Saturday, 11 September 2010

Wheat Kings Rally to Win Pre-Season Opener

The Brandon Wheat Kings pulled out a 5-4 overtime victory over the Regina Pats in their Western Hockey League pre-season opener Friday night.

Mark Schneider scored 58 seconds into extra time for the Wheat Kings to cap a comeback from a 3-0, second period deficit.

"You can never beat the winner of scoring an overtime winner for the team," says Schneider, who also had a pair of assists in the contest, "It's always a great feeling."

Schneider and 18-year old Ryley Miller were the only two returning defencemen to dress for the Wheat Kings Friday, with 16-year olds Eric Roy and Ryan Pulock and 17-year olds Jordan Fransoo and Spencer Galbraith rounding out the blueline crew.

"We had a young D-core and when I was a 16-year old in Kamloops, we had guys like Ray Macias and Victor Bartley back there, helping us along," says Schneider, "I know that, in the long run, helped me out and I just wanted to be able to help those young guys out."

The game turned in the Wheat Kings favour just over six minutes into the second period, when Miller crushed Pats' forward Cass Mappin with a clean check.

Dyson Stevenson instigated a fight with Miller in defence of his teammate and, while that exchange was taking place, Pats' defenceman Myles Bell then instigated a second fight with Brandon's Paul Ciarelli.

The end result was the Wheat Kings' enjoying a 5-on-3 power-play chance and Jordan Fransoo scored Brandon's first goal to help get the Wheat Kings back into the contest.

Jesse Sinatynski sent the game to overtime by scoring the tying goal with 4:08 left in the third period while David Toews scored the other two Brandon goals including one with just 19.1 seconds left in the second period that got Brandon to within a goal at 4-3.

Corbin Boes and Ty Rimmer combined to stop 37 shots in the Wheat Kings' net with Rimmer the busier of the two, blocked 24 of 25 shots over the game's final 31 minutes.

"I thought I played well," says the 18-year old Rimmer, "I was seeing the puck pretty good and the defencemen helped me out quite a bit today with rebounds and they made my job pretty easy...it was a good win."

The Pats and the Wheat Kings will do it all over again Saturday night in Brandon (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff...Wheat Kings' captain Brayden Schenn was listed as day-to-day by the LA Kings on Friday, see story below...Brandon F Paul Ciarelli did not return after his second period fight with Regina's Myles Bell because of what looked to be a shoulder injury...former Wheat King Jesse Hall is trying to secure a spot with the Pats but was held off the scoresheet Friday. Hall, 19, is now pointless in two pre-season games...Brandon product Landon Cross was assigned back to the AAA Midget Wheat Kings by the WHL's Kamloops Blazers on Friday night...the Wheat Kings' entire lineup for Friday, along with the game summary, is posted below.

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