Sunday, 26 April 2015

Another Hometown OT Hero for Wheat Kings

The Wheat Kings celebrate Tyler Coulter's OT winner.
  Tyler Coulter scored 51 seconds into overtime as the Brandon Wheat Kings downed the Calgary Hitmen 3-2 on Saturday night to grab a two games to none lead in the Western Hockey League's Eastern Conference Final.

  The Wheat Kings peppered Calgary netminder Brendan Burke with 46 shots including 16 in a third period when the only goal was Michael Zipp's tying marker for Calgary about seven minutes into the final frame.

  "I definitely thought was put a lot of pucks to the net tonight," said Coulter on CKLQ's post-game show, "A lot of credit to their goalie, he played well but, at the end of the day, we got it down."

  Coulter redirected a Ryan Pilon point shot home past Burke in the opening minute of overtime after the Wheat Kings had already created a couple of decent scoring opportunities in the offensive zone.

  "I just saw the puck go to the point and I went and stood in front of the net," added Coulter, "The last thing I remember is the puck hitting me and going in...I didn't really see it coming."

  For the second straight night, Brandon jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals from Jayce Hawryluk and Peter Quenneville.

  Adam Tambellini replied for Calgary with 3:12 left in the opening period to cut the Wheat Kings' lead in half.

  The game was goalless for a long stretch after that until Zipp's shot from the top of the left circle slipped underneath the glove of Brandon's netminder Jordan Papirny, who finished the night with 22 saves.

  Coulter's overtime heroics capped a quality performance by the Wheat Kings in a game that, in a lot of ways, should have had its outcome determined before it ever got to extra time.

  "You have to have some mental toughness, maturity, focus, composure and that's sometimes easier said than done but I give our guys credit," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon, "I didn't sense any frustration or anything like that in the dressing room between periods or on the bench along the way."

  The series now shifts to Calgary, with Games #3 and #4 at the Saddledome on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Chaff...Calgary F Jake Virtanen was suspended by the WHL Saturday under supplemental discipline for his hit on Brandon's Tanner Kaspick early in the third period of Game #1 on Friday.  The length of the suspension has yet to be determined...Calgary coach Mark French was fined $1,000 by the WHL Saturday after being ejected from Game #1...Brandon scratches included Kaspick, D Kale Clague, D Mark Taraschuk, F Ty Lewis, F Quintin Lisoway, F Reid Duke and G Logan Thompson...after 5,028 attended Friday's game, Saturday's crowd was 5,004...Adin Hill made 38 saves to help Portland beat Kelowna 3-2 Satruday to tie the WHL's Western Conference Final 1-1...the United States beat Canada 7-2 Saturday in semifinal action at the World Under-18 Hockey Championship.  Canada will play for bronze on Sunday.

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