Photo by Brandi Crowe
Brandon, MB (CKLQ) – The Brandon Wheat Kings pulled within two points of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, with a 3-2 shootout win over the Regina Pats on Saturday night.
Looking to bounce back from a 4-0 loss on Friday, the Wheat Kings did not get the start they wanted, giving up a goal on the first shot on net.
Kyle Walker floated a wrist shot through a screen and it beat Ethan Kruger to open the scoring for Regina.
Kruger, was making his first start since January 3rd would make 31 saves on the night and earn the first star honours.
The Wheat Kings would respond on the powerplay. Connor Gutenberg picked up his 11th of the year as he beat Dean McNabb, who had played 66:02 without giving up a goal.
It was a slow-moving second period, but the Wheat Kings found themselves in front on a great play from their top line.
Luka Burzan drove the puck down the wall and fed Cole Reinhardt who was streaking to the back door. The Irricanna, AB native made no mistake for his 15th of the year, putting Brandon up 2-1 after 40.
The Pats turned it on in the final frame, outshooting the Wheat Kings 12-3 over the final 20 minutes of regulation. With just under 4:00 left on the clock, Kyle Walker would find a loose puck in a goal-mouth scramble and poke home his 2nd of the night to send the game to overtime.
Both teams exchanged chances in the three-on-three extra-frame but neither team could find the back of the net, setting up a shootout between these clubs for the first time this season.
Ben McCartney and Stelio Mattheos would light the lamp while Ethan Kruger shut the door, stopping both Sergei Alkhimov and Austin Pratt on route to his 5th victory of the season.
With the win, Brandon moves to 20-19-3-3 and within two points of the Calgary Hitmen for the 2nd wild-card spot in the conference.
The Wheat Kings will head out on a four-game Alberta road trip on Sunday night. The trip begins on Tuesday night at Rogers Place in Edmonton. (8:00 on QCountry Radio)
REG – Kyle Walker (1) (Feist, Streau) 3:53
BWK – Connor Gutenberg (11) (Mattheos, Reinhardt) 6:02 PPG
Shots: 12-10 Brandon
BWK – Cole Reinhardt (15) (Burzan, Mattheos) 4:11
Shots: 10-9 Brandon
REG – Kyle Walker (2) (Pierce, Sedov) 16:35
Shots: 12-3 Regina
Final Shots: 33-28 Brandon
REG – Alkhimov – No Goal
BWK – McCartney – Goal
REG – Pratt – No Goal
BWK – Mattheos – Goal