The Brandon Wheat Kings put forth a valiant effort in a 5-4 shootout loss to the BC Division leading Kamloops Blazers on Friday night.
Jonny Hooker scored twice as the Wheat Kings had to battle back from an early 2-0 deficit. The Blazers opened the scoring just 0:39 into the hockey game and added an insurance marker before the first intermission.
Despite the early hole, the coaching staff was happy with the way the club handled the adversity.
"I was pleased with the effort tonight," said Head Coach Dave Lowry. "We didn't get off to the start we wanted, but it was one of the best first periods we've played in a while and we were doing a lot of really good things. We stayed with it and battled back."
Ridly Greig and Cole Reinhardt added singles for Brandon in a combined six-goal second period. The Blazers got goals from Max Martin, Logen Stankoven, Martin Lang and Ryan Hughes.
Brandon has now scored at least four goals in five straight games and have 27 goals in that span.
"Lately, we've scored more than enough goals to win hockey games," added Lowry. We need to continue to focus on checking and our defensive game. The way we play without the puck will determine our success."
After a scoreless third period and overtime, the game would be decided by a shootout. Five players took part in the "Penalty Kicks" with only Ryan Hughes finding the back of the net. The loss is Brandon's first in three shootout attempts.
Jiri Patera battle back from a shaky start to put up 38 saves while Dylan Garand made several spectacular saves on route to a 31 stop victory.
Brandon finished the night with just one powerplay goal on nine chances while the Blazers converted once on seven powerplays.
The Blazers continue their East Division road swing tomorrow night in Winnipeg while the Wheat Kings are now off until Tuesday when they welcome the Kelowna Rockets.
KAM - Max Martin (5) (Stuart, Hughes) 0:36
KAM - Logen Stankoven (9) (Appelt, Schmiemann) 13:14
Shots: 13-12 Kamloops
BWK - Jonny Hooker (5) (Iorio, McCallum) 1:54
KAM - Ryan Hughes (11) (Franklin, Martin) 3:09 PPG
BWK - Jonny Hooker (6) (Chiasson, Hagan) 4:30
KAM - Martin Lang (7) (Centazzo) 5:18
BWK - Ridly Greig (8) (McCartney, Schnieder) 7:04 PPG
BWK - Cole Reinhardt (19) (Gutenberg) 16:14
Shots: 16-13 Kamloops
Shots: 12-7 Kamloops
Final Shots: 42-35 Kamloops
BWK | Ridly Greig - No Goal
KAM | Ryan Hughes - Goal
BWK | Cole Reinhardt - No Goal
KAM | Connor Zary - No Goal
BWK | Luka Burzan - No Goal