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Wheat Kings, ICE Return to Action Following Home Openers

By Carter Brooks

Photos by Rusty Barton and James Carey Lauder 

The Winnipeg ICE and Brandon Wheat Kings began their respective 2019-20 Western Hockey League seasons this past weekend with an all-Manitoban home-and-home showdown.

Wheat Kings, ICE Return to Action Following Home Openers

After the ICE took the season opener in Brandon on Friday evening, the Wheat Kings responded back with a victory the following night in Manitoba’s capital, ruining Winnipeg’s home opener. Now sitting at 1-1-0, both teams will look to get back in the win column with victories over Saskatchewan-based opponents this coming weekend.

Brandon will participate in its second home-and-home matchup in as many weeks as the Wheat Kings host the Moose Jaw Warriors from Westoba Place on Friday (7:30 PM central), before traveling to Saskatchewan for game two of the double header Saturday evening (8:00 PM central). The Warriors split their two games with the Regina Pats last weekend, taking the second contest by a score of 5-3, after falling the night before 3-2. 

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The Wheat Kings will look to lean on forwards Luka Burzan and Lynden McCallum, who have each put up multiple points on the season, with Burzan leading the way with two goals and four points in two games. Defencemen Zach Wytinck and Vince Iorio have also each scored against the ICE. Brandon will also be without both Ridley Greig and Ben McCartney, who are both suspended.

Winnipeg will hope to pick up where it left off Friday evening in Brandon – a 3-2 wire-to-wire victory over the home team. Michal Teply and Carson Lambos each had two points in the win, while Dean McNabb turned aside 24 of 26 shots. Teply did find the twine again on Saturday, but it was Brad Ginnell who led the offence with a goal and an assist for Winnipeg. 

The ICE will travel roughly 1,900 kilometres this weekend with a three-game road trip featuring stops in Saskatoon (Friday, 8:00 PM), Prince Albert (Saturday, 8:00 PM) and Regina (Sunday, 5:00 PM), before returning home for some practice leading up to the first two-game homestead of the season. 

Winnipeg will take on both the Saskatoon Blades (1-1-0) and the Prince Albert Raiders (1-0-1), who each scored three total goals in a very tight opening weekend of action against one another. Friday’s contest was won in overtime by the Blades, while the Raiders took Saturday’s one-goal game in regulation. Winnipeg will then travel to Regina for its fourth road contest of the season, as the ICE do battle with the (1-1-0) Pats from the Brandt Centre. 

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at

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