Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Wheat Kings Movin' On

The Brandon Wheat Kings have moved into the third round of the Western Hockey League playoffs.

The Wheat Kings rallied from 3 –0, second period deficit to defeat the Saskatoon Blades 5-4 on Monday night to take the Eastern Conference Semifinal Series 4-2.

Marek Viedensky scored midway through the first period to give Saskatoon a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes and Jeremy Boyer, on the power-play, and Gaelen Patterson scored goals 30 seconds apart early in the second period to give the Blades a 3-0 lead.

Colby Robak got the Wheat Kings on the board at the 4:03 mark of the second period to get Brandon on the board in, what turned out to be, a key goal in the contest.

“In a 3-0 game, it doesn’t seem as significant when it happens and yet, to get three, you have to get the first one,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “The one thing that helped our team is that we have done that at different times during the season and I don’t think we lost focus or composure, we just dug in and played.”

Aaron Lewadniuk and Scott Glennie added second period goals for Brandon to tie the game 3-3 through 40 minutes, setting the stage for a back-and-forth final frame.

Shayne Wiebe gave Brandon a 4-3 lead 5:07 into the third period, Charles Inglis tied it for Saskatoon at 7:11 before Matt Calvert gave Brandon a 5-4 lead at the 8:09 mark of the third – a lead that the Wheat Kings would make hold up the rest of the way.

Jacob De Serres made 33 saves in the Brandon goal while Steven Stanford stopped 30 shots for Saskatoon.

It was the first possible series-clinching Game #6 the Wheat Kings had been involved in since 2005 and McCrimmon felt the series helped toughen his team for future adversity.

“The pressure and the ability to respond in those situations, I think, is invaluable for our team and much better prepares us for what lies ahead,” says McCrimmon.

Brandon will now face the Calgary Hitmen in the WHL’s Eastern Conference Final.

The first two games will be in Calgary on Friday and Saturday.

Chaff…D Darren Bestland missed his fourth game of the series Monday while F Jordan Hale sat out his second straight game. Jesse Sinatynski, Ryley Miller and Liam Liston were the other scratches for Brandon…the Wheat Kings improved to a perfect 5-and-0 on the road in the post-season and to 56-23-2-2 in regular season and playoff action over the past two years.

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