Brandon, MB. – The Brandon Wheat Kings were winners Friday night as they opened up their 4-game Western Hockey League pre-season schedule at Westman Communications Group Place.
The Wheat Kings jumped out to a 3-1 first period lead and went on to double up the visiting Regina Pats 4-2.
After the two teams traded goals during the first half of the opening period, Brandon took the lead for good on goals by Gunnar Wegleitner and defenceman Kade Jensen three minutes apart.
In the second, Regina climbed back to within a goal only to see the Wheat Kings put the game away on a third period powerplay goal by 16-year old rookie Ben McCartney.
McCartney’s goal was the third powerplay goal scored on the night for the Wheat Kings, who finished 3 for 5 with the man advantage.
The Pats, who got goals from Koby Morrisseau and Jeff de Wit, went 2 for 7 on the powerplay.
Veteran Connor Gutenberg rounded out the scoring for the winners while rookie netminder Ethan Kruger went the distance between the pipes, stopping 30 shots. At the other end, the netminding tandem of veteran Tyler Brown and Kurtis Chapman combined for thirty saves in a losing effort.
The two teams will close out a weekend pre-season home and home series Saturday night in Regina.
Meanwhile in off-ice news, the Wheat Kings reassigned three players on Friday. Reassigning netminder Zach Bennett and forwards Sam Anderson and Kyle Bettens to their respective clubs. With Friday’s moves, the WHL club now has thirty players on its pre-season roster, including six players currently away at their respective National Hockey League Training Camps.
Brandon used twelve rookies in Friday’s win over the Pats.
The Wheat Kings next pre-season test at home comes one week from tonight against the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors.
Tickets to that game as well as the 2017 Brandon Sun Home Opener, presented by Telus, are on sale at the Keystone Centre box office, by calling (204) 726-3555 or online at keystonecentre.com
Photo credit: Milana Paddock Photography