Saturday, 7 May 2016

Kaspick Nets OT Winner as Brandon Grabs Game One

  Tanner Kaspick scored 6:22 into overtime as the Brandon Wheat Kings took Game One of the WHL's Championship Series Friday night 3-2 over the Seattle Thunderbirds.

  In a game similar to Game One of the East Conference Final against Red Deer, Brandon looked tentative to start but got stronger as the game went on, outshooting Seattle 27-6 in the third period and overtime.

  "We had a little bit of a slow start there and got going in the third and, obviously, overtime," said Wheat Kings' goaltender Jordan Papirny on CKLQ's post-game show, "Obviously in overtime, we got a good bounce off the end wall and Kaspick put it home."

  The overtime winner was far from a classic, with Duncan Campbell's shots deflected over the Seattle net, off the end glass and back out in front where Kaspick batted home the waist-high puck past Seattle netminder Landon Bow.

  The game was a bit of a goaltender's duel, with Papirny making 31 saves in the contest including 15 in the first period and Bow stopped 39 shots.

  "Any game you go into, you want to outplay the other guy.  If you do that, you end up having success as a team most likely," said Papirny, "We've played a lot of games against each other so we're got familiarity.  I thought the boys played awesome tonight, I saw the puck early and boys had a couple of big blocks there...little things like that go a long way."

  The game also featured another third period comeback for the Wheat Kings, with Nolan Patrick's goal 4:50 into the third period tying the game 2-2.

  That goal came about 4 1/2 minutes after Ryan Gropp's power-play marker had given Seattle a 2-1 lead.

  Reid Duke scored Brandon's other goal on a man advantage with 2 1/2 minutes left in the first period, while Donovan Neuls had Seattle other goal on a Thunderbirds' penalty-kill midway through the second period.

  The Wheat Kings look to take a 2-0 lead Saturday night when they host Game Two (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff...Brandon dressed the same lineup for the 11th straight game, scratched D Schael Higson, F Caiden Daley, F Garrett Armour and F/D Mark Matsuba...both teams were 1-for-5 on the power-play...attendance was a season-high 5,610...Brandon has now won eight straight home playoff games while the loss was Seattle's first on the road in the playoffs...Game Two in the QMJHL between Shawinigan and Rouyn-Noranda was suspended Friday due to a problem with the ice.  It's slated to resume Saturday afternoon, with the host Huskies leading 2-1 after thee first period.

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