Friday, 23 March 2012

Wheat Kings Celebrate Game #1 Win

The Brandon Wheat Kings opened the post-season with a victory for the fourth consecutive spring.

Darian Dziurzynski scored twice and Corbin Boes stopped 34 shots as the Wheat Kings beat the Calgary Hitmen 6-2 on Thursday night to take a 1-0 lead in the Best-of-Seven Eastern Conference Quarter-Final series.

The game was tied 2-2 before Mark Stone gave Brandon the lead for good with 3:43 left in the second period while Michael Ferland and Dziurzynski, with his second of the night, scored 28 seconds apart early in the third period to give Brandon a 5-2 lead.

Stone, Ferland and Alessio Bertaggia all had a goal and an assist for the Wheat Kings while Jason Swyripa notched his first goal since December 13th, ending a 32-game goalless drought in his hometown.

“We had four full lines tonight, and it’s been a while since we’re had that. I thought everybody got to play a fair bit and that’s what you need at this time of year,” said Brandon assistant coach Darren Ritchie on CKLQ’s post-game show, “It’s not going to be the Mark Stone’s or Michael Ferland’s that are going to lead us all the time. We need the Dziurzynski’s and Bertaggia’s that are going to chip in for us and we were lucky enough to get that tonight.”

In total, the Wheat Kings got points from 11 different players in the victory but also get stellar play at the other end where Corbin Boes stopped 34 shots, allowing two or fewer goals for the 11th time in his last 13 starts.

“We was real good. I thought maybe fought some of his rebounds early on but as the game went along, he made some good, good saves for us,” added Ritchie, “We have a lot of confidence in Corbin, and you can feel the energy he gives to our guys when he makes a big save.”

Brooks Macek and Alex Gogolev scored the goals for Calgary while Chris Driedger stopped 26 shots in the Hitmen net.

Game #2 of the series goes Friday night in Calgary (7:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ or online at

Chaff…Swyripa and Bertaggia’s goals were the first of the post-season careers while Ayrton Nikkel, Ryley Miller and Bruno Mraz all picked up his first WHL playoff points, assists each…there were just six minor penalties in the game, three to each team…attendance at the Saddledome was 8,229.

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