By Carter Brooks
Photo courtesy of the Saskatoon Blades
The Brandon Wheat Kings are the Western Hockey League's hottest team.
Following back-to-back victories over the first place Prince Albert Raiders, the Wheat Kings kept their winning streak alive Friday evening, thumping the visiting Saskatoon Blades 6-2 on home ice in Brandon, increasing their undefeated streak to six-straight games.
The Blades - who hadn't lost a regulation game since January 12th - opening the scoring in Friday's
The Everett Silvertips - who have found themselves streaking as of late - were on the wrong side of a 3-2 overtime loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds Friday, while the Prince Albert Raiders earlier this week suffered their first string of back-to-back losses, at the hands of the Brandon Wheat Kings, nonetheless.
The Saskatoon Blades - who had been on an 11-0-2 run since mid-January - opening the scoring in Brandon just over two minutes into Friday's contest. But it was all Wheaties from there. Ridley Greig and Zach Wytinck scored in the back half of the first period to help Brandon take the lead after 20 minutes.
The second period saw an eruption of goals as Luka Burzan, Caiden Daley and Stelio Matteos each found the twine for the Wheat Kings, with Burzan and Mattheos also assisting on each others' markers. Saskatoon's Max Gerlach looked to start a third period comeback for the Blades with his 37th on the power play, but Ben McCartney quickly put out that flame on a shorthanded goal at the ten-minute mark.
Goaltender Jiri Patera stopped 37 of 39 shots for his sixth-straight victory, while Stelio Mattheos continued to climb the Wheat Kings' record book, picking up two points and moving past Brad Twordik for 24th place on the all-time scoring list. Now sitting at 40 goals and 90 points through 55 games, Mattheos has matched his regular season output from 2017-18, and is tied for second place in league scoring with Moose Jaw's Tristin Langan.
Bandon is now just one point back of Calgary for the top Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, and seven points back of Moose Jaw for the final playoff spot in the East Division with 10 games remaining. The Wheat Kings now travel to Prince Albert for another difficult road contest with the best in the league. Puck drop from the Art Hauser Centre is set for 7:00 PM central Saturday.