Appearing to be well on their way to another cakewalk, the Brandon Wheat Kings got a rougher ride from the Swift Current Broncos than they expected on Saturday night.
One night after blasting the Broncos 10-1 at Westman Place, the Wheat Kings built a quick 5-0 lead, then hung on for a 6-4 Western Hockey League victory over the Broncos in Swift Current, Sask.
"The first period we were real good," Wheat Kings head coach/GM Kelly McCrimmon said. "(Friday) night in Brandon we sustained that effort through the second and into the third and tonight in the second period, we didn't play well."
Despite the scare, the Wheat Kings (24-28-1-7) extended their winning streak to a season-best five games. Mark Stone had a goal and three assists for Brandon, while Shayne Wiebe scored twice. Matt MacKay, Scott Glennie and David Toews also found the net for the Wheat Kings, who moved to within a point of the sixth-place Edmonton Oil Kings in the Eastern Conference. Jordan Evans, Adam Lowry, Tanner Muth and Trevor Cameron replied for the Broncos (24-36-0-1).
The Wheat Kings picked up where they left off on Friday, with the line of Stone, Wiebe and MacKay combining for four first-period goals and seemingly scoring every time they touched the puck. Broncos goalie Mark Friesen came up with a big save on Wiebe 5:24 into the game, only to watch the puck end up in his own net after being accidentally batted in by Broncos defenceman Graeme Craig for the Wheat Kings captain's team-leading 35th of the season and a 3-0 Brandon lead.
The Broncos netted two in the second before Muth narrowed the lead to 5-3 with a power-play marker in the third. McCrimmon said the Wheat Kings played better in the third, but still watched their lead dwindle to one before Toews netted the winner with 6:17 left.
"We had done a real god job until the penalty," he said. "That made it 5-3 and it gave them a lot of momentum. (The Broncos made it) 5-4, then David scored a real big goal to take some of the pressure off our team."
With the Swift Current net empty, Cameron narrowed the lead to one again, but with only two seconds left and virtually no chance to tie the game.
ONE-TIMERS: MacKay has goals in seven straight games and points in 14 straight, while Stone has an 11-game point-scoring streak ... Brandon LW Mike Ferland left with an injury in the first period and had his points streak snapped at nine games, while D Spencer Galbraith also left in the first ... Brandon scratched D Brodie Melnychuk (leg, one week) and C/LW Tyrel Seaman (sick), while Swift Current's leading scorer, C Justin Dowling (ankle), sat out.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 20, 2011 B1