Special Teams Power Offensive Eruption For Walleye
In their final game of their road swing, the Wheat City Walleye played a solid special teams game. They outdid that outing in spades as they returned to home ice.
Rylen Roersma scored two shorthanded goals, and Brett Hyland scored a hat trick, including one shorthanded, as the Walleye hammered the Regina Pats 7-1. Roger McQueen and Matteo Michels also scored in the win, while Carson Bjarnason made 32 saves on 33 shots.
“No question, it was a big effort tonight,” said head coach and GM Marty Murray. “We talked about the importance of this homestand here, it’s nice to start it off that way for sure.”
Roersma set the tone for the night just a minute and a half in, busting in shorthanded and firing a low backhander through the wickets on Ewan Huet. At the other side of the special teams game, McQueen tipped home a shot pass by Dominik Petr just 1:59 later to stretch the lead to 2-0.
Hyland got in on the act with 5:50 to go in the first period, taking a slick saucer pass from Nate Danielson at the top of the offensive zone and sending a heavy wrister on net that leaked through Huet. In the second he picked up right where he’d left off, working a perfect passing play with Danielson shorthanded and finishing it off from in front of the Pats net.
Regina would get a quick burst of life from their only goal of the game, with Borya Valis finishing off a backdoor tap-in pass from Zackary Shantz. Hyland snuffed that life out quickly, however, swatting home the rebound of a heavy one-timer from Danielson to bring the hats to the ice.
In a feel-good moment for him, Matteo Michels scored his first goal since being traded to Brandon when he and Roersma worked a 2-on-0 to perfection, with Michels depositing the easy finish to make it 6-1.
Later in the third, sent in alone shorthanded after Caleb Hadland won a puck battle, Roersma rounded out the scoring. He quickly cut to the backhand to finish up a night where the Walleye went 6-for-6 on the penalty kill.
“We did a good job of clogging lanes, had good sticks,” Murray said. “When you do that, that’s when pucks get punched out into the neutral zone and we get in some footraces. Obviously, a big part of the game was winning the special teams. Getting the shorthanded goals was a nice bonus.”
The Walleye return to home ice (and their traditional Wheat Kings name) when they host the Red Deer Rebels on Tuesday, December 5. Grab your tickets HERE.