Wheaties edged by Pats

ADAM WAZNY -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 12:22 PM ET

Given the struggles the Brandon Wheat Kings have had on the road, the last thing they needed was a home game away from the Keystone Centre.

The Wheaties played their first of four games at the MTS Centre this season, dropping a 3-2 decision to the Regina Pats in front of an announced attendance 2,481 last night.

PATS 3 WHEAT KINGS 2

Brandon, now 9-19-4-1 overall, is just 3-13-1-1 as the visitor in its Western Hockey League travels. Regina improves to 17-13-0-1 this season.

"It's just getting used to the ice that would be the biggest thing," Wheat Kings defenceman Corey Courchene said of skating in a non-WHL barn. "It's takes about a period to get your feet under you -- it's a little slower than we're used to.

"But it's the same for both teams."

Brandon head coach and G.M. Kelly McCrimmon believes the players try to treat these games as 'home' affairs, and while mentally it might be easy to do so, it's sometimes tough to convince the body to follow suit.

"The reality is you do bus in," he said.

Regina forward Petr Kalus scored the only goal of the first period when he broke in on Brandon netminder Tyler Plante all alone for the second time in the opening 3:49 of the game.

Plante stoned the Czech skater the first time, but Kalus, Boston's second choice (39th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, capitalized on his second chance, burying a shot to the blocker side for his 21st goal of the season.

The clubs traded goals in the second period before Brandon evened things up early in the third, when Courchene carried the puck around the net, circled in front and lifted a wrist shot over the glove of Regina netminder David Reekie.

That tie was short-lived, though.

Pats defenceman Nick Ross scored his first goal of the season just 45 seconds later in what turned out to be the game winner.

Teegan Moore had the other goal for Brandon.

Plante made 19 saves for the Wheat Kings. Reekie countered with 37 stops of his own.

The Wheat Kings have now lost two in a row and remain in last spot in the East Division, a point behind the Prince Albert Raiders.

Brandon has one more game on the schedule before the Christmas break, a Friday meeting at the Keystone Centre against Red Deer.

CHAFF: Yesterday's contest was the first weekend date for the Wheaties at the MTS Centre and with an announced crowd of just 2,481, they only have one Saturday night date left this season (March 11 vs. Saskatoon).

No one will be too upset with that fact.

Last season, Brandon played four Wednesday night games and easily drew 3,500 per game.

The Wheaties will next see action in Winnipeg Wednesday, Feb. 8 against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.


Videos

Photos