Saturday, 13 March 2010

Wheat Kings Clinch Division Title

The Brandon Wheat Kings clinched the East Division Friday night with a 9-3 victory over the Regina Pats.

Matt Calvert had three goals and two assists for the Wheat Kings while linemates Brayden Schenn and Scott Glennie had a goal and three assists each.

Brandon jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the game was five minutes old, scoring three times in a span of one minute and 38 seconds.

“We thought that if we weren’t ready that they could really gain momentum and get their crowd into the game,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “By the same token, we felt that we could almost use the crowd to our advantage so the 3-0 lead we had before the game was five minutes old really set the tone for the night.”

Brent Raedeke, Toni Rajala, Brenden Walker and Shayne Wiebe also scored for the Wheat Kings while Jacob De Serres stopped 28 shots in the Brandon net.

The pennant is Brandon’s fifth in the last nine years and comes with the club’s seventh consecutive victory and 19th in their last 22 games.

“With as much ground as we made up against Saskatoon in our Division, I think it makes it all the more gratifying for our guys,” says McCrimmon, “We’re all realistic, it’s one step in the process but when your team wins a pennant, you do have to stop and give congratulations to the players.”

The victory was Brandon’s 49th of the season (49-18-1-3) and the Wheat Kings could hit the 50-win mark for just the fourth time in franchise history Saturday night when they close out the regular season by hosting Regina at Westman Communications Group Place.

By the way, the outburst by Schenn and Calvert gives them 99 and 98 points respectively entering Saturday’s regular season finale.

The Wheat Kings haven’t had teammates hit the 100-point plateau since Mike LeClerc and Peter Schaefer turned the trick in 1995-96.

Chaff…Schenn extended his goal-scoring streak to seven straight games Friday, tying him for the longest in the WHL this season…Friday’s game featured a second period tilt between Brandon’s Jordan Hale and Regina’s Colten Teubert…F Paul Ciarelli (thumb), D Ryley Miller (jaw) and F Jesse Sinatynski (healthy) were Brandon’s scratches on Friday…D Brodie Melnychuk played his 200th career game on Friday night.

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