McCORRISTER SENDS THE TIGERS PACKING

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Photo by Brandi Pollock 

Dauphin, MB (CKLQ) – If Linden McCorrister ran for the Mayor of Dauphin tomorrow, he’d win in a landslide. The 19-year-old from Peguis, MB played the role of hero on Sunday night scoring twice, including the overtime winner as the Brandon Wheat Kings beat the Medicine Hat Tigers 4-3. 

The win earns Brandon a 4-2 series win over the Tigers and clinches the Wheat Kings a spot in the Eastern Conference semi-final against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. 

“I thought our guys did a good job throughout the course of the game,” said Head Coach David Anning. “We responded well down 2-0 and found a way to claw back into it in the 2nd period.”

For the fifth time in the series, the Tigers scored first as Mark Rassell beat Dylan Myskiw just 3:37 into the first period. Rassell would add another midway through the 2nd to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. This was the the 2nd consecutive game the Tigers had a 2-0 lead in the 2nd period. 

In a series with dozens of momentum shifts, Zach Wytinck’s 2nd period fight with Baxter Anderson put a charge into the Wheat Kings bench. Just 0:23 after Wytinck and Anderson wrestled to the ice, Stelio Mattheos scored his 3rd of the post-season. 

“There is nothing that comes easy against the Tigers,” said Anning. “It was a real good series that made our club better.”

Just over four minutes later, Evan Weinger elected to shoot on a two-on-one and beat Jordan Hollett over the shoulder to tie the game at two. 

In the 3rd, the Tigers quickly regained momentum. Just 0:34 seconds into the frame Mark Rassell scored his third of the night to put Medicine Hat in front. 

Dylan Myskiw, who was making his 4th straight start stole the show in the third period, turning aside 24 shots including numerous quality scoring chances as the Tigers searched for the insurance marker. 

Myskiw, would finish the night with 52 saves and was named the game’s first start. 

“I thought our goalie (Myskiw) was excellent in the third period,” added Anning. “I thought he did a real good job deflecting shots away from dangerous areas. For as many shots as we gave up we didn’t give up nearly as many scoring chances because of his puck control.”

With just under 9:00 to go in the third period, Linden McCorrister beat Jordan Hollett through the five hole to tie the game at three. 

The goal was McCorrister’s third of the post-season and sent the crowd of 1,255 into a frenzy. 

Both teams went back and forth in the extra frame before McCorrister re-directed home a Braden Schneider pass to send the Wheat Kings to the 2nd round of the WHL Playoffs. 

“I thought we did a real good job in overtime, I thought our guys were organized, we did a good job controlling the pace and tempo and we got everyone on the ice and everyone contributed. It was a real emotional win and it was good for our guys to get the job done.”

As for McCorrister’s performance, his coach tipped his cap once again to his assistant captain. 

“He’s a guy who has really picked up his game and taken it to another level. He’s starting to control shifts and do a nice job in key situations whether its finishing a check or being hard enough on the wall to get the pucks out. He’s been excellent for us.”

The Wheat Kings will now take a few days to reset from a travel filled series with games over 800 KM’s apart in Medicine Hat and Dauphin. Brandon will likely open round two on Friday night at the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge. A full series schedule with broadcast details will be announced this week. 

CROWE’S NOTES:

-The Wheat Kings scratched Logan Thompson (Lower Body), Jonny Hooker (Upper Body), Baron Thompson (Healthy) & Ty Ettinger (Healthy).

-McCorrister’s 2nd goal of the night was his first overtime game winner of the season.

-Brandon is now 11-3 in overtime this year, including the regular season

-Attendance at Credit Union Place was 1,255

SCORING SUMMARY

1st PERIOD

MH – Mark Rassell (6) (Quenneville) 3:37

Shots: 14-13 Brandon

2nd PERIOD

M.H – Mark Rassell (7) (White, Ostir) 10:10
BWK – Stelio Mattheos (3) (Lewis, Burzan) 11:53
BWK – Evan Weinger (2) (Gutenberg) 15:57

Shots: 14-12 Medicine Hat

3rd PERIOD

M.H – Mark Rassell (8) (Chyzowski, Quenneville) 0:34
BWK – Linden McCorrister (3) (Weinger, Gutenberg) 11:51

Shots: 25-10 Medicine Hat

OVERTIME

BWK – Linden McCorrister (4) (Schneider) 10:37

Final Shots: 55-46 Medicine Hat

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WHEAT KINGS TAKE SERIES LEAD!

