Strong Start Leads Wheat Kings To Overtime Finish Against Broncos
A strong start can steer a team to victory, and the Wheat Kings certainly got that against the Swift Current Broncos. In fact, they got a strong start in two out of three periods and had a strong finish in the middle frame.
Nolan Flamand scored twice including the overtime winner, and Nick Johnson, Jayden Wiens, and Brett Hyland scored in regulation in a 5-4 Wheat Kings win. Ethan Eskit stopped 26 of 30 shots thrown his way in the win.
It took the Wheat Kings just 36 seconds to open the scoring as Johnson broke over the line right up the middle and snapped one low-glove on Joey Rocha. It was his first goal as a Wheat King, and gave Brandon the 1-0 lead.
Four minutes later, the Broncos replied when Brandon native Clarke Casewell worked down the boards, cut to the front of the net, and lifted one home. But with their second power play of the game, the Wheat Kings stayed hot on the man advantage, when Flamand tipped a one-timer by Andrei Maliavin past Rocha.
“You always talk about winning the first two (minutes) and the last two,” said Wheat Kings head coach and GM Marty Murray. “To get those two right out of the gate was huge. That always helps and you gain some confidence for throughout the game.”
But before the period was out, the Broncos tied it again. This time, off the rush, Mathew Ward tapped a rebound over to a wide open Josh Filmon, who had most of the net staring hiim down and made no mistake.
Early in the second, following a power play, the Broncos took their first lead of the night off a poor line change when they broke in 3-on-1 and executed a nice passing play. They had several power plays to build on that lead, but the Wheat Kings weathered the storm on the penalty kill.
With less than a minute to go in the period, the Wheat Kings scored a heartbreaker. Wiens took a feed off the cycle from Caleb Hadland and snapped it to the top corner to make it 3-3.
The teams traded goals in the third once again. This time the Wheat Kings opened it up with Hyland snapping one home off the rush, and giving Roger McQueen his third assist of the night. But the Broncos tied it up midway through the third thanks to Rylan Gould.
Into overtime we went, and the Wheat Kings held possession for almost the entirety of the extra frame. In the end, it was Flamand again parting the seas, walking right up the middle, and lifting home a backhand for the winner.
The Wheat Kings get right back to work on Sunday afternoon when they face the Saskatoon Blades in Saskatoon at 4:00.