Saturday, 20 March 2010

Wheat Kings Win Playoff Opener

Matt Calvert had two goals and two assists to lead the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 5-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos in their playoff opener Friday night.

Scott Glennie added a goal and two assists for the Wheat Kings as they took a 1-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Quarter-Final series.

The Wheat Kings led the WHL in goals during the regular season but Friday's game was largely about Brandon's ability to shut down the opposition.

The Broncos top-scoring duo of Cody Eakin and Justin Dowling combined for 79 goals and 169 points in the regular season but were pointless and a combined -5 in Game #1.

"Robak and Hamonic were really solid tonight. It might have been one of Travis Hamonic's best games as a Wheat King -- he really looked playoff ready and I thought he was real strong against him and, of course, we've come to expect that from Colby Robak," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ's post-game show, "We really have to be good awareness when they're on the ice and do a good job of attempting to shut them down and be real cognisant of what they can do and make sure we're responsible against them."

After Taylor Vause and Calvert exchanged first period goals, the Wheat Kings took control in the second period with Glennie's power-play goal 6:26 into the frame and Calvert's second of the game just 1:38 later gave Brandon a 3-1 lead.

Brent Raedeke added a shorthanded goal in the third period to make it 4-1 before Vause scored his second of the game with 2:17 left to pull the Broncos back to within two.

Brayden Schenn salted things away with an empty-net goal with just 3.5 seconds left to make it a 5-2 final.

Jacob De Serres got the start in the Brandon net and made 28 saves while Morgan Clark made 23 saves for Swift Current.

"I just wanted to come here and not get too pumped up because I knew the importance was already there in the back of my mind," says De Serres, "Just played a simple game, control rebounds and just make the saves and I felt I did that."

Game #2 of the series goes Saturday night (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff...Friday's victory was the 37th playoff win for Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon, tying him with Dunc McCallum for second-place on the Wheat Kings' all-time playoff win list...the Wheat Kings are 7-1 in the last eight playoffs series i which they've won Game #1...Toni Rajala, Michael Ferland, Alexander Urbom and Paul Ciarelli all made their WHL playoff debuts on Friday...Brandon scratches Friday were D Ryley Miller (jaw), F Brenden Walker (healthy) and F Jesse Sinatynski (healthy)...the ticket supply for the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup continues to dwindle. Less than 100 tickets packages allocated to the host committee are still available. Contact the Wheat Kings' office for more information.

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