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Wheat Kings Heading to Playoffs

By: Branden Crowe
Posted: February 26, 2020 23:04

9-1 Win in Swift Current Wednesday

After a one-year hiatus, the Brandon Wheat Kings will return to the WHL Playoffs after a 9-1 win in Swift Current on Wednesday night. 

The Wheat Kings got goals from eight different skaters and 19 saves from Jiri Patera en route to their 32nd win of the season. 

"A lot of guys chipped in on the scoresheet tonight and you love to see that," said Assistant Coach Mark Derlago. "We came here for two-points, a lot of guys got involved tonight and we got them."

Luka Burzan finished the night with two goals and an assist while the biggest cheer of the night came when Dom Schmiemann hammered home his first goal as a Wheat King at the end of the first period. Schmiemann hadn't scored in 151 days and was visibly relieved to get the monkey off his back. 

Brandon fired 46 shots towards Isaiah DiLaura, while Jiri Patera had a relatively easy night, kicking aside 19 shots. 

Ridly Greig, Cole Reinhardt, and Connor Gutenberg all registered multi-point nights while 16 of the 18 skaters Brandon had dressed, registered at least a single point. 

"You see the score climb up there and it's not an easy game to play," added Derlago. "You have to stay within the plan and stick to what's working and I think we did that tonight." 

The win clinches Brandon a spot in the 2020 WHL Playoffs, marking a return to the post-season for the first time since April 13th, 2018. That night, Brandon was eliminated in the 6th game of the second round by the Lethbridge Hurricanes. 

Brandon has had just two home playoff games since the 2016 Ed Chynoweth Cup Championship season, a streak this coaching staff is looking to end. 

"It's the best time of year, to be honest," said Derlago. "Especially being a home town guy, getting into the Keystone and playing in front of that crowd. They get into it and it's a ton of fun to be a part of." 

Wednesday's win moves Brandon into sole possession of 2nd place in the East Division, one point ahead of Winnipeg and just three points back of 1st place Prince Albert. 

This three-game Central Division road trip will continue on Friday night when the Wheat Kings head to Calgary to take on the Hitmen. (8:00 on QCountry Radio) 

SCORING SUMMARY

1st PERIOD

BWK - Connor Gutenberg (14) (Burzan, Salame) 4:21
BWK - Dom Schmiemann (2) (Sekundiak, Perepeluk) 17:57

Shots: 17-5 Brandon

2nd PERIOD

BWK - Ridly Greig (22) (Schmiemann) 0:54
BWK - Ben McCartney (24) (Unassisted) 3:54
S.C. - Justin Svenson (3) (Bulych, Hendren) 7:47
BWK - Chad Nychuk (7) (Greig, Iorio) 12:08
BWK - Luka Burzan (34) (Thiessen, Reinhardt) 14:41

Shots: 12-11 Brandon 

3rd PERIOD

BWK - Lynden McCallum (19) (Lambos, Gutenberg) 2:02
BWK- Luka Burzan (35) (Reinhardt) 4:43
BWK - Riley Ginnell (3) (Chiasson) 19:29

Final Shots: 46-20 Brandon

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