Wheat Kings Eliminate Oil Kings in Five Games

Brandon Wheat Kings move on to the second round –

The reign of defending Memorial Cup Champions has come to an end for the Edmonton Oil Kings.

The Brandon Wheat Kings, the 2014-15 Western Hockey League’s regular season champions, beat the Oil Kings 3-2 in double overtime Wednesday to clinch the best of seven Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series in five games.

John Quenneville scored the game winner at the 8:58 mark of the fifth period and the New Jersey Devils’ first round draft choice told CKLQ’s Bruce Luebke it was a dream come true to score an overtime winner at Rexall Place.

“Before the shift, I was looking up and the Gretzky and Messier and all the banners that are hanging up there, and I was thinking that those guys had scored a lot of overtime goals,” said Quenneville.  “I thought to myself that maybe it’ll be me.  Rihards (Bukarts) made a great play and the rest is a blur.”

BrnvsEdm

Photo Courtesy of Andy Devlin

 

After Tim McGauley opened the scoring in the first, the Wheat Kings found themselves down 2-1 after forty minutes as the Oil Kings got goals from Ben Carroll and Brett Pollock three minutes apart midway through the period.

In the third, defenceman Eric Roy jumped on a loose puck and fired it past Oil Kings’ netminder Tristan Jarry, who was the WHL’s Eastern Conference Goaltender of the Year, setting the stage for over 28 minutes of extra time.

For the fourth straight game, Brandon netminder Jordan Papirny was chosen a star after turning aside 42 shots, improving his playoff goals against average to 2.01 and his save percentage to .942.

After being knocked from the playoffs by Edmonton in both 2012 and 2014, Quenneville says it feels good to finally turn the tables on the Oil Kings.

“There’s been so much time that the Oil Kings have been looking down on us and I think it’s our time now,” Quenneville told CKLQ after the game.  “It’s such a proud moment for the organization to beat the defending champions…it’s super exciting.”

The Wheat Kings were one of three teams to punch their tickets to the Conference Semi-Finals on Wednesday.  Kelowna completed a sweep of the Tri -City American and the Regina Pats blanked Swift Current 4-0 to win that series in four.

Brandon will meet Regina in the second round, with the series scheduled to get underway next weekend with games one and two in Brandon on Friday and Saturday nights at Westman Communications Group Place.  The balance of the schedule will be announced by the WHL later.

Tickets to Brandon’s next two playoff home games will go on sale at 10am Thursday at the Keystone Centre box office – at least for those attending the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair.  Fans can also order online at keystonecentre.com or by calling (204) 726-3555.

Courtesy of  BrandonWheatKings.com
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