Sunday, 4 April 2010

Wheat Kings Head Home Up 2-0

Andrew Hayes stopped 30 shots to lead the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 4-1 victory over the Saskatoon Blades on Saturday night.

The victory gives Brandon a 2-0 lead in the Best-of-Seven Eastern Conference Semifinal series.

Hayes was making his first start of the 2010 post-season after Jacob De Serres had started the first five games of the playoffs for Brandon.

“We said this all year, we know we’re going to need both guys, they’re both good goaltenders and their teammates have got confidence in both Jake and Andrew,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “Through the first round, there was no reason to take Jake out of the net. After (Friday’s) game, it was a game where you could consider making that change and I just kind of slept on it and, (Saturday) morning, I just felt it was right way to go and Andrew, I thought, was exceptional tonight…he played very well.”

Hayes best stop of the night came with just under three minutes remaining in the second period when he took a sure goal away from Marek Viedensky with a right pad save while moving laterally to his right on a cross-ice pass.

The stop preserved a 2-1 Brandon lead heading to the dressing room after 40 minutes.

Brent Raedeke scored a pair of goals for the Wheat Kings including the game-winner for the second straight night but the more important of the two was likely the one at the 8:31 mark of the third period and extended Brandon’s lead to 3-1.

The goal was subject to a lengthy video review before the ruling on the ice of a rule was upheld.

After a scoreless first period that saw the Blades, ramped up with the return of three players from suspension, take four consecutive minor penalties in the first 12 minutes, the Wheat Kings opened the scoring 5:01 into the second period on Toni Rajala’s his first career WHL playoff goal.
Matt Calvert added a 5-on-3 power-play goal late in the third to complete the scoring.

Travis Toomey scored the lone goal for Saskatoon while Steven Stanford stopped 27 shots in the Blades’ net.

The series now moves to Brandon for the next three scheduled games with Game #3 Wednesday night (7:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff…with Jay Fehr suspended, rookie F Jesse Sinatynski made his WHL playoff debut for the Wheat Kings…F Jordan Hale completed his three-game suspension Saturday and is eligible to return in Game #3…other Brandon scratches Saturday were D Ryley Miller, D Darren Bestland and G Liam Liston...Wheat Kings' goaltending Coach Matt Cockell is headed home with a gold medal. Cockell served as goaltending coach with the Canadian Under-18 Women's team, which won gold Saturday night in Chicago with a 5-4 overtime victory over the U.S. in the final of the World Under-18 Women's Hockey Championship. Christine Bestland, the sister of Wheat Kings' defenceman Darren Bestland, had one of the goals for Canada in the gold medal game.

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