Medicine Hat, AB. – The Brandon Wheat Kings closed out a six game Western Hockey League road trip Saturday night by dropping a 4-2 decision to the Medicine Hat Tigers.
The Wheat Kings, who certainly have their work cut out for them now when it comes to qualifying for post season play, finished the road trip with a record of 1-4-1-0 and find themselves four points back of a playoff spot – with three games to play.
In addition to losing to the Tigers, the Wheat Kings didn’t get any help from the Kootenay Ice as they fell 8-4 in Red Deer, leaving the Rebels and Medicine Hat tied for the final two playoff berths entering the final week of the 2018-19 regular season.
Brandon returns home now to play two of its final three games, needing to win all three games for a chance to qualify for post season play. The Wheat Kings have not missed the playoffs since the 2012-13 campaign when they finished with a record of 24-40-4-4.
As for the game on Saturday, the two teams split a pair of goals in the first period but the Tigers took the lead for good in the second when they scored back to back goals to grab a 3-1 advantage.
Brandon did manage to pull to within one before the end of the second and had a number of chances to even the score in the third but Winnipeg product Hayden Ostir sealed the win for the Tigers when he beat Brandon’s Jiri Patera with just over six minutes to play.
Ryan Jevne scored twice while Ryan Chyzowski rounded out the scoring for the Tigers, who outshot Brandon 34-28.
Defenceman Chad Nychuk and captain Stelio Mattheos – with his team leading 43rd goal of the season – scored in a losing cause for the Wheat Kings, who fell to 30-27-4-4 on the season.
The Wheat Kings, who return home from their 11-day Central Division tour on Sunday morning, will now play host to the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors on Wednesday night, before closing out the regular season with a home and home series with Regina next weekend.
Wednesday is “Rain Check Night”, presented by Red River Mutual. Fans with unused tickets (dated November 23rd to February 22nd) can exchange them at the Keystone Centre box office (regular agency fees apply) for a “free” ticket to this game.
Saturday night is the hockey club’s annual Awards Night, with trophies to be presented before, during and immediately following the game.