Brandon Wheat Kings
Brandon, MB. — The Brandon Wheat Kings kicked off a 3-game Western Hockey League home stand Wednesday night with a come from behind 5-4 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants.
The win snapped a 3-game losing streak for the Wheat Kings, who climbed back to within a point of first place in the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Division.
Captain Mark Stone scored the game winner at the :35 second mark of the final period as the Wheat Kings improved to 17-10-1-1 on the season.
Trailing 4-2 in the second period, the Wheat Kings scored back to back powerplay goals – 11 seconds apart – with just over six minutes remaining in the middle frame to send both teams to the dressing room deadlocked at four through forty minutes of play.
Those two powerplay goals chased Vancouver starting netminder Jackson Whistle, who turned aside 12 of 16 shots. Former Saskatoon Blade Adam Morrison finished up, stopping 12 of thirteen. The only shot that beat him was Stone’s third period game winner.
The league’s leading scorer, Stone finished the night with a goal and an assist while linemate Brenden Walker scored once and set up two others. Rounding out the scoring for the Wheat Kings, who outshot the Giants 29-26 were Dominick Favreau, Brodie Melnychuk and Alessio Bertaggia.
Brendan Gallagher scored three times in a losing cause for the Giants, who were playing their first game in Brandon in two years. Levi Bews also scored for Vancouver.
Corbin Boes got the win between the pipes, making 22 saves in a nice bounce back game from last Friday when he gave up seven in a loss to the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors.
Brandon was 2-7 with the man advantage while the Giants connected on two of five powerplays.
Stone and Gallagher were two of three players on the ice Wednesday that will be heading to Calgary later this month for the National Junior Selection Camp. Joining them will be 19-year old Brandon left-winger Michael Ferland, who finished the game without a point but had two fights and a game misconduct. His second major came at the final buzzer when both teams were leaving their respective benches.
With the win, the Wheat Kings are now one point back of both Saskatoon and Moose Jaw in the Eastern Division. While the Warriors downed the Prince Albert Raiders 3-0, the Blades were 6-1 losers to the defending champion Kootenay Ice.
The Wheat Kings’ home stand will continue Friday night when the Red Deer Rebels come to town. Friday night’s game will feature the annual Shoppers Mall Teddy Bear Toss, so fans are encouraged to come with a truckload of stuffed animals and when the Wheat Kings score their first goal, they can litter the ice with them. All donations collected will go to the local Christmas Cheer Board.
Tickets to Friday’s game are on sale at the Keystone Centre box office, by calling 726-3555 or online at ticketmaster.ca