The Wheat Kings and the Winnipeg Ice faceoff tonight for the sixth time this season.
The last time the two clubs met was right before Christmas break (Dec 17) when the Wheat Kings went the distance, but lost in overtime. Forward Calder Anderson crashed into his own net forcing the puck to cross the line allowing the Ice to escape with the 4-3 victory. Nick Jones was solid between the pipes that evening stopping 32 of 36 shots earning 2nd star.
This past Tuesday (Jan 31), the Wheat Kings lost a tough one. A depleted Saskatoon Blades team was in town without Aidan De La Gorgandiere, Connor Roulette, Josh Pillar, Jaylen Wiens, Justin Lies, Tyler Parr and Misha Volotovskii out of the lineup with injuries. The Wheat Kings maintained a 1-0 lead until late in the 3rd period when the Saskatoon Blades scored on their 5th power play attempt to tie it up. The Blades would eventually win the game 15 seconds into overtime with Charlie Wright beating Nate Danielson and then beating Carson Bjarnason through the five hole giving the Blades a 2-1 road win. The overtime loss would be the 6th OT loss of the season for the Wheat Kings. The time the Wheat Kings have been victorious in extra time is when they forced a shootout against the Red Deer Rebels on Remembrance Day.
The Wheat Kings have not been able to score more than two goals in a single game since January 20th versus the Calgary Hitmen, where they put up 4 inside the Saddledome. Other than the 2-0 win they had in Edmonton on January 22nd, every other game was a loss with only one goal scored.
Last week, the Wheat Kings locked up 2022 4th Round pick Gradey Hope. The Kelowna B.C. native currently plays for the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton. Hope will join the Wheat Kings for the next couple of weeks. The Gradey Hope signing means that the Wheat Kings have locked up their top 4 picks from the 2022 Draft which includes forwards Joby Baumuller and Easton Odut, and defenceman Emerson Clark.
Brandon's Brett Hyland currently has 14 goals in his last 16 games. Forward Nate Danielson has been stellar scoring 41 points in his last 28 games. Nolan Ritchie has 33 points in his last 25 games, and Calder Anderson has 19 points in his last 19 games.
Tonight's pre-game show begins on Q Country 91.5 and 880 AM at 6:30 pm - followed by the puck drop and play-by-play with Chase Johnston at 7:00 pm.
(With files from the Brandon Wheat Kings)