Photo by Tim Smith (Brandon Sun)
It was a statement game on Monday afternoon as the Brandon Wheat Kings beat the Winnipeg ICE 7-2 in front of just over 4,400 fans at Westoba Place.
The Wheat Kings got goals from seven different players and a total of twelve skaters registered at least a point in the most dominant win of the season.
"That was a top to bottom great performance," said Assistant Coach Mark Derlago. "It's hard to say in November but this was a 'must-win' game for us. That being said, our guys played like it and they really wanted it tonight."
Braden Schneider led all Wheat Kings in scoring on Monday with a goal and two assists. He also finished the night +3 and was named the first star of the game.
Chad Nychuk (1G-1A), Nolan Ritchie (2A), Ben McCartney (2A), Cole Reinhardt (1G-1A) and Connor Gutenberg (1G-1A) all had multi-point nights as Brandon chased ICE starting goaltender Jesse Makaj from the net after just 35:00.
"We stuck with it and played a full game today," added Derlago. "We talked as coaches after this weekend and agreed that we played 80 good minutes on the road but didn't put together a complete game. Tonight we put it all together for 60 minutes, which made a huge difference in the outcome."
Jiri Pater kicked aside 23 shots and was a key reason that Brandon was able to kill off all seven of Winnipeg's powerplay chances.
After going 1 for 6 on the powerplay in Saskatchewan this weekend, Brandon exploded for three powerplay goals on seven chances. Derlago said that with the man advantage, it was a full team effort.
"Everyone contributed tonight, Everyone played the same way and it was nice to see guys get rewarded."
Brandon will now head back out on the road for a three-game swing through Alberta, starting Saturday evening in Red Deer (8:00 on QCountry Radio).
Shots: 10-4 Brandon
BWK - Cole Reinhardt (8) (Burzan) 0:58
WPG - Isaac Johnson (7) (Teply, Hartje) 4:59
BWK - Ty Thorpe (2) (Nychuk, Pierce) 10:09
BWK - Braden Schnieder (2) (Reinhardt, Gutenberg) 13:29
BWK - Ridly Greig (4) (Schneider, McCartney) 15:02 PPG
BWK - Johnny Hooker (4) (Ritchie) 16:32
Shots: 11-9 Winnipeg
WPG - Michel Milne (6) (Pederson, Muir) 6:37
BWK - Connor Gutenberg (4) (McCartney, Schnieder) 9:37 PPG
BWK - Chad Nychuk (2) (Chaisson, Ritchie)16:51 PPG
Final Shots: 28-25 Brandon