Friday, 25 March 2016

Deja Vu for Wheat Kings in Playoff Opener

Reid Duke (in white) scored his first career WHL playoff
goal on Thursday night.
  The Edmonton Oil Kings scored three unanswered third period goals to beat the Brandon Wheat Kings 4-2 Thursday night in the opening game of the Western Hockey League playoffs.

  Ben Carroll and Jesse Roach scored three minutes and 13 seconds apart early in the third period to help the Oil Kings erase a 2-1 deficit, with Brandon Baddock adding an insurance goal for Edmonton with 7 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

  It was deja vu for the Wheat Kings, who also lost Game #1 to Edmonton last year before rallying to beat the Oil Kings in five games in their first round series.

  "Obviously disappointing losing the first game.  I don't think we were good enough...we're going to have to bounce back and be ready to go (Friday)," said Brandon centre Nolan Patrick on CKLQ's post-game show, "Playoff hockey is hard to win so we have to be better (Friday)."

  Reid Duke and Nolan Patrick scored the goals for the Wheat Kings, with Duke's goal coming just nine seconds into the first period -- two seconds shy of the WHL record for fastest goal to start a WHL playoff game.

  Brandon outshot Edmonton 41-29 in the contest, but the Wheat Kings never seemed to have the same type of flow in the game that they had in winning nine straight to close out the regular season.

  "Where we were disappointed in our own game was our speed wasn't what we expect it to be or what we like it to be.  I never really felt that we got going as well as we could have," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon, "Another aspect of it is leading after two periods and not buttoning it down in our own building."

  Jordan Papirny made 25 saves in the Brandon net Thursday while Payton Lee stopped 39 shots for the Oil Kings.

  The teams will play Game Two Friday night (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff...Brandon's scratches were F Tyler Coulter (lower body), F Connor Gutenberg and F Linden McCorrister...F Lane Bauer, Edmonton's second-leading scorer in the regular season, did not play Thursday after being injured in Tuesday's play-in game in Medicine Hat...Brandon was 0-for-3 on the power-play including two chances with the club 2-1 and looking for an insurance goal...Edmonton's Brett Pollock was unsuccessful on a first period penalty shot...Duke's first period goal for Brandon was the first of his WHL playoff career...attendance was 3,507...Wheat Kings' legend Brad McCrimmon was named as #22 on the list of the WHL’s top 50 players on Thursday.

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