The Brandon Wheat Kings faced off against the Winnipeg ICE from the Western Hockey League’s Regina Hub on Sunday evening. And for the fourth-straight time, the older of the two Manitoba-based WHL rivals proved victorious.
Entering the game having won all three of the prior matchups in this shortened 2020-21 season, the Wheat Kings required an overtime period to find the game’s final tally on Sunday, with captain Braden Schneider getting the winner in what proved to be the closest of the four showdowns.
Just 1:56 into the extra frame, Schneider exited the penalty box, collected a pass from Ben McCartney, carried the puck over the blueline and ripped a slap shot past ICE goaltender Daniel Hauser, snatching the victory with his fourth goal of the season.
— Brandon Wheat Kings (@bdnwheatkings) April 19, 2021
The game was a back-and-forth contest that saw the Wheat Kings jump out ahead to a 2-0 lead, before Winnipeg brought the ICE to within one goal prior to the first intermission. The teams then exchanged goals in the second period, to which Brandon remained in front after 40 minutes of play.
The third period saw Winnipeg tie the game on Connor McClennon’s 13th of the season, before McClennon helped setup ICE captain Peyton Krebs for the go-ahead marker on the power play with just 4:37 to go. But with Ethan Kruger on the bench for the extra attacker, Brandon’s Ridly Greig tied the game once again with just 1:26 left to play.
Kruger turned aside 30 of the 34 shots he faced and picked up his 10th win of the season in the process. Hauser stopped 26 of 31 shots, seeing his record drop to 6-0-1.
The majority of the game’s offence came from the same sources, and Winnipeg’s Peyton Krebs, Connor McClennon and Owen Pederson combined for three goals and nine points on the evening, while Brandon’s Braden Schneider, Ridly Greig and Ben McCartney combined for two goals and eight points.
Also scoring for the Wheaties was Neithan Salame, Marcus Sekundiak and Nolan Ritchie, while Jakin Smallwood collected Winnipeg’s other tally. Despite beginning the overtime period with a man advantage, the ICE were unable to capitalize on their eighth power play of the game, finishing 3/8 on the night. Brandon had just four man advantages, but scored on one opportunity.
Now sitting at 15-3-2 through 20 of 24 games, the Wheat Kings hold down their share of first place with 32 points, sitting one up on the 14-2-3 Saskatoon Blades (who have one game in hand). The ICE are in third with a 13-5-1 record, also having played only 19 games.
The Wheat Kings now close out the season with games against Swift Current, Prince Albert, Regina and a season finale against the Blades. Wednesday’s game against the Broncos gets underway from Regina’s Brandt Centre at 5:00 PM central.