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Boes backstops shootout victory

Slumping goaltender Corbin Boes was back on his game in a big way on Saturday night.

Boes was credited with 43 saves in the Brandon Wheat Kings' 3-2 shootout victory over the Blades Saturday in Saskatoon. Boes thwarted 11 of the Blades' 12 attempts in a marathon shootout session to earn his first victory since Dec. 8.

"Corbin was outstanding all game," Wheat Kings assistant coach David Anning said. "He really kept us in it at times and he was the difference-maker plain and simple. He was steady in net, he was composed, there was really limited rebounds, when we needed a big save he was there for us and then in the shootout he was outstanding."

Nick Walters netted the winner in the shootout, while Tim McGauley scored two goals to keep the Wheat Kings alive — one with 4:15 to play in the third period to force overtime, and another in the sixth round of the shootout. Colton Waltz scored the other goal in regulation for the Wheat Kings (17-26-2-2), who moved into sole possession of 11th place in the Western Hockey League's Eastern Conference. Brandon is nine points behind Saskatoon and the Medicine Hat TIgers, who share the final two playoff spots in the conference.

Collin Valcourt and Lukas Sutter scored goals that gave the Blades (22-20-0-3) leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but the Wheat Kings battled back both times. Boes kept Saskatoon from building a lead of more than a single goal and helped Brandon weather a late storm after McGauley tied the game.

In the shootout, Boes started off by denying former Wheat Kings Brenden Walker and Mike Ferland on the Blades' first two shots. McColgan scored to put the Blades ahead, but McGauley replied on the next shot.

Six Brandon shooters later, Nick Walters — a stay-at-home defenceman with seven goals during his three-year WHL career — got the nod and scored between Andrey Makarov's legs as the Saskatoon goaltender tried to respond to his forehand deke.

"He's playing well," Anning said of Walters, who was acquired by the Wheat Kings from the Everett Silvertips at the Jan. 10 trade deadline. "He's playing with some confidence here (and he played a lot of minutes this weekend over the course of both games. … We went with our gut by the 12th round and he managed to put it in, five-hole."

ONE-TIMERS: The Wheat Kings will host the Blades on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Westman Place … Ferland and Walker were both held off the scoresheet on Saturday … Makarov made 31 saves in regulation and overtime … Brandon was 0-for-3 on the power play and killed off all four Saskatoon power plays, including a two-man advantage in the second period that lasted 1:25 … Brandon scratched D Ryan Pulock (wrist, two weeks), LW/RW Richard Nejezchleb (hand, two weeks), C Tyrel Seaman (concussion, indefinite) and C/LW John Quenneville (groin, day-to-day).

» rhenders@brandonsun.com

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