Thursday, 29 December 2011

Miller Wheat Kings' OT Hero

Brenden Walker had two goals and an assist in
Wednesday's victory
With Mark Stone and Alessio Bertaggia representing their countries at the World Junior Hockey Championship, the Brandon Wheat Kings knew they'd have to get offensive production from some different sources over the next ten days.

They probably didn't expect Ryley Miller to be one of those sources.

The fourth-year defenceman scored 1:23 into overtime as the Wheat Kings downed the Regina Pats 3-2 Wednesday night to open the second half of their WHL schedule.

Brenden Walker had two goals and an assist for the Wheat Kings while Michael Ferland set up all three Brandon goals.

"It was a great play by Mike there. He went around that D and set me up there and I just put it top shelf," said Walker in describing his two power-play goals, "The second one there, I was just such a quick play. I was wide open and I was yelling Mike, Mike, Mike. He got me the pass and I banged it home."

Special teams proved to be key for Brandon.

In addition to scoring twice on the power-play, the Wheat Kings were also a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty-kill.

"Overall, I thought our power-play was very good," said Brandon coach Cory Clouston on CKLQ's post-game show, "I thought our penalty-kill over the last three games, I don't think we've given up a goal. We're getting much better at that, and credit to the guys to going out there and executing."

Lane Scheidl scored both goals for Regina including one with 4:09 left in the third period that sent the game to overtime while Matt Hewitt made 28 saves in the Pats' net.

Brandon Anderson stopped 26 shots for the Wheat Kings.

Brandon remains six points behind Moose Jaw for first-place in the WHL's East Division after the Warriors edged Edmonton 4-3 in a shootout on Wednesday night.

The Oil Kings visit the Wheat Kings on Friday night (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff...the WHL trade freeze ended at midnight Wednesday and Prince Albert and Spokane were the first out of the game. The Raiders acquired Spokane’s leading scorer, Anthony Bardaro, goaltender Luke Lee-Knight and a fifth round pick in the 2012 bantam draft in exchange for goaltender Eric Williams and forward Todd Fiddler.

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Wheat Kings' captain Mark Stone was at it again on Wednesday night.

Stone opened the scoring at 5:37 into the first period and Canada went on to a 5-0 victory over the Czech Republic at the World Junior Hockey Championship in Alberta.

Stone also missed on a penalty shot attempt in the final minute of the first period.

Scott Wedgewood made 26 saves for Canada while Winnipeg Jets' draft pick Mark Scheifele scored a pair of goals.

Canada is 2-and-0 and plays Denmark Thursday night in Edmonton.

In other games at the World Juniors on Wednesday, Sweden got by Switzerland 4-3 in a shootout.

Alessio Bertaggia of the Wheat Kings was held off the scoresheet for the Swiss.

The other two games saw Russia beat Slovakia 3-1 and Finland upset the United States 4-1.

Meanwhile, Wednesday was a tuneup day for teams at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Windsor, Ontario.

Wheat Kings' rookie Ayrton Nikkel and Team Pacific defeated Sweden 4-1 in their pre-tournament game while Team West and Germany played to a 4-4 tie in their exhibition contest.

Team Pacific and Team West meet Thursday night to open the round-robin.

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