The Wheatland Kings forced a game three against the Coaldale Copperheads when they travelled to Coaldale last night and earned a hard fought 3-1 victory. With the win, the Kings put themselves in position to host an elimination game tonight at 6:30.
A loss last night would've eliminated the Kings from the playoffs, so the importance of the game was understood by the entire team. Kings General Manager Lee Smith said goalie Landen Brassard stepped up to the moment and was a huge factor in the win.
"It started off with Landen Brassard in the net, he was fantastic and he really kept us in the game. When things weren't going well he made some huge stops."
While Brassard's great plays kept the Kings in it, it takes a whole team to win a game and Smith said the entire team rallied to rebound from a disappointing 4-2 game 1 loss.
"Our leadership group stepped up and they really dug deep. Coaldale is a tough place to play in, we weathered the storm and made it happen."
Like game 1, the Copperheads played physical and stayed true to their brand of hard hits and getting in the other team's head. However, unlike game 1 in the series the Kings were much more disciplined in game 2 and stuck to their game, rather than let Coaldale have their way.
"They tried to exert their will on us but we just didn't let it get to us and we just kept playing and things worked out really well. Once we stopped with the chatter everything was good. They chirped us pretty good the whole game but they boys just took it and turned it around."
The third and final game of the series will be tonight at 6:30 on home ice. Smith said the Kings will have to continue to play smart, disciplined hockey to win, and he also looks forward to the return of Kobe Gosling, who missed the first two games of the series and will be a big boost to the team.
On top of being a good goal scorer, Smith said Gosling is a physical player who could maybe make the Copperheads think twice about being so aggressive.
Smith hopes the home crowd comes out in full force to cheer the Kings on in their biggest game of the season so far.
"We get some of the best crowds in the league. Let's fill the barn and let's show Coaldale how many people we can put in that place."
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