One of the most memorable moments in local sports history officially turns a decade old today on this the tenth anniversary of May 21, 2010.
That day of course for the uninitiated was the third-from-last during Brandon’s time on the national stage hosting the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup Tournament. After a disappointing WHL playoff exit earlier in the Spring at the hands of the Calgary Hitmen, the Wheat Kings followed up a long rest by hosting those very same Hitmen as well as the Moncton Wildcats and Windsor Spitfires to determine the nation’s best.
The home side played below the level they had hoped in the round-robin portion of the event, concluding with a devastating 5-1 thumping at the hands of the very same Hitmen... setting up yet another rematch between the same clubs in the tournament’s semi-final to determine a birth in the Championship Final.
The writing seemed to be on the wall. The host team would put in their time for three more periods against the seemingly invincible Hitmen once more, pack their bags and call it a season. The first period of the semi-final saw little to change that thought, with the Hitmen jumping out to an early 2-0 lead and looking well on their way to frustrating the BWK with what would be a sixth straight head-to-head loss.
Whatever the reason may have been, Brandon came to life in the second period... scoring three of four goals with the teams each trading one more in the third to set the stage for an overtime finale for the ages courtesy Toni Rajala and Jay Fehr:
Video: Slapshot Gaming/Youtube
For many local fans, that moment from that game from that week represented peak Westman hockey and is unlikely to be forgotten any time soon by any of the 5000+ who participated in nearly blowing the roof off of what is now Westoba Place.
There will be no post this weekend celebrating the anniversary of what may or may not have happened two days later...you’re more than welcome to look that one up yourself as the rest of us revisit the delirium from the ultimate come-from-behind victory :)
Unfortunately no player or fan will have the opportunity to be part of such a moment this year with the 2020 edition of the tournament having been one of countless sporting events cancelled in light of the COVID-19 pandemic... but maybe, just maybe the group of rising talent that will make up the 2020-21 edition of the Wheat Kings will take steps towards creating new such memories of their own beginning this September.
You can review the WheatKings.com story on the 2010 semi-final at:
With the original game summary being published at: