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Ally Mitchell

Kruger Shuts Out Broncos

02.11.2019 00:31
By: Branden Crowe

5-0 win Friday night


 For the first time this season, the Brandon Wheat Kings have won consecutive games.

On Friday night, the Wheat Kings shutout the Swift Current Broncos 5-0 in front of 3500+ fans at Westoba Place. 

Nolan Ritchie had a breakout night, scoring twice and adding an assist, while Ridly Greig chipped in with a pair of assists as well. 

Brandon also got goals from Ben McCartney, Cole Reinhardt and Riley Ginnell on route to their 7th victory of the season. 

"I loved how we started tonight," said Assistant Coach Mark Derlago. "We had chances early and couldn't bury one but guys stuck with it. We wore them down and we finally got rewarded."

Brandon had fired everything but the kitchen sink at Broncos netminder Reece Klassen who made 32 saves through 40 minutes. However, the Broncos were still in the game down by just two. 

In the third, the flood gates opened and Brandon pulled ahead, paving the way for Ethan Kruger's first career WHL shutout.  

"The message tonight was stick with it. We fired 52 shots on goal and their goalie played great. We just had to keep shooting. We tried to send everything to the net and in the third we got a couple to drop."

The Wheat Kings physically set the tone early, finishing several body checks and sticking up for their teammates after whistles and around the goalmouth, something that impressed Derlago. 

"We had five guys swarming in after whistle. After the long road trip, guys came back as a cohesive group and you saw that tonight, we weren't getting pushed around."

Coming off a long two-week trek through a pair of tough divisions, Brandon looked like a whole new team, winning at home for just the 2nd time this season. 

"I feel better about our club after the trip," said Ritchie. "Out west we started playing the way we're supposed to. We wanted to come home and play well in front of the home crowd and we did that tonight." 

Brandon won't have too much time to celebrate as the Lethbridge Hurricanes blow into town on Saturday night, fresh off an 8-2 victory in Winnipeg over the ICE. Game time is at Westoba Place is 7:30. 

SCORING SUMMARY

1st PERIOD

BWK - Cole Reinhardt (7) (Ritchie, Schmiemann) 15:41

Shots: 18-13 Brandon

2nd PERIOD

BWK - Nolan Ritchie (2) (Burzan, Greig) 19:28 PPG

Shots: 16-5 Brandon

3rd PERIOD

BWK - Ben McCartney (7) (Greig, Burzan) 15:03 PPG

BWK - Riley Ginnell (2) (Unassisted) 16:14

BWK - Nolan Ritchie (3) (Chiasson, Lambos) 19:07

Final Shots: 53-24 Brandon