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This article was published 8/10/2017 (255 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Dylan Myskiw was still wearing his Victoria Royals gear, but the 17-year-old goalie shone in his first start between the pipes for the Brandon Wheat Kings on Saturday at the Enmax Centrium.
The Winnipeg product made 31 saves, while Kale Clague built off his hat-trick performance in Friday’s 7-3 Western Hockey League victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings, with two more goals in a 5-2 Brandon win over the host Red Deer Rebels.
Wheat Kings (3-2-0-1) head coach David Anning liked the effort his backup netminder put forth.
"I thought our goalie was good tonight; he looked confident and comfortable," Anning said. "He was square all night, he had really limited rebounds. I thought a lot of pucks hit him right in the crest and he really controlled the tempo for us."
The Rebels (3-3-0-0) had the first quality scoring chance of the night when Lane Zablocki dragged the puck around Brandon defenceman Shael Higson and fired a shot at Myskiw. The young goalie stopped the shot but couldn’t find the puck.
It was promptly cleared out of harm and on the ensuing rush up the ice, a hard forechecking Ty Lewis passed the puck to the blue-line where Kade Jensen fired a shot that Gunnar Wegleitner tipped passed Red Deer’s Lasse Petersen for his second goal in as many nights at 7:13.
The physicality picked up with Brandon’s Zach Wytinck on the receiving end of a big hit. Baron Thompson responded moments later by throwing his weight around, knocking a Rebels player onto his keister.
Mason McCarty, in on a partial breakaway, tried to tie the game up but he was turned aside by Myskiw. Minutes later, the Wheat Kings entered the Red Deer zone with a four-on-two, but Petersen got his glove on a Stelio Mattheos shot to keep it 1-0.
Red Deer found the tying goal 90 seconds into the middle frame when Reese Johnson’s backhand pass from the corner found Austin Pratt who one-timed his second marker of the season past Myskiw’s blocker.
Wytinck took the game’s first penalty, a holding call, less than 40 seconds later but the Wheat Kings killed it off.
Two minutes later, Clague poked in a puck sitting loose in the crease to restore Brandon’s one-goal lead.
With Zablocki off for checking Connor Gutenberg from behind — and receiving a 10-minute misconduct on top of it — Mattheos added to the lead midway through the frame. His perfect shot from the middle of the faceoff circle beat a screened Petersen for his seventh goal of the season, six of which have come with the man advantage.
Petersen exited, allowing three goals on 15 shots, and in came Ethan Anders.
Brandon continued doing a good job of keeping the Rebels from coming up through the centre of the ice, something Anning said the team talked about before the game started.
"We really wanted to focus on protecting the middle and I thought overall we played a responsible game," he said. "I thought our forwards did a really nice job of tracking pucks and allowing our defencemen to have good tight gaps, so they were able to defend well.
"We were able to keep them to the outside, especially defensively. They had some shots from the outside and our back end did a nice job of box outs with body positioning and then Dylan did a really good job limiting their rebounds."
However, the Rebels crept back to within one when Chris Douglas deflected Ethan Sakowich’s point shot into the net for his first WHL goal at the 16:25 mark.
Clague responded with his second of the game before the period was out with Jensen drawing his third helper of the night. He now has five goals and five assists in four games since being returned from the National Hockey League’s Los Angeles Kings.
The Rebels had a great chance to cut into Brandon’s lead one more time six minutes into the third period but they couldn’t convert during their 68-second five-on-three power play.
Brandon had two more penalties thereafter but Myskiw was its best penalty killer.
"I thought especially in the third period they had some zone time because of their power-play opportunities and he was an excellent penalty killer for us," Anning said of Myskiw.
The Rebels went 0-for-5 on the power play, with the Wheat Kings going 1-for-3.
Marcus Sekundiak netted the insurance goal — his first WHL marker — at the nine-minute mark when he took a pass from Jonny Hooker, split the Red Deer defence and beat Anders over the blocker.
Anders finished with nine saves.
Anning said his team’s balanced-scoring attack is great to see
"It’s important that we get contributions up and down the lineup," he said. "We’ve had some young guys chip in with some timely goals for us. That’s really encouraging to see.
"Guys are playing well, guys are trying to play within the structure and as a result we have a real balanced attack and guys were able to get some scoring chances."
The Wheat Kings look will look to sweep their three-game Alberta road trip when they take on the Calgary Hitmen on Sunday at 5 p.m.
ICINGS: Brandon’s healthy scratches were F Lynden McCallum, F Ben McCartney and D Ty Ettinger. Injured defencemen James Shearer and Daniel Bukac remain out long term with lower-body issues … Riley Lamb of Rivers remains out of the Red Deer lineup with a broken thumb, and Foxwarren’s Dawson Barteaux was also among the Rebels’ six scratches … The Wheat Kings improved to 3-0-0-0 in games they have scored first in this season.
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