Late Push Falls Short As Wheat Kings Fall To Tigers
A valiant third period effort wasn’t enough for the Brandon Wheat Kings on Saturday, November 18 against the Medicine Hat Tigers. By that time, the Tigers had already put the game too far out of reach.
Nate Danielson and Jayden Wiens scored, and Carson Bjarnason made 32 saves, but the Wheat Kings lost 3-2 in their first showdown of the year with Medicine Hat. The Tigers got goals from Tyler MacKenzie, Hayden Harsanyi, and Cayden Lindstrom, while Brandon native Ethan McCallum stopped 26 of 28 shots thrown his way.
“That was the difference in the game was the second period,” said Wheat Kings head coach and GM Marty Murray. “They kind of swarmed us and we were on our heels. They took the play to us and that’s the difference in the game. I thought we had a really good third period, but you’ve got to put together 60 minutes against a team like that or you don’t have a chance.”
The Tigers jumped out to an early lead when a three-way passing play didn’t quite connect but did leave an open side of the net for a follow-up chance. MacKenzie found the loose puck first and stuffed it home.
Danielson had the answer for the Wheat Kings off a strip in front of the Tigers’ net. Rylen Roersma poked a puck free right in the slot, and Danielson spun and slipped a backhander home before McCallum could react to the turnover.
Another odd man rush led to the Tigers getting the lead, however, as Oasiz Wiesblatt was stopped on a breakaway chance but Harsanyi was right there to clean up the rebound to put Medicine Hat ahead by one.
Bjarnason was stellar in the second, making save after save on odd-man rushes, breakaways, cross-seam passes and more, but finally there came a passing play even he couldn’t stop. Lindstrom was left alone at the side of the net on the power play, and he tapped home a back door feed from Wiesblatt.
The Wheat Kings clearly had some motivation in the third. They skated hard, outshot the Tigers by a 12-6 count, and got a goal from Jayden Wiens, who sniped an absolutely perfect shot home to make it 3-2. But that was the end of the scoring for Brandon despite several chances with their net empty.
Next up for the Wheat Kings is a road swing in Alberta (including another game against the Tigers) which begins in Edmonton on Wednesday, November 22. Puck drop will be 8:00 Central Time.