BRANDON -- The Brandon Wheat Kings live to fight another day. But it was a hometown kid who nearly put them on the golf course early. Brandon product Ryan White scored a pair of goals to give the Hitmen a fighting chance but the visitors came out on the short end of a 6-4 final.
The Hitmen rookie centre snapped a 29-game slump with his first of the post-season late in the second period.
"I hadn't scored in a few games," White understated. "So it felt good to get a couple tonight."
Interestingly, White's last goal also came at the expense of the Wheat Kings, way back on Jan. 30.
"I've been playing well against them in the few games here," he said. "I didn't play that great at home, so I came back here and tried to relax.
"I loosened up and tried to play my game."
GM/head coach Kelly Kisio was pleased with the game he received from White and fellow rookie Keegan Dansereau, who played his best game of the playoffs.
"Ryan played great," Kisio said.
"He really picked it up. In the second and third period, Whitey was outstanding."
Dansereau did the legwork on White's first goal, dipsy-doodling his way through three defenders before sliding a pass to a wide-open White, who went five-hole.
He scored his second of the night with six minutes left. Brodie Dupont feathered a pass out front to the freshman, who outwaited former midget teammate Tyler Plante before sliding a shot into the vacated cage.
White said he took it easy during the day and that helped to shed the monkey from his back.
"I saw my family and friends," he said. "I felt good tonight and played with two different lines. The guys were playing great and finding the ice for me."
White said he'd rather be spending the next few days with his feet up but the Hitmen will have another chance to finish off the Wheat Kings Monday at the 'Dome.
"We wanted to finish it off here tonight, go home and have a couple of days off," White said.
"But the cookie didn't crumble that way."