Warriors battle back to even series

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:42 AM ET

Dustin Boyd was wearing one of the ugliest, orange hard hats you've ever seen.

In today's hockey world, that's a good thing.

WARRIORS 4 WHEAT KINGS 1

Boyd, a 19-year-old Winnipeg native, scored two goals in the third period last night to lift his Moose Jaw Warriors to a much-needed 4-1 WHL playoff win over the Brandon Wheat Kings.

The best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final series is now tied 2-2, with Game 5 slated for Sunday night in Moose Jaw.

"It was a big win for our club," said Boyd, wearing the hard hat that signifies the hardest working player.

Last night's contest, played before 4,385 spectators at MTS Centre, was tied 1-1 after two periods, and Brandon held a rare shot advantage at 19-16.

The third period could have been the essential series clincher for the Wheat Kings, but instead it looks like it could very well be their downfall.

The Warriors stormed out of the gate, with Boyd scoring his first of the playoffs at 2:17, Troy Brouwer adding a shorthanded tally at 7:30 and Boyd striking again at 12:05 on the power play.

"Perhaps in the third period they were the more desperate team, and, as a result, they got it done and we didn't," said Wheaties coach Kelly McCrimmon.

Boyd had 48 goals during the regular season but none in the first four games of the series. The world junior gold medallist knew he and Brouwer, who led the WHL with 102 points, were running out of time to step it up for the favoured Warriors.

"We had to," said Boyd. "We're leaders on this team, and our best players have to be our best players.

"So we had to go out there and set the tone at the start of the third, and we did that."

The Warriors ended up with a 17-5 shot advantage in the third, and the Wheat Kings certainly looked shell-shocked afterwards.

"We just gotta forget about it," said Brandon defenceman Stephane Lenoski. "The series is tied 2-2. You can't dwell on it. You just gotta move on.

"Now it's a best out of three, so we just gotta focus on playing well in Moose Jaw on Sunday."

Mark Derlago gave Brandon a 1-0 lead at 14:32 of the first period, but Moose Jaw's Andre Herman tied it up at 2:51 of the second.

LATE HITS: Brouwer's shorthanded goal in the third had McCrimmon hopping mad on the Brandon bench. The coach felt that the pass from inside the Moose Jaw zone to a streaking Brouwer deflected off something on the Warriors bench, which should have drawn a whistle ... Brandon netminder Tyler Plante had to be sharp on many of his 29 saves, while Moose Jaw's Joey Perricone had a relatively easy night and turned aside 23 shots ... The Wheaties are now 9-2 at MTS Centre.


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