Brandon, MB. — Fresh off a successful six game Western Hockey League home stand, the Brandon Wheat Kings had a 3-game win streak come to an abrupt halt Saturday night with a disappointing 6-4 loss to the hometown Regina Pats.
The Pats scored scored six times in the third period to score the come from behind win and move past Brandon and into a share of sixth place with Saskatoon in the WHL’s Eastern Conference. The Wheat Kings, who led 4-0 early in the third period, slip back into eighth place with a record of 35-27-1-3.
The Pats scored five goals in just under seven minutes in the third as Regina hosted Brandon for the first of two games in four days. The two teams will meet again Wednesday night at the Brandt Centre.
“We gave them a chance and they got sniff, fed off it and we could never regain it,” Brandon assistant coach Darren Ritchie told Bruce Luebke on CKLQ’s post-game show, “They kept coming at us in waves and we didn’t defend as good as we were doing it earlier in the game. Once we made it 4-0, I didn’t think we were ever the same. I think what came back to haunt us was that we had so much time in our end for the majority of the game.
Chandler Stephenson scored three times to lead the winners, including two in the 7-minute third period eruption. His hat trick goal came into an empty net in the game’s final minute.
Darian Dziurzynski, Michael Ferland, Brenden Walker and Alessio Bertaggia scored in a losing cause for the Wheat Kings, who received a 35-save performance from netminder Corbin Boes.
Including Wednesday’s game in Regina, the Wheat Kings will play three of their final six games against the Pats.
Following Wednesday’s game, the Wheat Kings will return home to play back to back games next weekend against the Saskatoon Blades. Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ quarterback Buck Pierce will drop the puck in Friday’s ceremonial opening face-off while Saturday’s game will feature a special appearance of the Scotiabank “Celebration of Hockey” and a visit from the Stanley Cup.
Tickets to both games will go back on sale first thing Monday at the Keystone Centre box office. Fans can also purchase online at ticketmaster.ca or by calling 726-3555.