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Photo by Brandi Pollock

Medicine Hat, AB (CKLQ) – The Brandon Wheat Kings will have a chance to clinch a spot in the Eastern Conference Semi-Final on Sunday after a 5-2 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers in Game Five on Friday night.

The Wheat Kings got multi-point nights from four different players and 28 saves from Dylan Myskiw on route to their third straight victory.

“We’re getting contributions up and down the lineup and that’s certainly positive, you need that this time of year,” said Wheat Kings Head Coach David Anning.

For the fourth time in the series, the Tigers opened the scoring… or so they though. Jaeger White tucked home a loose puck into an open net and sent the crowd into a frenzy but the referee emphatically waved it off. Dylan Myskiw’s mask had come off prior to the puck crossing the goal line, meaning no goal.

The controversy wouldn’t deter the Tigers though, the opened the scoring at 9:14 as Ryan Chyzowski snapped one off the post and in for his 3rd of the post-season.

In the 2nd period, the Tigers took an early 2-0 lead. Just 0:33 into the period, Ryan Chyzowski potted his 2nd of the night and 4th of the post-season.

The Wheat Kings would respond on the powerplay. Ty Lewis netted his 4th of the season on a rebound in front, Lewis now has an, even strength, a powerplay and a shorthanded goal in this series.

Before the period would end, the Wheat Kings would tie it. Luka Buzan re-directed a Schael Higson point shot past Jordan Hollett. The goal capped off a period in which the Wheat Kings outshot the Tigers 15-6.

“I thought in the final sixteen minutes of the second period we did a real good job and controlled the play and played in the offensive zone a lot,” said David Anning. “We had guys going to the hard areas and going to the net, that generated a lot of scoring chances for us.”

The Wheat Kings came out flying in the third, scoring a pair of goals in the opening 2:06. Connor Gutenberg would score just 0:19 into the third as he finished off a 2on1 pass from Evan Weinger. Then, just a few moments later Linden McCorrister banged home a rebound on the powerplay to give Brandon a 4-2 lead.

The Tigers would pull the goalie for the extra attacker but Stelio Mattheos would put the icing on the cake and bury his 2nd of the playoffs in the open net.

The Wheat Kings penalty kill didn’t have a lot to do on Friday night, killing off just one Tiger chance, but going back to game four, the Wheat Kings have now killed off six straight penalties.

Dylan Myskiw earned his third straight victory, turning aside 28 shots, while Jordan Hollett took the loss, making 21 saves in the Tiger goal.

“The fourth game is the hardest one to win and you’re trying to put your opponent out. We expect their best on Sunday and we will need a big effort,” added Anning. “Right now we’re doing a lot of things well so we can lean on the fact that we’re on the same page and we’re executing well.

Game six of this series goes Sunday back in Dauphin at Credit Union Place. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00, our QCountry pre-game show begins at 6:30.

CROWE’S NOTES:

-The Wheat Kings scratched Logan Thompson (Lower Body), Baron Thompson (Coaches Decision), Ty Ettinger (Coaches Decision), & Jonny Hooker (Upper Body). L.Thompson has served his three game suspension and is eligible to return to the series.

-The Tigers had a goal disallowed in the first period. Dylan Myskiw’s mask had come off during the play, prior to Jaeger White tucking the puck into the open net. 

-Attendance at the Canalta Centre was 3,509.

SCORING SUMMARY

1st PERIOD

M.H – Ryan Chyzowski (3) (Quennville, Preziuso) 9:14

Shots: 8-6 Medicine Hat

2nd PERIOD

M.H – Ryan Chyzowski (4) (Preziuso, Jevne) 0:33
BWK – Ty Lewis (4) (Mattheos, Gutenberg) 5:52 PPG
BWK – Luka Burzan (2) (Higson, Lewis) 17:01

Shots: 15-6 Brandon

3rd PERIOD

BWK – Connor Gutenberg (2) (Weinger, McCorrister) 0:19
BWK – Linden McCorrister (2) (Higson, Lewis) 2:06 PPG
BWK – Stelio Mattheos (2) (Lewis) 19:20 ENG

Final Shots: 31-26 Brandon

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WHEAT KINGS EVEN THE SERIES!

