Photo by Brandi Pollock
Brandon, MB (CKLQ) – The Brandon Wheat Kings opened up the 2018/19 season with a 2-1 win over their East Division rival Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday night.
Winners of nine of their last ten home openers, the Wheat Kings used a two-point night from Schael Higson and 28 saves from Jiri Patera to propel themselves to victory in front of 4500+ fans at Westoba Place.
Stelio Mattheos opened the scoring on the power play with just 46.8 seconds left on the clock in the first period. The goal came on the only minor penalty called in the hockey game.
Less than thirty seconds into the 2nd period, Schael Higson beat Adam Evanoff from the left point to give Brandon a 2-0 lead.
The Warriors, a 52-win club from last season would quickly respond. Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Justin Almeida beat Jiri Patera through a screen to cut the lead to one.
Moments later, the Wheat Kings caught a break when a Warrior goal was overturned following video review. The referee’s determined the puck was knocked into the net with a high stick.
Despite a late push, the Warriors were unable to draw even.
Patera’s 28 saves earned him his first WHL victory while Evanoff stopped 34 shots in the losing effort.
These two teams will meet again on Saturday night at Mosaic Place. (8:00 MB time on QCountry Radio)
BWK – Stelio Mattheos (1) (Higson) 19:13 PPG
BWK – Schael Higson (1) (Reinhardt) 19:44
MJ – Justin Almeida (1) (Langan) 7:31
Shots: 13-10 Brandon
Final Shots: 36-29 Brandon