Moose Jaw, SK. – Playing in front of a Rogers Sportsnet television audience, the Brandon Wheat Kings kicked off a mini 2-game Saskatchewan road trip Tuesday night by dropping a 3-1 decision to the Warriors in Moose Jaw.
The Wheat Kings, who had collected at least a point in four straight games entering the game, struggled from the gate and trailed 1-0 through 20 minutes of play on Jayden Halbgewachs’ 43rd goal of the season.
In the second, the teams traded goals, before Moose Jaw put the game out of reach with less than two minutes remaining in regulation time.
Brett Howden and Yan Kohmenko also scored for the Warriors, who outshot Brandon 34-16.
Stelio Mattheos scored in a losing cause for the Wheat Kings, who received a stellar 31-save performance from 19-year old netminder Logan Thompson. The Calgary product was called up on to make 27 saves through the first two periods when Moose Jaw dominated, outshooting the Wheat Kings to the tune of 29-8.
Brandon coach David Anning says Tuesday’s loss was disappointing in that after a week that saw the club collect six points in four games, they simply didn’t show up.
“I thought we were lacking energy, lacking enthusiasm and got caught standing around a lot,” Anning told the Brandon Sun. “We didn’t give ourselves a good enough chance here tonight.”
The Wheat Kings, who are now 27-21-6-2 will try to bounce back Wednesday night when they take on the Raiders in Prince Albert, before returning home for back to back home games on Friday and Saturday nights.
Brandon trails third place Swift Current by five points in the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Division while sitting ten points up on Saskatoon in the race for the first Wild Card spot in the Conference.
Friday night’s game against Regina is Chris Dingman Bobblehead Night, presented by Manitoba Liquor Marts. The first 2,000 ticket holders in attendance (using the east, west and south MAIN entrances ONLY) will receive the bobblehead, featuring the former Wheat King captain, who led Brandon to the 1996 WHL Championship.
Saturday night vs Prince Albert meanwhile is Player Card Giveaway, presented by Westoba Credit Union.
Tickets to both weekend games are on sale at the Keystone Centre box office, by calling (204) 726-3555 or online at keystonecentre.com