The Spokane Chiefs fall 3-2 in overtime at Brandon. The long box is below and a careful look at it shows a little heartbreak for the vistors, especially on the winning goal. Rob Henderson's story tells the tale.
By Rob Henderson/Brandon Sun
A hot goalie and a hot power play can carry a hockey team a long way.
Liam Liston made 35 saves and the Brandon Wheat Kings did all of their scoring on the power play to beat the Spokane Chiefs 3-2 in overtime on Friday night at Westman Place.
David Toews, playing his first Western Hockey League game in a month after recovering from an ankle injury, scored the winning goal 2:29 into the extra frame for the Wheat Kings, who were making their first home appearance in three weeks.
“The first game back is a really tough game to play,” said Wheat Kings head coach/ general manager Kelly McCrimmon, whose team has been away on its West Coast road trip. “You don’t talk about it during the week because you don’t want it to become a mental thing. But year in, year out, it’s a real challenge to be at the top of your game after that trip. ...
“Tonight we weren’t near as good as we needed to be. I thought we were good in the first period, I didn’t think we were as good after that and, to our players’ credit, we did find a way to win.”
Mark Stone and Shayne Wiebe also scored for the Wheat Kings (7-10-0-1).
Dominik Uher and Levko Koper replied for the Chiefs (7-8-1-0), who got a solid 29-save performance from James Reid.
Wiebe set the tone in a physical first period for the Wheat Kings, throwing a number of hard bodychecks and netting the only goal on one of three Brandon power plays. Stone found Glennie down low and slid the puck across the crease to the Wheat Kings captain, who fired it into the open side of the net 8:15 into the game.
Outshot 12-5 in the first, the Chiefs were more dangerous in the second, but it didn’t pay off until late in the frame. With only 9.3 seconds left, Spokane won a draw in Brandon’s end and Matt Marantz fired a shot off Liston’s mask, with Uher charging to the net and depositing the rebound.
The Wheat Kings needed some big saves in the third period from Liston. Early in the frame, he stopped Brody Brassart, who was alone in front, then denied Anthony Bardaro on the rebound.
“We didn’t play our best hockey in a lot of spurts tonight,” Stone said. “(Liston) was there to bail us out tonight which is what we need from him.”
That allowed the Wheat Kings to take the lead about a minute later on the power play as Ryan Pulock’s point shot went off the end glass and came out front to Stone, who ran his goal-scoring streak to five games, with his team-leading 11th of the season.
The Chiefs continued to push though, and Koper got a Jared Cowen point shot that had bounced off the end boards and scored on a backhand from a bad angle with 1:26 left in regulation time.
In OT, the Chiefs took a too-many-men penalty and the Wheat Kings capitalized. Darren Bestland nearly ended it by ripping a shot off the post and the puck came out to Toews, who fired a laser to the top right corner.
“It’s a perfect shot from him,” Stone said. “That’s the sort of dynamic thing that he brings to our team, so it’s just great to have him back.”
It was the third goal on five power-play chances for the Wheat Kings. Spokane was 0-for-1 with the man advantage.
ONE-TIMERS: Attendance was 4,534 … Brandon RW David Toews (high ankle sprain) played his first game since Oct. 3, while D Ryley Miller (jaw/concussion) returned after missing five games … Brandon scratches were D Eric Roy, D Spencer Galbraith, C/LW Wheaton King, RW Jens Meilleur and RW Jonny Gaudet, while C Brayden Schenn remains with the NHL’s L.A. Kings … Brandon hosts Seattle tonight, a team that includes former Wheat Kings C Brendan Rouse. Rouse has three goals this season, all scored Oct. 9 against Chilliwack.
Spokane 2 at Brandon 3 (OT)
1. Brandon, Wiebe 6 (Glennie, Stone) 8:15 (pp)
Penalties — Johnson Spo (tripping) 5:11, Brassart Spo (hooking) 7:47, Valcourt Spo (roughing) 14:52.
2. Spokane, Uher 1 (Marantz, Kuhn) 19:50
Penalties — Kramer Spo, Ferland Bdn (fighting) 5:31, Koper Spo (kneeing, fighting) Miller Bdn (instigating, fighting, misconduct) 13:27, Baldwin Spo (hooking) 6:34.
3. Brandon, Stone 11 (Pulock, Melnychuk) 7:39 (pp)
4. Spokane, Koper 9 (Cowen, Kichton) 18:34
Penalties — Seaman Bdn (holding) 4:18.
5. Brandon, Toews 4 (Bestland, Gustafsson) 2:29 (pp)
Penalties — Spokane bench (too many men; served by Kuhn) :30.
Shots on goal by
Spokane 5 11 21 0 — 37
Brandon 12 6 12 2 — 32
Goal — Spokane: Reid (OTL,7-6-1-0); Brandon: Liston (W,5-4-0-1).
Power plays (goals-chances) — Spokane: 0-1; Brandon: 3-5.
Referees — Chris Crich, Ryan Thompson; Linesmen — Kelsey Mahoney, Darrell Surminski.
Attendance — 4,534.
BRANDON, Man. — David Toews scored the winning goal on a power play 2:29 into overtime as the Brandon Wheat Kings defeated the Spokane Chiefs 3-2 in the Western Hockey League on Friday night.
Mark Stone and Shayne Wiebe also scored for the Wheat Kings, who improved to 7-10-0-1.
Levko Koper and Dominik Uher replied for the Chiefs, who are 7-8-1-0.
Brandon netminder Liam Liston made 35 saves, while James Reid stopped 29 shots for Spokane.
Brandon Sun Sports