The teams came out hard with both teams looking to set the momentum in the game.
An early goal by Alex Roach gave the Hitmen a lead which seemed to give them the momentum against the strong Wheat King team.
“I played a couple games at forward last year and they decided to keep me up there I guess,” said Roach when asked about moving from defence to forward.
“I’m supposed to just take the body first shift but Greg (Chase) made a great pass to me and I luckily finished there.”
The Roach goal seemed to electrify the other players and seemed to give them a huge boost needed to set the pace in the game.
“He’s one of my best friends on the team so I gotta be happy for him, he’s playing awesome up front,” said forward Trevor Cheek.
“He’s playing the body and their getting a little scared of him up there I think. That was a great shot and a great goal.”
Despite the Hitmen controlling most of the game the Wheat Kings still managed to push through and get some shots on the Hitmen.
Halfway through the first, goalie Brandon Glover robbed Michael Ferland on a quick one-on-one chance. Defenceman Chase Clayton also narrowly prevented a goal on a rebound with quick stick work in the crease.
By the end of the first the shots on net were 10 – 6 for the Wheat Kings but it was clear from the action on the ice and the excitement of the crowd that the Hitmen were controlling the pace.
Second period play started much like the first as the Hitmen continued their determined play by finishing their checks and controlling the speed of play.
“I thought we got some goals at really key times tonight,” said head coach Mike Williamson.
“Twice tonight I thought we came off some really good chances of theirs and scored and that can be really dejecting to a team and lift ours. I thought we sustained more tonight but I think we could do a little bit better job of playing a simple game.”
Taking the time to line up the shots the Hitmen challenged Wheat Kings goalie Corbin Boes numerous times.
Rough play came to a head midway through the second with both penalty boxes packed as seven penalties were given out in less than a minute. It was the ensuing four-on-four that seemed to give the team an even larger momentum boost.
With many near goals in the second the Hitmen had an impressive level of dominance in this period which led to a goal late in the second from Trevor Cheek with a nice assist from Bubnick and Bowman.
“I had a little two on one with Jimmy and tried to slow things down, I stopped in front, the puck came to me and I had the whole net,” said Cheek.
“It was a big goal for us, brought up our confidence and kept us going.”
The second period showed the clear dominance that the Hitmen possessed over the Wheat Kings.
Cheek continued his scoring halfway through the first with a beautiful goal off a two-on-one. Again he was assisted by Bubnick after a pass from Gogolev in front of the net. This line continued to show their strength against the Wheat Kings defence putting the score to 3-0 for the Hitmen.
“It was pretty awesome, it was my first career hat trick and it couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Cheek.
“Going into tonight it was a huge game and everyone was more relaxed and ready to go.”
It was the three goal deficit that obviously affected the Wheat Kings whose play continued to decline in the third. Numerous penalties gave the Hitmen a heavy advantage including a 5-on-3 with two minutes left in the game.
Cheek finished his scoring streak with a hat trick at 19:14 to end the game with a Hitmen win of 4-0. The team goes on the road to Winnipeg with the series tied 1-1.
“It’s a lot better leaving here with a split than down two nothing, but the way the guys rebounded today and rebounded their game is a positive thing,” said Williamson.
“They’re smart guys and they’re already talking about how we’ll have to continue to get better, make sure that we’re getting more guys on board and doing everything we can to continue to win.”