It was a tough night for the U18 AAA Kenora Thistles as they opened up their 2021-2022 Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey League season with a 9-0 loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings.

The first five minutes of the game were controlled by the Thistles as they peppered the Wheat Kings goalie with a bundle of shots.

Kenora went on an early powerplay to start the game but it was Brandon that capitalized on it as Braden Keeble got his first of the year with a shorthanded goal.

Later in the period, the Wheat Kings added to their lead as a bad bounce off the end boards put the puck on the stick of Clarke Caswell and he made no mistake.

The Thistles powerplay troubles continued as they gave up another shorthanded goal to Nolan Chastko.

That goal ended the night for Thistles goalie Kaden King. Gunner Paradis came in relief.

After 20 minutes it was 3-0 Brandon. The shots were 21-13 in favour of Brandon.

It was the same story in the second period as Brandon scored four goals in the frame.

Clarke Caswell and Will Pearson put up a goal apiece. While Callum Halls picked up two goals in the period to put Brandon up 7-0 after 40 minutes. Two of the second-period goals were on the powerplay. The second-period shots were 21-12 for the Wheat Kings.

The Thistles didn’t back down in the third period as they came out and played as hard as they could, and had many chances but just couldn’t beat the Wheat Kings netminder.

Brandon added to their lead with two goals in the third as Skylar Ramsey picked up his first of the game, and Chastko got his second, making the final 9-0.

The third-period shots were 18-4 Brandon. The final shot count for the game was 60-29 for Brandon.

Discipline was an issue for both teams as Kenora took 11 penalties for 25 minutes, while Brandon had 14 infractions for a total of 28 minutes.  

Mason Lobreau picked up his first win and shutout of the season with a 29 save performance.

Kaden King for the Kenora suffered the loss giving up three goals on 15 shots.

The finale of the weekend series is at 1:30 p.m. CDT this afternoon at the Keewatin Memorial Arena. 

Only 75 admission tickets are available due to COVID-19 protocols.