Sunday, 30 December 2012

Wheat Kings Open Trip with Win

Taylor Cooper scored twice in
Sunday's victory
  The Brandon Wheat Kings survived an ugly third period and beat the Red Deer Rebels 6-5 on Sunday night.

  Michael Ferland’s goal with 6:52 left in the third period snapped a 5-5 tie after the Wheat Kings had let a 5-3 lead evaporate during a final frame that saw the Rebels outshoot Brandon 19-4.

  “It wasn’t perfect tonight, for sure, but there were some points in the second when we did some really good things,” said Brandon assistant coach Darren Ritchie on CKLQ’s post-game show, “In the third, we kind of got back on our heals...we bent but we didn’t break, and that was the good thing.”

  The Wheat Kings actually held a 4-1 lead midway through the second period as Taylor Cooper scored twice, Quintin Lisoway notched his first career WHL goal and Jason Swyripa also scored for Brandon.

  The Rebels rallied to make it 4-3 on goals by Cory Millette and a power-play marker from Rhyse Dieno that came after Ryley Miller took an ill-time four-minute penalty for spearing.

  Geordie Maguire scored in the final minute of the second period to restore Brandon’s two-goal lead at 5-3 on a nifty setup from Eric Roy.

  Brooks Maxwell added Red Deer’s third power-play goal of the game 5:58 into the third period, his second of the game, and Scott Feser scored his first career WHL goal just over a minute later to tie the game 5-5.

  Four of Brandon’s six goals came from first-year players but Ritchie says those rookies are starting to play more like veteran players.

  “There is no more rookies and veterans,” said Ritchie, “We’re a team, and those guys are more comfortable in the league, they understand what’s expected from them and we’re starting to see it a little bit here with the way the guys are playing.”

  Curtis Honey stopped 37 shots in the Wheat Kings’ net including 17 in the third period while Grant Naherniak stopped 20 shots after replacing Red Deer starter Bolton Pouliot after the first Brandon goal early in the first period.

  The victory moves Brandon to within three points of eighth-place Moose Jaw in the WHL’s Eastern Conference.

  The Wheat Kings continue their Alberta road trip by visiting the Edmonton Oil Kings on Monday night (6:35 p.m., 880 CKLQ).


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