Winnipeg, MB. (ISN) — The Brandon Wheat Kings have pushed the Calgary Hitmen to the brink of elimination in their Western Hockey League Eastern Conference Quarterfinal.
Captain Mark Stone scored once and set up another and Corbin Boes turned aside 32 shots as the Wheat Kings beat the Hitmen 3-1 Tuesday night to grab a commanding 3-1 lead in their best of seven opening round playoff series.
Ryan Pulock and Paul Ciarelli also scored for the Wheat Kings, who led 2-0 and 3-0 at the period breaks.
Alex Gogolev replied for the Hitmen, who outshot the Wheat Kings 33-29.
Special teams were again a key for the Wheat Kings, who lost three of four regular season games to the Hitmen in 2011-12. Not only did Brandon open the scoring with the man advantage, the Wheat Kings were a perfect 4 for 4 when it came to penalty killing.
“We’ve said it before, it’s not always how many you score but when you score them,” Brandon coach Cory Clouston told CKLQ’s Bruce Luebke after the game. “Hats off to our penalty-kill. We had some huge kills in some very timely situations, and it allowed us to get that win.”
The Wheat Kings will have a chance to win the series on Thursday night when the two teams hit the ice for the third game in five nights at MTS Centre in Winnipeg.
“That fourth win is the toughest win to get. We’re going to prepare like we’ve been preparing these last couple of games,” Stone told CKLQ. “We’re going to give it our best effort to try and win the series.”
Tickets to Thursday’s game are on sale at all Ticketmaster locations, online at ticketmaster.ca or by calling 1-855-985-5000.