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Wheat Kings start slow, battle back to earn point

Riding high off a 4-0 shutout against the Medicine Hat Tigers back on Tuesday and a 5-4 shootout win against the Edmonton Oil Kings two days prior, the Brandon Wheat Kings were in search of a three-game winning streak on Friday night inside of Westoba Place as the Calgary Hitmen rolled into town.

The game was the first of three straight on home ice for Brandon. Seven of their next eight will be at home.

In the end, the Wheat Kings are likely pleased with the one point they got after the start they had. The Hitmen continued their solid season with a 4-3 overtime win against Brandon in front of 3,002 fans.

Orca Wieblatt / Photo: Candice Ward

The Hitmen came out hard, and they kicked off the scoring as Orca Wiesblatt scored his seventh of the season at the 6:46 mark. If you didn’t know, the Wiesblatts are making noise all around junior hockey. Ocean Wiesblatt is in his 20-year-old season with the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Portage Terriers who will host the national championship in May.

Ozzy Wiesblatt plays for the Prince Albert Raiders and he already has 27 points in 23 games. Last year, Ozzy helped the Raiders win the Western Hockey League.

Oasiz Wiesblatt is just 15 years old, but he made his debut for the Medicine Hat Tigers this season already. So it’s safe to say, the Wiesblatts sure know what to do when it comes to hockey.

Speaking of hockey, let’s get back to Brandon and Calgary.

Before the first period was over, Blake Allan made it 2-0 with 2:44 left.

Trailing by that 2-0 score after 20, the Wheat Kings came out and played an exceptional 20 minutes that included three goals.

Connor Gutenberg (Photo-Donovan MacGowan)

The first was scored at the 6:35 mark when Connor Gutenberg notched his sixth of the season. Just about six minutes later, Marcus Sekundiak scored his second of the season to tie the game up, and that wasn’t it.

Cole Reinhardt gave the Wheat Kings the lead with his 13th with 2:32 left in the midway frame. Stay tuned as I’ll be chatting with Cole early next week.

The score after 40 was 3-2 for Brandon. However, it was Orca Wiesblatt’s turn to cause havoc very early into the third period. Just 51 seconds in, he scored his second of the contest and eighth of the season to tie it up at three.

Brandon was held scoreless in the third, and Orca’s goal was the only one in the period as the game was overtime bound.

Carson Focht (Photo-Candice Ward)

In the overtime, Carson Focht clinched the game as he beat Ethan Kruger to give the Hitmen a 4-3 win.

With the win, Calgary is now 12-6-2-1, good enough for the top wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Brandon, meanwhile, suffered their first extra-time loss of the season. They’re now 11-13-1 for 23 points, which is four fewer than Calgary. The Wheat Kings have opened up a four-point lead on Moose Jaw for the second wild-card spot.

Brandon will remain on home ice on Saturday for a game against the lowly Regina Pats. The Hitmen head to Mosaic Place for a date with Moose Jaw on Saturday.

Wheat Tips:

  • Both teams went 0-for-3 on the power play.
  • Brandon still has yet to win three straight games this season.
  • Kruger made 30 saves for Brandon, while Jack McNaughton made 31 for Calgary.
  • Cole Reinhardt led Brandon with seven shots. He had one goal to go along with one assist. Jett Woo and Riley Stotts both had four shots for Calgary.

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