Playing in the old corral it was only fitting it was a high scoring game.
The result was unfavourable though.
The Centennials dropped a 6-5 overtime decision to the Brandon Wheat Kings Friday night that snapped a four-game winning streak in the first game of the Corral Series presented by Adrenalin Source For Sports.
It had all the makings of last goal wins. But not the way they imagined it.
“We knew it was going to be an intense environment,” assistant coach Trent Cassan said. “We needed to control the emotions after we scored. We got really excited when we did but they were able to slip a few by us quickly after.
“There will be things we take away that we need to clean up knowing all games from here on out will be similar to this.”
Mark Kastelic had a strong performance with three points including two of the Centennials goals in a second star performance. Luke Coleman also scored a pair including the game tying goal with 1:42 remaining to force overtime. Tye Carriere scored the first marker while Jack McNaughton ended with 32 saves.
The Wheat Kings saw a pair of goals courtesy of Ben McCartney and singles from Caiden Daley, Setlio Mattheos, Connor Gutenberg and the overtime winner from Luka Burzan 16 seconds into the extra session. Ethan Kruger ended with 27 saves to help Brandon pick up the two points.
It was a high emotion game with a lot of grit, as both clubs didn’t back down from each other.
The atmosphere was playoff like and it was fitting considering that the two clubs are so close in the standings in the race for the final wildcard spot.
“I give the guys credit on battling back but we can’t play like that every night and expect to get a positive outcome,” Kastelic said. “It was a highly competitive -game and it stings to drop this one.
“We’ll learn from this and now we have the experience from getting our feet wet in this building.”
Aside from the result, it was an experience that the players won’t forget and they’ll get to enjoy it again next Wednesday night when the Regina Pats come to town for the second game of the Corral Series.
And now, they know what to expect from the old Corral.
“It was a different experience but I liked how the fans are sitting on top of you,” Coleman said. “It was a cool atmosphere and the fans were awesome.
“The corners are tight and the boards are stiff. Every hit you make or take you feel it, and it makes every hit an important one.”
But first things first, all the focus is on a key divisional matchup against Red Deer Saturday night. A team they sit only four points back of for third in the Central Division.
“We need to come out hard against them,” Coleman said. “They’ve had a similar play-style for the past few years and you know what to expect but which makes it important to come out fast and strong.
“We don’t like each other too much,” Kastelic added. “It’s definitely going to be another playoff atmosphere.”