Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Stone, Boes Pace Wheat Kings to Win, 3-1 Series Lead

Mark Stone helped Brandon to a 3-1 victory over Calgary
on Tuesday, giving the Wheat Kings a 3-1 series lead
(BTW, love the Expos Cap in the front row)
The Brandon Wheat Kings are one win away from advancing to the second round of the Western Hockey League playoffs.

Mark Stone had a goal and an assist and Corbin Boes stopped 32 shots as the Wheat Kings beat the Calgary Hitmen 3-1 Tuesday night to take a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference Quarter-Final series.

It was a reversal of a year ago, when the Wheat Kings held a 2-1 lead over Medicine Hat in their first round series but lost Game #4 and, eventually, the series.

“I think it was in the back of our minds a little bit. Obviously, last year, that was the turning point in the series,” said Stone on CKLQ’s post-game show, “This year, going into the third period with that 3-0 lead, we knew we needed to bear down and we got the job done.”

Ryan Pulock and Paul Ciarelli also scored for the Wheat Kings, with Pulock’s power-play marker with just over nine minutes left in the first period opening the scoring and Ciarelli tip-in of a Alessio Bertaggia shot 1:57 into the second period increasing Brandon’s advantage to 3-0.

In addition to the power-play marker, the Wheat Kings were also 4-for-4 on the penalty-kill as special teams played a key role in the outcome for, perhaps, the first time in the series.

“We’ve said it before, it’s not always how many you score but when you score them,” said Brandon coach Cory Clouston, “Hats off to our penalty-kill. We had some huge kills in some very timely situations, and it allowed us to get that win.”

Corbin Boes stopped 32 shots in the Brandon net including 12 in the third period, when the Hitmen pressed to cut into the Wheat Kings’ 3-0 lead, getting their only goal from Alex Gogolev.

Chris Driedger stopped 13 of 16 shots before being relieved after Brandon’s third goal by Brandon Glover, who stopped all 13 shots he faced the rest of the way.

The Wheat Kings have a chance to win the series when they host Game #5 on Thursday night at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.

“That fourth win is the toughest win to get. We’re going to prepare like we’ve been preparing these last couple of games,” said Stone, “We’re going to give it our best effort to try and win the series.”

Chaff...Boes now has a 2.00 GAA and .942 SPCT in the series...attendance Tuesday at the MTS Centre was 3,563, 15 less than Sunday but around the number the Wheat Kings have averaged in Winnipeg over the last eight years...a night of firsts for Westman products on Tuesday night. Brandon’s Joel Edmundson had his first career WHL playoff goal in Moose Jaw’s 5-3 win over Regina; Killarney’s Reid Gow had his first career WHL playoff goal in Spokane’s 3-2 win over Vancouver and Brandon’s Landon Cross had his first career WHL playoff goal in Kamloops’ 7-5 win over Victoria.

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