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Photo by Brandi Pollock

Dauphin, MB (CKLQ) – The Brandon Wheat Kings thrilled the crowd in Dauphin on Wednesday night with a 5-3 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers. The win even’s the WHL Eastern Conference quarter-final at two games a piece.

The Wheat Kings came out flying in the first period, firing 16 shots at the Tiger goal. That the most 1st period shots the Wheat Kings have had in this series so far.

Once again, the 4th line created the offense for Brandon as Ben McCartney fed Daniel Bukac, who snapped home his first goal of the series. Bukac’s goal was the first time Brandon has opened the scoring in the series.

Just 1:11 later, Stelio Mattheos carried the puck over the Tiger line and sent the water bottle flying as he beat Michael Bullion over the shoulder to give Brandon a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.

In the 2nd, Brandon’s special teams was key. The Wheat Kings got just their 2nd powerplay goal of the series when Cole Reinhart tapped home a rebound, opening up a 3-0 lead.

The Tigers would respond however as Josh Williams beat Dylan Myskiw with a wrist shot to spoil the shutout bid.

The Wheat Kings would seal the game in the third period with goals from Linden McCorrister and Gunnar Wegleitner. Wegleitner, finished the night with a goal and an assist and was named the game’s 3rd star.

Dylan Myskiw picked up his 2nd consecutive victory, making 38 saves for Brandon while Michael Bullion stopped 31 shots in his first appearance of the series.

The Wheat Kings penalty kill was a perfect five for five on the night while the Tigers allowed one powerplay goal on just two opportunities.

Game five of this series will be played on Friday at the Canalta Centre in Medicine Hat. (8:30 MB time puck drop)

CROWE’S NOTES:

-Baron Thompson served the 3rd and final game of his suspension tonight. He is now eligible to return to the Wheat Kings lineup for Game #5.

-The Wheat Kings scratched Logan Thompson (Lower Body), Baron Thompson (Susp), Ty Ettinger (Healthy) & Jonny Hooker (Upper Body).

-Gunnar Wegleitner, Cole Reinhardt, Daniel Bukac and Linden McCorrister each scored their first career WHL Playoff goals in Game #4.

-Attendance at Credit Union Place was 1,271.

SCORING SUMMARY

1st PERIOD

BWK – Daniel Bukac (1) (McCartney, Wegleitner) 17:39
BWK – Stelio Mattheos (1) (Schneider) 18:50

Shots: 16-7 Brandon

2nd PERIOD

BWK – Cole Reinhardt (1) (Shearer, Weinger) 10:34 PPG
M.H – Josh Williams (2) (Quenneville, Gally) 16:59

Shots: 16-12 Medicine Hat

3rd PERIOD

BWK – Linden McCorrister (1) (Unassisted) 2:48
M.H – Mark Rassell (5) (Unassisted) 5:41
BWK – Gunnar Wegleitner (1) (Unassisted) 10:12

Final Shots: 40-36 Medicine Hat

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WE’VE GOT A SERIES!!! WHEAT KINGS BEAT TIGERS 5-3

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Photo by Brandi Pollock

Dauphin, MB (CKLQ) – The Brandon Wheat Kings earned an important Game #3 victory on Tuesday night, knocking off the Medicine Hat Tigers 5-3 at Dauphin’s Credit Union Place.

For the third straight night, the Wheat Kings found themselves trailing early. The Tigers, who scored six first period goals combined in the first two games of the series got on the board just 5:16 as Mark Rassell (4) beat Dylan Myskiw for his 8th point of the series.

In what could be considered the turning point of the game, Ty Lewis beat Jordan Hollett with a wrist shot with just 0:08 seconds left on the clock in the first period.

