Wheat Kings Take Game 1 In Overtime

Neuls and Gropp score in 3-2 overtime loss

BRANDON, MB, May 6, 2016 — The Brandon Wheat Kings defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 3-2 in overtime Friday night in Game 1 of the WHL Championship at Westman Place in Brandon, Manitoba.

Game 2 of the WHL Championship is Saturday at 5:30pm at Westman Place.

Tanner Kaspick scored the overtime game-winning goal at 6:22 of the extra period. A Brandon shot deflected off the glass behind Seattle goalie Landon Bow and flew back towards the Seattle net. Kaspick knocked the puck out of mid-air and into the net.

Root Sports Northwest will be airing Games 2, 3 and 4 of the series on a tape delay this week. Game 2 will be shown Sunday, May 8 at 5:30pm PT. Game 3 will be shown at 1:30am PT following the game. Game 4 will be shown at midnight following the game and again at 12:30am the next day, which is Friday, May 13.

The T-Birds will host Games 3, 4 and 5 of the WHL Championship. Game 3 is Tuesday, May 10, at 7:05pm at ShoWare Center. Game 3, a Directors Mortgage 2-for-Tuesday game, is officially SOLD OUT. The game features $2 concession specials on beer, hot dogs, popcorn and soda.

Game 4 of the WHL Championship will be a White Out Wednesday game on May 11. The first 5,000 fans at Game 4 will receive a special, limited edition FREE T-Birds white t-shirt. The puck drops at 7:05pm at ShoWare Center for Game 4.

There are approximately 1,300 tickets left for Game 4 of the WHL Championship. Tickets for Game 4 are currently on sale on the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare Center box office. The ShoWare Center box office is open Monday through Friday 10 am to 5 pm.

Brandon took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Reid Duke at 17:32 of the first period. Tim McGauley had the only assist on the goal.

Seattle outshot Brandon 15-6 in the first period.

The T-Birds tied the game 1-1 with a shorthanded goal by Donovan Neuls at 8:55 of the second period. Alexander True fed the puck from the Seattle zone to Neuls on the right wing. Neuls came into the zone on a two-on-one with True. Neuls attempted to pass the puck to True but a Wheat King defenseman knocked the puck down. Neuls got the loose puck and skated through the low slot. Brandon goalie Jordan Papirny went down to try and stop Neuls. Neuls skated to the goalie rights, waited him out and put it into the net.

The T-Birds outshot the Wheat Kings 12-11 in the second period and led 27-15 in shots after two periods.

Ryan Gropp gave the T-Birds a 2-1 lead 28 seconds into the third period with power-play goal. Keegan Kolesar passed the puck to Gropp coming down the left wing with speed. Gropp cut around the defenseman, through the low slot and put the puck through Papirny’s legs.

Brandon tied the game 2-2 on a goal from Nolan Patrick at 4:50 of the third period. Patrick put back a rebound from a Mitch Wheaton shot. Jayce Hawryluk had the second assist.

The Wheat Kings outshot the T-Birds 17-6 in the third period and 42-33 in the game.

Bow had 39 saves on 42 shots.

Papirny had 30 saves on 32 shots.

WHL Championship Schedule
Game 1 At Brandon 3, Seattle 2, OT
Game 2 Saturday, May 7 at Brandon, 5:30pm
Game 3 Tuesday, May 10 at Seattle, 7:05pm
Game 4 Wednesday, May 11 at Seattle, 7:05pm
Game 5 Friday, May 13 at Seattle, 7:35pm*
Game 6 Sunday, May 15 at Brandon, 5pm*
Game 7 Monday, May 16 at Brandon, 5pm*
* if necessary
(all time PST)


First period – 1, Brandon, Duke 7 (McGauley), 17:32 (pp). Penalties – Thomson, Brn (slashing), 12:14. Ottenbreit, Sea (interference), 16:15.

Second period – 2, Seattle, Neuls 3 (True), 8:55 (sh). Penalties – Hawryluk, Brn (roughing), :43. Hauf, Sea (hooking), 7:39. Lewis, Brn (high-sticking), 9:58. Ottenbreit, Sea (holding), 14:22. Eansor, Sea (high-sticking), 16:16.

Third period – 3, Seattle, Gropp 4 (Kolesar, Bear),:28. 4, Brandon, Patrick 11 (Wheaton, Hawryluk), 4:50. Penalties – Provorov, Brn (tripping), :09. McGauley, Brn (tripping), 13:29. Bow, Sea (tripping-served by True), 13:42.

Overtime – 5, Brandon, Kaspick 5 (Campbell), 6:22. Penalties – No penalties.

Shots on goal – Seattle 15-12-6-0 32, Brandon 6-9-17-10 42. Goalies – Seattle, Bow 42 shots-39 saves (12-2); Brandon, Papirny 32-30 (13-4). Power plays – Seattle 1-5; Brandon 1-5. A – 5,610. Referees – Chris Schlenker, Jeff Ingram. Linesmen – Kelsey Mahoney, Scott Sharun.

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