Wheat Kings Suffer Late Heartbreak In Red Deer
For 59 minutes and 39.6 seconds, the Brandon Wheat Kings and Red Deer Rebels played a fast, physical, and scoreless classic of a game. In those final seconds, however, the Rebels robbed the Wheat Kings of any chance at picking up points.
Ollie Josephson scored the game winner with 19.4 seconds on the clock and the Rebels added an empty netter for good measure as the Wheat Kings fell 2-0 in a goaltenders duel. Ethan Eskit was stellar with 29 saves on 30 shots, while the Wheat Kings managed 25 on Rhett Stoesser at the other end.
“I thought for the most part we played a pretty solid road game,” said head coach and GM Marty Murray. “Both teams had to fight for opportunities. We killed four big penalties off, especially in the last three minutes. Obviously it’s disappointing to lose with 19 seconds left.”
Though it lacked the offensive flair of their start in Edmonton, the Wheat Kings nonetheless started strong again. They had the better of play, and drew what proved to be their only power play. But despite a 9-6 shot advantage and the power play time, they couldn’t break through Stoesser.
Perhaps the road legs caught up to them in the second as Red Deer pushed back hard, but in what Murray called his best game as a Wheat King, Eskit was there to stop them at every turn. The hitting ratcheted up as well, as Kayden Sadhra-Kang finished an explosive check that left Talon Brigley needing help to get off the ice.
An evenly matched third period saw the teams trade chances. Eskit turned in two of his best stops of the night, robbing both Kai Uchacz and Carson Latimer point blank.
In the dying seconds, however, Uchacz at last leaked one through, getting a hard point shot through traffic that Josephson was waiting to bury after winning body position in front. That was all the scoring the Rebels would need, though they added one with the net empty as the Wheat Kings attempted a last push.
It’s a quick turnaround for the Wheat Kings as they immediately hit the road to face the Medicine Hat Tigers. Puck drop is Saturday night at 7:00 local time.