Wheaties Alberta bound, up 2-0
Patrick stars as Brandon downs Red Deer at Westman Place
WHEAT KINGS 6 REBELS 4
BRANDON — Nolan Patrick had two goals and two assists as the Brandon Wheat Kings beat the Red Deer Rebels 6-4 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference best-of-seven final at Westman Place Saturday.
The victory gives the Wheat Kings a 2-0 lead in the Western Hockey League series after they won 4-3 in overtime in Game 1 Friday. Game 3 takes places at the Enmax Centrium at Red Deer Tuesday.
Patrick’s second goal came with 5:31 left in the third period after a great individual effort by linemate Jayce Hawryluk left the puck all alone in the slot. Patrick picked it up and ripped a shot over Red Deer starter Rylan Toth’s shoulder for the winner in a game in front of 5,353 fans that saw the Rebels take three leads.
“It was back and forth, a little more than we like it to be, but everyone stepped up, Jayce and (Tyler) Coulter and (goalie Jordan Papirny) is always our best player back there,” Patrick said. “He was great tonight too.”
Hawryluk had four assists and Coulter had a goal and an assist. The line, which went on a tear in the final half of the season, was dismantled in the series with the Edmonton Oil Kings and reunited in the semifinal with the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Brandon head coach and general manager Kelly McCrimmon said the middle frame was his team’s most complete of the series as they outshot Red Deer 19-8, although they led only 3-2 after 40 minutes.
“It was a real close game,” McCrimmon said.
“I liked our first period a lot and I thought our second period was the best of the series. The only thing I didn’t like at the end of the second was the score. We played awfully well to be only leading by one goal. We expected a push in the third, which they gave us.”
The teams went to the dressing rooms after 20 minutes tied.
With nine seconds left in their third power play of the first period and Brandon unable to clear the zone, Jake DeBrusk tipped the puck and it bounced off a prone Papirny into the net.
Tim McGauley tied just it just over four minutes later when the over-age Brandon forward converted during a five- on-three power play for his seventh goal in the last six playoff games.
Red Deer captain Luke Philp, a trade deadline acquisition from the Kootenay Ice, restored the lead 23 seconds into the second after the puck took a funny bounce when shot into the Brandon zone and he snapped a shot off the post by Papirny to put his team up 2-1.
Not surprisingly, based on the early play in the series, Brandon came back to tie it when Patrick, a 17-year- old Winnipegger, whipped in the rebound on a chance created by Hawryluk.
Kale Clague then put the Wheat Kings up 3-2 just over two minutes later when his shot from the point eluded a screened Toth in a goal almost
Brandon players celebrate Tim McGauley’s first- period goal, which tied the game 1-1 Saturday night at Westman Place.