WHEAT KINGS PUNCH THEIR PLAYOFF TICKET
Saskatoon, SK. – The Brandon Wheat Kings are going back to the Western Hockey League playoffs.
Fresh off Friday’s come from behind win over the Swift Current Broncos, the Wheat Kings opened up a mini 2-game Saskatchewan road trip Saturday night with a 4-2 victory over the Blades in Saskatoon.
Not only did the Wheat Kings punch their ticket to post-season play with the win, they pushed the Blades to the brink of playoff elimination.
The Wheat Kings, who improved to 37-26-3-2 on the season, remain in fourth place in the WHL’s Eastern Division and seventh in the Conference. The Prince Albert Raiders however, remain four points back after edging Calgary in overtime Saturday. Both teams have four games remaining in the regular season.
By running their win streak to nine games Saturday, the Raiders all but clinched a playoff berth too as they moved seven points up on Saskatoon.
Who Brandon will meet in the opening round of the playoffs will depend on where they finish and how both the top of the Eastern and Central Division standings wind up. The Wheat Kings could play Moose Jaw, Swift Current or Medicine Hat in round one, with the Warriors, Broncos or Tigers holding home ice advantage.
Due to the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, the Wheat Kings will be forced to play their first round playoff home games in Dauphin for the second consecutive year.
Details on when tickets will go on sale for games three and four of the opening round best of seven series will be announced this coming week. Brandon has now advanced to the WHL’s playoff party for five straight seasons and in seventeen of the last 18 years.
As Saturday’s game – Stelio Mattheos’ goal in the final minute of the first period opened the scoring and in the second, Brandon outscored the Blades 2-1 to take a two goal lead to the dressing room after forty minutes.
In the third, the Blades pulled to within a goal on an early powerplay but outstanding netminding by Dylan Myskiew, who finished the night with 19 saves, proved to be too much for Saskatoon to overcome.
Cole Reinhardt added an empty netter with 17 seconds remaining in the third.
Linden McCorrister and Luka Burzan rounded out the scoring for the Wheat Kings, who will close out a busy 3-game in three night weekend Sunday in Moose Jaw against the league leading Warriors.
Brandon’s next home game is Tuesday night – Rain Check Night – against Saskatoon.
While the Keystone Centre box office won’t reopen until Monday morning, fans can purchase tickets online at keystonecentre.com or by calling (204) 726-3555.
Because Tuesday is Rain Check Night, presented by Red River Mutual, fans can exchange any unused tickets (after Dec. 6th 2017) for a “free” ticket to this game (regular box office agency fees apply).
Photo Courtesy of the Saskatoon Blades