Sunday, 16 May 2010

De Serres Makes Wheat Kings' History

It was a first in the history of the Brandon Wheat Kings on Sunday.

Jacob De Serres stopped 31 shots to record the first shutout by a Wheat Kings' goaltender in Memorial Cup history, helping Brandon to a 4-0 victory over the Moncton Wildcats.

"There's nothing better for a goalie than to bounce back, to battle back and brush everything off," says De Serres, "We had a little adversity and I think it showed a lot of resilence by myself and my team."

De Serres was making his first start of the Memorial Cup after being passed over for the starting assignment in favour of Andrew Hayes in the opener against Windsor on Friday.

"I was pretty upset about not getting the start on Friday but that's how it happened and I just tried to make the most of it (today)," says De Serres, "I knew there'd be a chance I'd get an opportunity and I wanted to make the most of it, and I did."

Toni Rajala got the Wheat Kings on the board at 10:14 of the first period, giving Brandon their first lead of the tournament.

"We thought about it before the game that we needed that first goal and I scored and it was good," says Rajala, "We had a lot of pressure but now we played our own game, and that's what happened when we played our own game."

Shortly after Rajala opened the scoring, De Serres made a key stop on a breakaway chance for Moncton's Ted Stevens that preserved the 1-0 lead through 20 minutes.

De Serres then made another key stop off Kelsey Tessier on a re-direction on the doorstep from a centreing pass from Gabriel Bourque early in the second period before Rajala potted his second of the game at the 8:17 mark to make it 2-0.

Brayden Schenn then potted a power-play goal at the 12:19 mark to make it 3-0, and the Wheat Kings made the lead hold up through 40 minutes despite a late second period power-play chance for Moncton.

Brent Raedeke made sure there were no thoughts of a dramatic comeback for the Wildcats in the third period, making it 4-0 just 2:24 into the final frame and De Serres made the lead hold up the rest of the way.

Nicola Riopel stopped 24 shots for Moncton, who fell to 0-and-2 and will need a victory in their final round-robin gamme Tuesday against Windsor to keep their Memorial Cup Tournament alive.

Brandon is 1-and-1 and play their final round-robin game against Calgary on Wednesday night.

Just how meaningful that game might be could be determined as early as Monday, when Windsor and Calgary meet in a battle of 1-and-0 teams.

Chaff...F Shayne Wiebe notched a pair of assists in Sunday's contest...the victory was the Wheat Kings' first in a Memorial Cup game since May 14, 1996...Jordin Tootoo (left) dropped the ceremonial opening faceoff on Sunday, and said afterward he nearly teared up with the outstanding standing ovation he received from the crowd...attendance Sunday was 5,215.

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