By Carter Brooks
Photo courtesy of Bruce Fedyck
Following a weekend that saw the Brandon Wheat Kings drop back-to-back road contests, the boys from Manitoba finally got back in the 'win' column Tuesday evening.
After leaving on their annual western road trip on October 23rd, the Wheat Kings have underperformed. Beginning the trip with four-straight losses, Head Coach David Anning and the Wheaties made some necessary changes for Tuesday night's contest, and it paid off with a victory.
Since dropping their first game of the trip 2-1 to Lethbridge, the Wheat Kings then lost 4-3 in overtime to Kootenay. Saturday and Sunday featured losses to Vancouver and Victoria, before Brandon finally remembered how to score goals on Tuesday, exploding for five markers in their close 5-4 victory over Prince George.
Although once again falling behind early in the first period, the Wheat Kings entered the second frame trailing 3-1, and came out of it ahead 4-3. Brandon added another marker in the third period for good measure, and they ended up needing it, winning the game by one over the Cougars.
Captain Stelio Mattheos collected the game winner and three assists, Linden McCorrister grabbed a goal and two assists, while Connor Gutenberg picked up a goal and an assist in the Wheaties' victory. Goaltender Ethan Kruger stopped 26 of 30 pucks fired his way for the win Tuesday night.
The rejuvenated Brandon squad will now take on Kamloops and Kelowna on Friday and Saturday evenings, before finally returning home following the weekend of play. The Wheat Kings will then stay put at Westoba Place for a season-high six-game homestead beginning Friday night. Brandon will host Red Deer, Tri-City, Medicine Hat, Prince Albert, Edmonton and Lethbridge from November 9th through 23rd.