Prince Albert, SK – The Brandon Wheat Kings earned their fourth victory in a row on Friday night, knocking off the Prince Albert Raiders 3-2 in overtime.
Ridly Greig scored twice, including the game-winner as Brandon drew first blood in a weekend double-header with the East Division-leading Raiders.
“Guys could feel the energy tonight,” said Assistant Coach Mark Derlago. “We came out hard and did a lot of little things right tonight. We were throwing the body, taking hits and blocking shots. It was a fun one and it’s nice to come away with two points.”
This game had a playoff feel from the opening puck drop. Both teams were engaged physically and the volume inside the Art Hauser Centre was turned up to eleven.
The Raiders opened the scoring on a goofy bounce in front of Jiri Patera. The puck came off the stick of Brayden Watts, deflected off a Wheat King leg in front of the crease and over the shoulder of the Brandon netminder.
Despite giving up the first goal, the Wheat Kings quickly responded. Jake Chiasson grabbed his own rebound from a failed rush up the ice and buried his 5th of the year over the shoulder of Max Paddock, who finished with 32 saves vs his hometown team.
Brandon took their first lead of the night early in the second, Ridly Greig took a pass from Cole Reinhardt and undressed Paddock for his 25th of the season.
Before the period would end, Brandon got hemmed in their own end and the Raiders made them pay. Watts took a pass from Spencer Moe in the corner and buried his 2nd of the game to put the game back to square one at the intermission.
“Everyone got involved tonight,” added Derlago. “In games like this there is some line matching going on, but it was nice to see guys get involved when their number was called.”
Brandon outshot the Raiders 8-7 in the third period, but couldn’t get the go-ahead marker.
Just 0:29 into overtime, Ridly Greig found a loose puck and was home free from the Brandon line. His quick wrist shot fooled Paddock and sent the Wheat Kings home with the extra point.
The goal was Greig’s fourth game-winner of the season and his two-point night extended his point streak to seven games.
Meanwhile, the Raiders are now tied with Kelowna for the most extra-time appearances with 16.
Brandon now sits four points back of the Raiders for the top spot in the East Division, while Winnipeg and Saskatoon both earned victories on Friday night, helping them keep pace in this four-horse race.
The Wheat Kings and Raiders will do it all over again on Saturday night at Westoba Place. (7:30 on QCountry Radio.)
NOTES: The Wheat Kings announced on Thursday that if the club is required to play their home games away from Westoba Place due to playoff positioning and the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, those games will be played in Virden at Tundra Oil & Gas Place.
Also on Thursday, the team announced that 2020-2021 Season Tickets will remain the same price. However, the Keystone Centre has installed a new “Facility Fee” that will be added to the total price of the packages. The fee will be $34.00 for adult ticket packages, $30.00 for senior packages and $20.00 for children’s packages. For more details, CLICK HERE.
P.A – Brayden Watts (26) (Protas) 14:11
BWK – Jake Chiasson (5) (Sekundiak) 16:28
Shots: 15-7 Brandon
BWK – Ridly Greig (25) (Reinhardt, Gutenberg) 4:13
P.A. – Brayden Watts (27) (Protas, Moe) 13:32
Shots: 13-10 Prince Albert
Shots: 9-7 Brandon
BWK – Ridly Greig (26) (Unassisted) 0:29
Final Shots: 34-27 Brandon