The Strathmore Wheatland Kings were in Okotoks Tuesday night to take on the top-seeded Okotoks Bisons in game one of the second round of the HJHL playoffs.

Coming off of a win in High River last Friday night to wrap up round one the team was fired up to head into Okotoks on Tuesday.

General Manager Lee Smith said that the team was extremely focused heading into game one, "They (Okotoks) had all the pressure on them, they're supposed to beat us and we came out and just played our game. Everyone is starting to buy into the system and we are playing really well."

The team came out strong in the first period, with three goals the first coming by Kage Yellowfly assisted by Zachary Suntjens and Garret Vander Ploeg at 16:36 on a powerplay. Less than a minute later Josh Alberda scored the second goal for the Kings assisted by Ethan Van Egmond and Jaycob Masciangelo.

With 2:57 left in the first Ethan Van Egmond got the Kings third goal of the night assisted by Lachlan Stewart, at the end of the first the Kings were up 3-1.

“Everybody was pretty pumped that was the first time we had led against those guys all year, everybody was on a high,” explained Smith.

The second period saw the Bisons make a comeback with three goals. With a goal from Kings forward Jaycob Masciangelo assisted by Kage Yellowfly and Ethan Van Egmond at the end of the second period the game was tied 4-4.

In the third period, two veterans on the team came through to secure the Kings win. In the first minute of the third period, Garret Vander Ploeg got an empty net goal and the Kings took the lead 5-4.

Jayden Hendricks got on the scoresheet with the team's sixth goal of the night less than five minutes later assisted by Garret Vander Ploeg and Zachary Suntjens, the Strathmore Wheatland Kings took game one in the series with a score of 6-4. 

Heading into back-to-back games this weekend Smith said the team has one focus.

“We just gotta keep doing what we're doing and try and stay out of the penalty box. That's a big thing that last night almost cost us. We did take some costly penalties that you know could have killed us but didn't.”

This game also came down to the performance of one other player Smith explained who kept them in the game, “Our goaltender Brett Willan was fantastic in net last night, we need to get another couple of performances like that from him as well.”

Game two for the Kings will be Friday in Okotoks and the team will be back on home ice this Saturday for game three, the puck drops at 8 p.m.