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In pics: Wheat Kings host Winnipeg in front of crowd of 4959 at home opener

Posted by Adam in Local Sports, 9/20/2019

The Wheat Kings kicked off their Western Hockey League season on Friday night in the first of ten meetings this season in their new provincial rivalry with the Winnipeg Ice. 

Before the players even hit the ice, fans were given a show with the debut of the arena’s new scoreclock followed by pre-game introduction of players on the 2019-2020 edition of the home team. 

The game itself saw no shortage of action, with the visiting Ice netting the first three goals before BWK defenceman Vincent Iorio notched his club’s first of the season midway through the third period. Brandon would add one more to make it close but the Ice would hold on to win their first game since relocating to Winnipeg by a 3-2 score.

Other than the matchup on the ice, the running theme of the night was the amount of fog in the arena at ice level. Generally periods started with clear-ish conditions for about five minutes before fog brought visibility down to poor levels at ice level that may not have been completely apparent from higher up in the seats. By the third period the game had to be paused on more than one occasion to allow the zamboni to condition the ice as a way to improve visibility. 

The contest was taken in by an announced crowd of 4,959 on what is generally one of the most attended games of the year. 

The same two teams next make the trip to Winnipeg to play in the Ice’s first ever home opener in the provincial capital on Saturday night. 

A gallery of pictures from the night, both before the game and during the action itself can be seen below. The fog made for some challenging shooting conditions but at the same time gave a chance for some unique shots!

Photo Gallery

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Goaltender Jiri Patera is the first introduced in pre-game introductions

More than 4900 in attendance await the opening faceoff

Ceremonial opening faceoff

The Wheat Kings nearly score the game's first goal

Wheat Kings' Cole Reinhardt chases the puck

Wheat Kings' Ben McCartney and Winnipeg's Reece Harsch

The Kiss Cam makes its debut on the new Westoba Place scoreclock

Wheat Kings' Nolan Ritchie faceoff vs Ice forward Jakin Smallwood

Winnipeg's Nolan Orzeck cuts to the net

A Winnipeg scoring chance

An example of the fog at its worst

Winnipeg celebrates a goal

Wheat King goalie Jiri Patera and Winnipeg's Owen Pederson

The Wheat Kings come close to scoring the tying goal in the third period

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