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.
-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
MH – Mark Rassell (6) (Quenneville) 3:37
Shots: 14-13 Brandon
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
M.H – Mark Rassell (8) (Chyzowski, Quenneville) 0:34
BWK – Linden McCorrister (3) (Weinger, Gutenberg) 11:51
Shots: 25-10 Medicine Hat
BWK – Linden McCorrister (4) (Schneider) 10:37
Final Shots: 55-46 Medicine Hat