Much like their first round matchup with Medicine Hat, the Wheat Kings found themselves beginning their second round series on the road. Again, like the opening round, Brandon lost both games. However, this time in Lethbridge, the games were much closer than the 7-2 and 7-3 blowouts suffered in the first two games against the Tigers.
Dropping the second round series opener 5-1, the Wheaties responded by scoring the first four goals of game two, but ultimately allowing the Hurricanes back into the game, and ended up losing 5-4 in overtime.
Two games on the road to start the first round, two losses. Two games on the road to start the second round, two losses. Sound familiar yet?
The third game – held in Brandon Tuesday night – was the first WHL playoff game at the Westoba Place this postseason. As the Brandon Winter Fair was occupying the arena, the Wheat Kings hosted their home games at Dauphin’s Credit Union Place in the first round.
With a lively crowd eagerly anticipating the return of their team, Brandon did not disappoint on Tuesday.
Starting the game off with an early strike from Linden McCorrister, the Wheat Kings and Hurricanes went back and forth Tuesday evening exchanging goal for goal. But at the end of the day, Brandon put up one more tally than Lethbridge, ensuring the Wheaties’ perfect home record in the 2017-18 playoffs.
Winnipegger and draft pick of the Carolina Hurricanes, Stelio Mattheos led the way for Brandon with a goal and three assists. Brandonite Ty Lewis and the aforementioned McCorrister also each put up a goal and two assists, while Luka Burzan collected Brandon’s two other goals of the game.
Dylan Myskiw – who has performed mightily after being thrust into action after starting goaltender Logan Thompson went down with an injury early in the first round – turned aside 35 of 39 pucks directed his way, backstopping Brandon to his fifth win of the postseason.
Puckdrop for Wednesday’s matchup in Brandon is set for 7:00 P.M. central time at Westoba Place. Tickets are still available at the local box office. Brandon will head back to Alberta for a Friday night game five contest in Lethbridge, before returning to Brandon on Sunday for game six.
By Carter Brooks
Photo by Jeff Miller