Connor Gutenberg gave Brandon their first lead of the series, just 3:00 into the middle frame but it was short-lived. Gary Haden responded for the Tigers, sending the game into the 2nd intermission tied at two.

After a Jaeger White powerplay goal gave the Tigers a 3-2 lead just 5:41 into the final period the Wheat Kings responded with two goals in a matter of 18 seconds.

Ben McCartney earned his 2nd career playoff goal on a fabulous individual effort, stealing the puck from Dalton Gally and burying the wrap-around inside the post.

Before the public address announcer could rattle off the McCartney goal, Evan Weinger took a feed from Linden McCorrister and went upstairs on Hollett for his 1st of the series.

Ty Lewis will seal the deal with his 2nd of the night late in the third to lift the Wheat Kings to their first playoff victory in seven tries, dating back to last year.

Dylan Myskiw picked up his first career playoff victory, turning aside 32 Tiger shots while Hollett stopped 30 of 35.

Game four of this series will go Wednesday night back at Credit Union Place. (7:30 MB Time on QCountry 91.5)

CROWE’S NOTES

-Logan Thompson did not dress on Tuesday night. He left game #2 late in the third period after being tended to by Athletic Therapist Chris Trivieri. 16-year-old Ethan Kruger who has been with the club since the end of the regular season was the backup to Dylan Myskiw.

-The WHL announced on Tuesday that FWD Baron Thompson will serve a three game suspension for his Game #1 hit on Dylan McPherson. Thompson sat out Game #2 and tonight. The Lakeville, MN native will sit out Wednesday’s Game #4 as well.

-The Wheat Kings scratched Ty Ettinger (Healthy), Jonny Hooker (Upper Body), Logan Thompson (Upper Body) & Baron Thompson (Suspension).

-Attendance at Credit Union Place was 1,247.

SCORING SUMMARY

1st PERIOD

M.H – Mark Rassell (4) (Lockner, Quenneville) 5:16
BWK – Ty Lewis (2) (Unassisted) 19:52

Shots:12-9 Brandon

2nd PERIOD

BWK – Connor Gutenberg (1) (McCorrister, Higson) 3:00
M.H – Gary Haden (2) (Clayton, White) 13:11

Shots: 11-10 Brandon

3rd PERIOD

M.H – Jaeger White (2) (Quennville, Rassell) 5:41 PPG
BWK – Ben McCartney (1) (Unassisted) 6:23
BWK – Evan Weinger (1) (McCorrister, Shearer) 6:41
BWK – Ty Lewis (3) (Burzan, Schneider) 18:18

Final Shots: 35-33

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THE PARKLAND WELCOMES THE WHEAT KINGS

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Dauphin, MB (Westman Journal) – The Brandon Wheat Kings may be one of the most well travelled teams in the WHL but the task of packing up an entire hockey club and moving it 165 KM north for a trio of “home” playoff games, is a daunting one.

In a repeat of last year, the Wheat Kings are forced to play the home schedule of their WHL Eastern Conference Quarter Final away from Westman Place, due to the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair. In the past, the team has played games in Winnipeg and even Regina, so it’s certainly not a new concept.

With support from the City of Dauphin and the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Dauphin Kings, the transition from the Wheat City to Credit Union Place has been an easy one.

“It feels like it’s getting to a point where the Brandon Wheat Kings are basically our extended family,” said Dauphin Kings Director of Marketing Christian Laughland. “We just open the door and welcome them in. They have full use of our dressing room and facilities inside the arena, and we want to make the transition for them as simple as possible especially considering it’s playoff time and there are some big games on the line.”

Having the Wheat Kings and the Medicine Hat Tigers in town for an extended stay is a boost to the economy in town. The teams are staying in hotels and eating at local restaurants, meanwhile fans that travel from around the province will be spending money at gas stations, hotels, bars & restaurants as well. This added boost to the economy of the sleepy northern town is a welcome opportunity.

“While we (the Kings) welcome the Wheat Kings into our dressing room and facility with open arms. The people of Dauphin do that exact same thing from a community perspective,” added Laughland. “It’s easy to find people that want to help in a great community like Dauphin. There are some great organizations, people and groups that always do a great job helping us (the Kings) out throughout the season and that’s once again the case with the Wheat Kings in town for a second straight year.”

