John Quenneville got a chance to live out a childhood dream late Wednesday night.
Quenneville scored 8:58 into double overtime to lift the Brandon Wheat Kings past the Edmonton Oil Kings 3-2 in Game #5 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final series.
The 18-year old Quenneville, an Edmonton product, grew up thinking about what it would be like to score an overtime winner at Rexall Place.
On Wednesday night, he got his chance.
“Before the shift, I was looking up and the Gretzky and Messier and all the banners that are hanging up there, and I was thinking that those guys had scored a lot of overtime goals,” said Quenneville, “I thought to myself that maybe it’ll be me. Rihards (Bukarts) made a great play and the rest is a blur.”
Tim McGauley gave Brandon a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 14:10 of the first period but Edmonton responded with the only two goals of the second, with Ben Carroll and Brett Pollock scoring 2:50 apart midway through the frame to give the Oil Kings a 2-1 lead through 40 minutes.
Eric Roy scored 5:01 into the third period to tie the game 2-2 and set the stage for overtime.
Jordan Papirny had another stellar performance in the Wheat Kings’ net, stopping 42 shots leaving the Brandon netminder with 180 saves on 191 shots in the series for a 2.01 goals against average and .942 save percentage.
Quenneville’s goal ended Brandon’s longest game in nearly 13 years and gives the Wheat Kings a four games to one victory in the series.
He says knocking out the defending WHL and Memorial Cup Champions is significant.
“There’s been so much time that the Oil Kings have been looking down on us and I think it’s our time now,” said Quenneville, “It’s such a proud moment for the organization to beat the defending champions...it’s super exciting.”
The Wheat Kings move into the second round of the WHL playoffs and will face the Regina Pats in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The opening two games of that series will take place April 10th and 11th at Westman Communications Group Place.
Chaff...the Pats advanced to the second round for the first time since 2007 Wednesday, beating Swift Current 4-0 to sweep their first round series...Brandon D Ryan Pilon played sparingly through the first half of the game but saw a more regular shift in the third period and in overtime...Brandon scratched F Morgan Klimchuk (undisclosed) for the second straight night while F Reid Duke, F Quintin Lisoway, D Mark Taraschuk, F Stelio Mattheos and G Logan Thompson were also out...Brandon’s last double overtime game came on April 28, 2002, a 3-2 loss to Red Deer in Game #6 of the Eastern Conference Final...tickets for Games #1 and #2 of the second round series against Regina will go on sale Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at the Keystone Centre box office.