It won't go into the books as the prettiest victory, but the Brandon Wheat Kings earned a much needed two points in a 7-4 win over the Winnipeg ICE on Friday night.
Cole Reinhard (3G-2A) carried the mail for Brandon with a five-point night, while five other players registered at least two points as the Wheat Kings snapped a mini two-game losing streak.
It was another slow start for Brandon, who found themselves down 2-1 after one, outshot 13-5 in the opening 20, however, the offense erupted in the final 40 minutes to lift the BWK to victory.
"I like the result," said Assistant Coach Don MacGillivray. "This was an important win for our club. Regardless of how it looked, we got the two points. We needed this win and we now we can build off the good things tonight and head into tomorrow and do the same thing again on the road."
Connor Gutenberg (1G-1A), Marcus Sekundiak (1G-1A), Ridly Greig (1G-1A) and Lynden McCallum (1G) chipped in offensively, as Brandon put up a converted touchdown on their provincial rivals for the second time this month.
For Reinhardt, it's his second career hat-trick vs the ICE. He potted three in the same game vs Kootenay last season back on January 19th. He now has nine goals and five assists in his last seven games.
"Cole's been real consistent," said MacGillivray. "He's one of the guys up front who has been solid and steady for a number of games now. I'm not surprised that he's finding the net now, he certainly has the talent and he's worked hard at his game."
Brandon finished the night 1/6 on the powerplay while the ICE converted twice on three opportunities.
Although Brandon earned the all-important win in the standings, the coaching staff expects a better effort in the second half of this home and home on Saturday night in Winnipeg.
"We have to start doing things the right way," added MacGillivray. "It all comes down to work ethic and willingness to compete. we were reluctant to do that in the first two periods, but we sorted it out in the third. We didn't play our best tonight, but we will take the two points."
Jiri Patera turned aside 36 shots for his 5th victory of the season.
Brandon scratched Bode Hagan (Healthy), Nolan Ritchie (Leg) and Dom Schmiemann (Illness). Attendance at Westoba Place was 3,039.
Brandon and Winnipeg will meet again on Saturday night at the Wayne Fleming Arena on the campus of the University of Manitoba. Game time is 7:30. (7:00 broadcast on QCountry Radio).
WPG - Jackson Leppard (7) (Zloty, Johnson) 8:03 PPG
BWK - Connor Gutenberg (7) (Greig, Schneider) 11:50 PPG
WPG - Jackson Leppard (8) (Muir) 11:59
Shots: 13-5 Winnipeg
BWK - Cole Reinhardt (14) (Sekundiak, Lambos) 8:56
BWK - Ridly Greig (6) (Gutenberg, Reinhardt) 12:13
WPG - Owen Pederson (5) (Milne) 13:46
BWK - Lynden McCallum (8) (McCartney, Iorio) 18:22
Shots: 16-14 Winnipeg
WPG - Owen Pederson (6) (Krebs, McLennon) 2:35 PPG
BWK - Marcus Sekundiak (3) (Thorpe, Reinhardt) 8:46
BWK - Cole Reinhardt (15) (Salame) 13:22
BWK - Cole Reinhardt (16) (Iorio, Schnieder) 17:53
Final Shots: 40-31 Winnipeg