With this being the 2nd time in two years the Wheat Kings have moved to Credit Union Place, the transition is becoming “old hat” for the front office staff. After last year, staff with the City of Dauphin left the infrastructure for the WHL’s video replay system in place and even painted the trapezoid area in behind both nets when installing the ice.

While it’s not “ideal” for the Wheat Kings to switch arenas for a playoff series, diehard Wheaties fans can take solace in the fact that their boys were welcomed into Dauphin with open arms, and a buffet line of the finest Ukrainian food on this side of the Atlantic.

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DEJA VU FOR THE WHEATIES IN GAME TWO

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Photo by Brandi Pollock

Medicine Hat, AB (CKLQ) – The Medicine Hat Tigers held serve on home ice in game two of the WHL’s Eastern Conference quarter-finals on Sunday night beating the Wheat Kings 7-3.

Mark Rassell (2G-1A) continues to push the pace for the Tigers, as he collected his 2nd straight three point night and now has six points in two games. The Tigers got goals from six different players and 23 saves from Jordan Hollett for their 2nd straight win.

“They pushed hard, I give Medicine Hat a lot of credit,” said Wheat Kings Head Coach David Anning. “They got the job done on home ice and it’s up to us to make sure we’re ready to go on Tuesday.”

The Tigers once again used the powerplay to control the offense, scoring three times on seven opportunities. The Tigers are now 5/11 in the series.

“There were some costly penalties once again,” added Anning. “Their powerplay is clicking and they are capitalizing. We’re going to have to stay out of the box, we can’t afford to take 6 or 7 minors in a game, especially in the playoffs.”

The fourth line for the Wheat Kings were key cogs in the Wheat Kings minimal offensive output on Sunday. Marcus Sekundiak scored a pair of goals, both of which were assisted by Ben McCartney. The line, which saw Gunnar Wegleitner draw in created numerous scoring chances, an effort that didn’t go unnoticed.

“They are a group that works hard and are honest in their effort,” said Anning. “Those guys were good for us and obviously found the scoreboard and created some energy.”

Ty Lewis scored the other goal for Brandon, a shorthanded marker early in the third period. Logan Thompson and Dylan Myskiw combined to make 29 saves in the losing effort. Thompson left the game late in the third period after being tended to by Athletic Therapist Chris Trivieri.

The Wheat Kings won’t have any time to hang their heads, as they travel to Dauphin to begin preparations for game three on Tuesday night. (7:30 MB Time)

“The reality is it’s a seven game series, we expected a long series and expected it to be a good challenge,” said Anning. “It’s simple, we haven’t performed to the level we would have liked, there is lots of room for growth in our group and I think guys can hit the reset button here and be ready.”

CROWE’S NOTES:

-Wheat Kings forward Baron Thompson has been handed a suspension for his hit on Tigers defenseman Dylan McPherson in game one. The hit resulted in a 2:00 kneeing minor in the game. McPherson is listed as week-to-week with a lower body injury. The length of Thompson’s suspension is to be determined.

-The Wheat Kings scratched Baron Thompson (Susp), Jonny Hooker (Upper), Ty Ettinger (Healthy) and Ethan Kruger (Healthy.)

-Attendance at the Canalta Centre was 2,943

SCORING SUMMARY

1st PERIOD

M.H – Ryan Chyzowski (2) (Rassell) 4:48
M.H – David Quenneville (1) (Rassell, Brown) 11:19
M.H – Mark Rassell (2) (Brown, Ostir) 12:06 PPG

Shots: 13-6 Medicine Hat

2nd PERIOD

BWK – Marcus Sekundiak (1) (McCartney) 2:53
M.H – Mark Rassell (3) (Lockner, Gally) 3:12
M.H – Elijah Brown (1) (White, Quenneville) 16:53 PPG

Shots: 12-10 Medicine Hat

3rd PERIOD

BWK – Ty Lewis (1) (Gutenberg) 4:29 SHG
M.H – Jaeger White (1) (Rubins) 5:47 PPG
BWK – Marcus Sekundiak (2) (McCartney) 8:47
M.H – Josh Williams (1) (Unassisted) 18:29

Final Shots: 36-26 Medicine Hat

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TIGERS TAKE A BITE OUT OF THE WHEATIES

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Photo by Brandi Pollock

Medicine Hat, AB (CKLQ) – The Medicine Hat Tigers scored early and often on Friday night as they took a 1-0 series lead with a 7-2 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Entering the game as the Central Division Champions, the Tigers took the lead on an early powerplay. Ryan Jevne scored after Logan Thompson was knocked out of position. Despite heavy argument from the Wheat Kings the goal would stand.

