Monday, 8 March 2010

Wheat Kings Double Raiders

The Brandon Wheat Kings ran their winning streak to five games Sunday night with a 4-2 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders.

Michael Ferland’s goal with 1:48 left in the second period snapped a 2-2 tie with Aaron Lewadniuk adding a power-play goal 6:03 into the third period.

Brayden Schenn and Jay Fehr scored in the first period to give Brandon a 2-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes but Craig McCallum and Ryan Harrison, shorthanded, scored for the Raiders in the second period before Ferland’s goal gave the Wheat Kings the lead for good.

“We didn’t panic at all and I thought we had good composure all night,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “I thought we played really well. I liked our guys all day today – they were excited and focused to play and I thought brought great energy to the game tonight.”

Sunday’s game also marked the return of Mark Stone to the Brandon lineup after he missed six games with a concussion suffered on February 19.

Stone had two assists in the game while playing on a line with Brayden Schenn and Matt Calvert.
“He makes us a better team. He’s so easy to coach, he’s reliable in all three zones and I thought he didn’t miss a beat,” says McCrimmon, “I thought he stepped right in and played very well for our team all night and it really gave us the ability to play four lines.”

The victory was Brandon’s 21st on the road this season and pushed the Wheat Kings three points ahead of second-place Saskatoon in the WHL’s East Division.

That means Brandon controls their own fate heading into the final week of the regular season – three consecutive victories, and they clinch East Division pennant.

The Wheat Kings are also three points behind Calgary for top spot in the Eastern Conference and overall WHL standings.

Chaff…Ferland’s goal was Brandon’s 300th this season, marking the first time since 1996-97 the club has hit the 300 goal mark. They’ll be the only WHL team to do so this year…F Jay Fehr picked up the 150th assist of his career Sunday…Brandon scratches Sunday were F Paul Ciarelli (thumb), D Ryley Miller (jaw) and D Mark Schneider (concussion)…D Brodie Melnychuk took a puck in the face early in the first period but returned after missing only a couple of shifts and played the rest of the game with a full face shield…Brandon has won 18 of their 22 head-to-head meetings with Prince Albert…Brayden Schenn has goals in seven of their last eight games.

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