The Brandon Wheat Kings are the Western Hockey League’s hottest team. Currently boasting a 10-2-1 record and a .808 points percentage on the season, the club that is 9-1-0 in its last 10 games has taken over sole possession of first place in the East Division with over half of the abbreviated 2020-21 season in the rearview mirror.
This rise to first place can be attributed to a number of blowout victories over the past week-and-a-half, as well as back-to-back wins on Sunday and Monday – including a 3-1 triumph over the then first place Saskatoon Blades.
Just two days after the Moose Jaw Warriors shut out the Blades for the team’s first loss in seven games, the Wheat Kings handed Saskatoon a second-straight defeat. Despite falling behind early on a goal from former Brandon forward Caiden Daley just 8:20 into the opening frame, the Wheat Kings powered back with three-straight goals, collecting their sixth-straight win as seven different players earned a point on the night.
Then on Monday, the team regrouped and picked up its seventh victory in seven outings, this time by way of another narrow win over Prince Albert.
Again, falling behind early – not just once, but twice to Cross Lake’s Justin Nachbaur and the Raiders – the Wheat Kings relied on scoring from Jake Chiasson, Nolan Ritchie and Ridly Greig to help aid the come-from-behind victory. Captain Braden Schneider had two primary assists on the evening, as he continued to pace all Wheat Kings’ defencemen in scoring. Ritchie’s second period tally came on the power play, while Greig’s game-winner was of the shorthanded variety.
Netminder Ethan Kruger picked up his fifth-straight win, turning aside 31 of Prince Albert’s 33 shots on the night, improving his record to 8-1-1 on the season, while now only having given up six goals in his past four outings. He owns a .918 save percentage and a 2.29 goals against average on the year.
Next up for Brandon is a Wednesday evening battle with the 3-8-1 Swift Current Broncos from the Regina Hub. The Wheat Kings close out the regular season with 11 games in 22 days from April 7 to 28.