Wheat Kings Even Up Series



(ISN) – BRANDON, MAN. – The Brandon Wheat Kings struck back at the Edmonton Oil Kings in Game 2 of their first-round playoff match-up Friday night.

The Wheaties got their high-powered offence going on the way to an 8-1 victory to even the series at 1-1 heading back to Edmonton.

“We all understood we simply weren’t good enough tonight. They were sharp. They were on point. They needed that game. They’re urgency level was higher than ours,” said Oil Kings head coach Steve Hamilton.

The win evens the first round match-up at 1-1 as it shifts to Edmonton for the next three games, meaning the Oil Kings ultimately accomplished their goal through the first two games in Brandon, even if Friday’s result was far from ideal.

“We need to keep it in perspective. Perspective is everything in a playoff series,” Hamilton said.

“We did what we needed to do in this format.

“Had we lost yesterday and won today, we’d still be 1-1 going home. We need to maintain the even keel that we talked about before this series started. Tonight’s a challenge. It’s a challenge for the players; it’s a challenge for the coaches to keep that even keel, but we’re a resilient group.”

Brandon jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 36 seconds in as Tyler Coulter scored on a wrap-around and led 1-0 after one period and 3-0 after two before scoring five in the third.

The Wheat Kings went 3-6 on their power play, which finished the regular season second in the WHL at 25.7 percent, and held the Oil Kings scoreless in six power-play chances. Jayce Hawryluk, Tim McGauley and John Quenneville all scored with the man advantage for Brandon.

“Our special teams were disgusting tonight. Gave us no chance to get back in it when we did get some power play opportunities,” Hamilton said.

Tyler Robertson scored the lone Oil Kings goal, his second of the postseason, with 4:55 remaining in the game. Robertson deflected a Ben Carroll point shot to break the Brandon shutout bid.

Jayce Hawryluk and Tim McGauley each had a pair for the Wheat Kings while Coulter, Eric Roy, Rihards Bukarts and John Quenneville also scored.

Jordan Papirny made 33 saves to get the win for Brandon, while Tristan Jarry stopped 24 of 29 shots he faced before being pulled with 14:08 remaining. Patrick Dea made nine saves on 12 shots in his first playoff action and also stopped Hawryluk on a penalty shot for the first shot he faced.

Game 3 goes Sunday night at 6 p.m. at Rexall Place, giving the Oil Kings just under 48 hours to prepare for the next tilt in the series.

“It’s behind us. I’m over it. I think the guys are over it. Obviously we need to look at it and go through some things, but it’s over. It’s got to be over,” Hamilton said. “There’s no sense dwelling.”

“I think we’re capable of much more. Our guys feel like they’re capable of giving more … Sunday we get that opportunity.”