Friday, 30 March 2018

A Good Wheaties Friday

To say hockey in Manitoba has been successful this year might be one the greater understatements you'll find on this blog. The Jets are flying high in the NHL, the Moose have turned frowns upside down with a solid campaign in the AHL, and the Manitoba Bisons women's hockey team are national champions. There's one team that I don't really talk about a lot on here mainly because they play some two hours away, but the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings have decided they want in on this winning action as well!

The Wheat Kings, who came into their first-round WHL Playoff series against Medicine Hat as serious underdogs, came into tonight's game tied 2-2 in their best-of-seven with the Tigers after winning two-straight games to even the series. I would hardly say that the Wheat Kings hold an upper-hand after being outscored in the series thus far, but it seems that they may have figured out this Medicine Hat team as the Wheat Kings as looked to grab a stranglehold on the series tonight.

Down 2-0 in the second period, Brandon woke up in a big way and began to chip away at the Tigers' lead. It wasn't long before Colorado Avalanche prospect Ty Lewis scored his fourth goal of the playoffs to cut the deficit to one goal!
Ten minutes later, the Wheat Kings tied the game up as 2018 Draft-eligible prospect Luka Burzan deflected a Schael Higson shot past Medicine Hat's Jordan Hollett to make it a 2-2 game!
The third period opened with a quick goal, and it may have set the tone for the period. Connor Gutenberg finished off the two-on-one with Evan Weinger, and Brandon found themselves up 3-2 just 19 seconds into the final frame!
Schael Higson got in on another goal when his blast from the point was stopped by Hollett, but Linden McCorrister was on the doorstep to shovel the puck across the line while getting buried as Brandon jumped ahead 4-2 just 2:06 into the third period!
After Stelio Mattheos iced the game with an empty-net goal with just 40 seconds to play, the celebration was on as the wild-card seeded Brandon Wheat Kings downed the Medicine Hate Tigers by a 5-2 score to take a 3-2 series lead!
Nothing will come easy for Brandon as they as they return back to Dauphin, Manitoba's Dauphin Credit Union Place for Game Six as this home-away-from-home has really helped the Wheat Kings. It should be noted that Medicine Hat thumped Brandon 7-2 and 7-3 in Games One and Two, respectively, in Medicine Hat, so this series is far from over. If the adage of "you're never in trouble until you lose at home in the playoffs" is true, Medicine Hat literally has to win tonight to change the course of this series or they're watching from home for the remainder of the WHL Playoffs. Game Six goes Easter Sunday in Dauphin!

Can Brandon continue Manitoba's hockey success in the WHL? They're sixty minutes of solid hockey from making that happen! Go Wheaties!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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