As that goal was being announced, the Tigers would add another as Cole Clayton fired a seeing-eye shot through a crowd and gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead midway through the first period.

The Tigers would add another powerplay goal before the period would end as Mark Rassell roofed a wrist shot over Logan Thompson to open up a 3-0 lead.

“The turning point was taking two penalties 200 feet from our own net,” said Wheat Kings Head Coach David Anning. “Everything is magnified in playoffs and I think our mistakes tonight were costly ones, we had some poor execution which cost us.”

Despite the score, the Wheat Kings stayed with it and had several opportunities in the latter half of the first. The team would finally convert when Luka Burzan beat Jordan Hollett for his first career WHL Playoff goal.

The Tigers would score three unanswered goals in the 2nd period, an even strength goal, a short-handed goal and a four-on-four goal to open up a 6-1 lead after 40 minutes. That would spell the end of the night for Logan Thompson, who stopped 12 shots on 18 Tiger attempts.

“It’s unfortunate Logan’s night started the way it did,” Anning said of his goaltender. “It’s one of those things where we expect him to bounce back. It’s one game, its going to be a long series and we knew that coming in. We are going to have make sure we respond the right way and Logan will be one of those guys.”

In the third, after the Tigers took a 7-1 lead the Wheat Kings would be handed a plethora of powerplay chances, including a pair of two-man advantages but couldn’t convert. Finally on their seventh powerplay, James Shearer fooled Hollett to give Brandon some positive vibes heading into a rare playoff day off.

Due to a comedy show at the arena, the Wheat Kings will have a rare Saturday off and will practice in Irvine, AB before game two on Sunday night, something Anning says is beneficial for his club.

“We will get on the ice, go through some looks and do some prep work and have the day to make sure we’re in the right frame of mind,” added Anning. “We’re going to take advantage of the day off, and make sure we’re better on Sunday.”

Brandon would outshoot the Tigers 34-25, including a third period where they lead 11-5. The Wheat Kings finished the night 1/7 on the powerplay while the Tigers scored twice on four opportunities.

Catch the game two broadcast on QCountry 91.5 at 7:00 MB Time, the pre-game show goes live at 6:30 MB time.

CROWE’S NOTES:

-The Wheat Kings scratched Jonny Hooker (Upper Body), Gunnar Wegleitner (Healthy), Ethan Kruger (Healthy) and Ty Ettinger (Healthy).

-Ben McCartney had a goal waved off at the 2:36 mark of the first period. He re-directed a Baron Thompson shot off the post and then off the back of the goaltender before it was swept off the goal line.

-Luke Burzan’s 1st period goal was his first career WHL Playoff goal.

-Attendance at the Canalta Centre was 3,050.

SCORING SUMMARY

1st PERIOD

M.H – Ryan Jevne (1) (White, Rubins) 10:32 PPG
M.H – Cole Clayton (1) (Gally, Rybinski) 10:53
M.H – Mark Rassell (1) (Ostir, Rubins) 13:56 PPG
BWK – Luka Burzan (1) (Reinhardt) 17:36

Shots: 12-8 Brandon

2nd PERIOD

M.H – Ryan Chyzowski (1) (Unassisted) 3:08 4on4
M.H – Gary Haden (1) (Rassell) 8:50 SHG
M.H – Bryan Lockner (1) (Brown) 11:35

Shots: 12-11 Medicine Hat

3rd PERIOD

M.H – Kristians Rubins (1) (Rassell, Lockner) 3:59
BWK – James Shearer (1) (Mattheos, Hartje) 18:34 PPG

Final Shots: 34-25 Brandon

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