Prince Albert pull back to within a goal with just over six minutes to play.
Ty Lewis, Marcus Sekundiak and defenceman Ty Ettinger rounded out the scoring for the Wheat Kings, who received a stellar 39-save performance from netminder Logan Thompson.
The 20-year old Calgary product was easily the story in this one as he turned aside fifteen shots in the first, another 14 in the second and ten more in the third as the Raiders pushed hard for the equalizer.
At the other end of the rink, Curtis Meger and Ian Scott combined to stop ten of 13 shots directed their way.
Brett Leason, Spencer Moe and Brandon product Jordy Stallard scored in a losing cause for the Raiders, who have now lost four of their last five games.
Two of Prince Albert’s goals came 72 seconds apart in the second as the Raiders took advantage of back to back high sticking penalties to Ettinger and Cole Reinhardt.
Next up for the Wheat Kings is Monday afternoon at 2:30pm when they play host to Kale Clague and the first place Moose Jaw Warriors at Westoba Place.
Clague will be honoured before the game for not only his outstanding contributions to the Wheat Kings over the course of the last four seasons but also for helping Team Canada capture the gold medal at last month’s World Junior Hockey Championship in Buffalo.
A member of the 2016 WHL Championship club, Clague was dealt at January’s Trade Deadline for a package of players and draft picks.
During his three-plus years in Brandon, Clague scored 25 goals and 143 points in 169 games.
Since joining the Warriors last month, the 19-year old Lloydminster product has sixteen assists in thirteen games.
In addition to the pre-game presentation, the first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a Wheat Kings #AllConnected superhero cape from TELUS, the official Telecommunications provider to the WHL club.
As well, TELUS will be giving away a Samsung tablet, a Smart TV and a Wheat Kings’ replica jersey through a number of special events and promotions, including a Tech Challenge during the first intermission and a special Green Screen Photo Experience.
The Keystone Centre box office will reopen at 10am Monday but fans can order online at www.keystonecentre.com