April 9, 2014, BRANDON, Man. (ISN) – Jordan Papirny finally stole a game from the Edmonton Oil Kings.
The Brandon Wheat Kings netminder, who had been strong all series as the Oil Kings peppered his net, made 49 saves Wednesday as the Wheaties staved off elimination in Game 4 of their second round playoff series, sending it back to Edmonton with the Oil Kings up 3-1.
“We anticipated a push, and that’s exactly what they gave us,” said Oil Kings forward Curtis Lazar. “Papirny’s doing a great job down there. He’s really keeping the guys in it down there. We have 50 shots almost every game.”
Edmonton outshot Brandon 51-31 but just missed on some key scoring chances, including a goal in the first period by Edgars Kulda that was waved off, and Brandon broke open a 2-2 game with three goals in the third period.
Richard Nejezchleb got Brandon on the board shortly after the disallowed Kulda goal, but Cody Corbett responded to tie it off a great feed from Brett Pollock. Tim McGauley put Brandon back on top before the end of the first on another odd-man rush for the Wheaties.
In the second, Luke Bertolucci tied it back up at 2-2, taking a great pass from Mads Eller in the slot and burying the shot.
In the third, Jens Meilleur tipped a pass at the point on an Oil Kings power play and broke in on a two-on-one shorthanded, burying the shot for the eventual game winner.
“Obviously it’s deflating,” Lazar said. “They capitalized on that opportunity and it’s up to use to rebound and do our best to try to get it back.”
John Quenneville added another for the Wheat Kings a short time later and Nejezchleb got his second of the game into an empty net.
“Every goal they scored, we turned over the puck,” said Oil Kings head coach Derek Laxdal. “We’ve got to forget about it and get ready for Friday night.”
Tristan Jarry made 26 saves in a losing effort for the Oil Kings.
The Oil Kings will now look to rebound as the series shifts back to Rexall Place where they beat Brandon 5-0 and 3-0 in Games 1 and 2.
“You’ve got to have a short term memory,” said Oil Kings captain Griffin Reinhart. “Sometimes you take the positives out of this, you get a little spanking and you regroup from here.”
Game 5 goes at 7 p.m. Friday. Tickets will go on sale Thursday morning at 10 a.m. and are available at oilkings.ca, the Rexall Place box office or any Ticketmaster location.