Daniel Wapple stopped 39 shots to lead the Regina Pats to a 3-2 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings on Tuesday night.
Goals by Braden Christoffer and Taylor Cooper three minutes and 15 seconds apart early in the second period turned a 1-1 game into a 3-1 Pats’ lead, and Regina managed to hold off the Wheat Kings’ attack for most of the rest of the way including a goalless third period.
“The second period, we weren’t good enough on defence and we weren’t good enough on offence,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “They scored twice as a result and that was the different in the game.”
The Cooper goal at the 5:08 mark came on a wraparound play to the front of the Wheat Kings’ net that the Pats were able to put home.
Protecting the front of the net is something the Wheat Kings will be looking to do a little bit better moving forward.
“Some of these things come down to two teams and one puck. We just weren’t hard enough at the net,” said McCrimmon, “We let some shots through from the points in the second period that the forwards did a really poor job. You have to pay a price to win, winning is hard and, in the second period, we didn’t do it.”
Jared McAmmond and Stelio Mattheos, with his first career WHL playoff goal, exchanged first period markers that left the teams tied 1-1 after 20 minutes.
Peter Quenneville scored the other Brandon goal, a power-play marker with 1:28 left in the second period that got the Wheat Kings’ to within one at that point.
Brandon could not get the equalizer in the third period despite carrying much of the play, particularly when they pulled goaltender Jordan Papirny for the extra attacker over the final 90 seconds.
John Quenneville had Brandon’s best chance in the final frame, hitting the post with about seven minutes left in the third period.
Papirny finished the night with 28 saves in the Wheat Kings net.
The loss snapped Brandon’s six-game playoff winning streak.
Game #4 is Wednesday night in Regina (7:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ), with Game #5 set for Friday back at Westman Communications Group Place in Brandon (7:30 p.m.).
Chaff...F Jayce Hawryluk, F Rihards Bukarts, F Morgan Klimchuk and D Colton Waltz were all scratched by the Wheat Kings due to undisclosed injuries...F Quintin Lisoway (knee, out for season) and G Logan Thompson (healthy) were the other Brandon scratches...Brandon was 1-for-3 on the power-play while the Pats were 0-for-1...the teams combined for just four minor penalties in the contest... tickets for Game #5 will go on sale Wednesday morning at the Keystone Centre box office (726-3555 or online at www.keystonecentre.com).