Saturday, 6 November 2010

Toews Plays OT Hero in Return to Lineup

David Toews returned to the Brandon Wheat Kings' lineup after an 11-game absence and certainly made his presence felt.

Toews' power-play goal 2:29 into overtime lifted the Wheat Kings past the Spokane Chiefs 3-2 Friday night.

It was Brandon's third power-play goal of the night with Shayne Wiebe and Mark Stone also collecting goals with the man advantage for the Wheat Kings.

"As good as our power-play was, it was the difference in the game tonight, but there were stretches in the first part of that 4-on-3 in overtime that it wasn't real good," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ's post-game show, "Fortunately, David found a way make a big play on the winner."

The Toews winner came just seconds after Darren Bestland had hit the post but after the Wheat Kings had allowed Spokane to tie the game with 1:26 left in the third period with a Levko Koper goal with the Chiefs' net empty.

Dominik Uher also scored for Spokane while James Reid stopped 29 shots in the Chiefs' net.

Liam Liston made 35 saves for Brandon including 20 in the third period, when the Wheat Kings were outshot 21-12.

"Obviously, they're down by a goal and they have that shot mentality and they're just turning and firing the puck," says Liston, "The guys did a good job of clearing shooting lanes and letting me see the puck and I did my best to put the rebounds in the corners and let them go get it."

Friday's victory ended a three-game home-ice losing streak for the Wheat Kings and Liston says they certainly didn't want another moral victory.

"It was a big deal for our club. Coming in here with a losing effort where we were close wasn't going to cut it," says Liston, "Losing in a shootout was going to cut it, a good effort where we lost wasn't going to cut it. I think it a real important for our hockey club to get two points."

The Wheat Kings will try to make it four wins in six games Saturday night when they entertain the Seattle Thunderbirds (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff...Stone's third period marker allowed him to extend his goal-scoring streak to five games, tied for the third longest in the WHL this season...Brandon D Darren Bestland played his 150th career game Friday night...Friday's win was the Wheat Kings' fifth straight over Spokane in Brandon...Saturday's game will mark the first team former Wheat King Brendan Rouse plays back in Brandon since being traded to Seattle for G Jacob De Serres last October. Rouse has three goals and five points in 13 games this season, with all the goals coming via a hat-trick in Chilliwack on October 9th...former WK Colby Robak is adjusting to the pro game as he and the Rochester Americans prepare to visit Winnipeg next weekend. There's more on that here...

Spokane Chiefs 2 at Brandon Wheat Kings 3 (OT)

First Period
1. Brandon, Wiebe 6 (Glennie, Stone) 8:15 (pp)

Penalties: Johnson Spo (tripping) 5:11, Brassart Spo (hooking) 7:47, Valcourt Spo (roughing) 14:52.

Second Period
2. Spokane, Uher 1 (Marantz, Kuhn) 19:50

Penalties: Kramer Spo, Ferland Bdn (fighting) 5:31, Koper Spo (kneeing, fighting), Miller Bdn (instigating, fighting, misconduct) 13:27.

Third Period
3. Brandon, Stone 11 (Pulock, Melnychuk) 7:39 (pp)
4. Spokane, Koper 9 (Cowen, Kichton) 18:34

Penalties: Seaman Bdn (holding) 4:18, Baldwin Spo (hooking) 6:34.

5. Brandon, Toews 4 (Bestland, Gustafsson) 2:29 (pp)

Penalty: Spokane bench (too many men; served by Kuhn) 0:30.

Shots on goal by
Spokane 5 11 21 0 -- 37
Brandon 12 6 12 2 -- 32

Goal: Spokane: Reid (L,7-6-1); Brandon: Liston (W,5-4-1).

Power plays (goals-chances): Spokane: 0-1; Brandon: 3-5.

Referees: Curtis Howe, Ryan Thompson; Linesmen: Kelsey Mahoney, Darrell Surminski.

Attendance: 4,534

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