Sunday, 14 March 2010

Wheat Kings Notch #50

The Brandon Wheat Kings collected their 50th win of the season Saturday night, downing the Regina Pats 3-1.

Travis Hamonic notched his first goal as a Wheat King while Brenden Walker and Aaron Lewadniuk also scored for Brandon.

"It's nice to finally get it out of the way and it came at a big time," says Hamonic, who opened the scoring 8:39 into the first period, "It wasn't like it was the 6th or 7th goal, I think I got the guys off to a good start tonight and I'm pretty excited I got it out of the way, especially heading into the playoffs."

Andrew Hayes made 34 saves in the Brandon, allowed just a late second period goal to Regina's Jordan Eberle, which happened to be his 50th of the season.

The 50 wins is a significant accomplishment for the Wheat Kings, one that has happened just three previous times in the franchise's history (1976-77, 1978-79 and 1995-96).

"Our motivation tonight was to get to 50 wins," says Hayes, "For the last week, we've been really focusing on that and it's been a huge accomplishment for the team."

While the team hit a key milestone, a pair of Wheat Kings came up just short of a personal milestones.

Brayden Schenn and Matt Calvert both finished the season with 99 points, just missing the chance to become the first Wheat King teammates to hit the 100-point plateau since Mike LeClerc and Peter Schaefer in 1995-96.

Brandon finishes the regular season with a 50-18-1-3 record including a WHL-best 28-6-0-2 record on home ice including a 23-1-1-0 mark in their last 25 home games.

The Wheat Kings also won eight straight to close out the season and went 20-2-1-0 in their last 23 regular seasons games to earn top spot in the East Division.

Brandon still doesn't know who they'll face in the first round of the WHL playoffs.

Moose Jaw and Swift Current are tied for seventh-place and will face each other in their final regular season game on Sunday.

The winner will meet in the Wheat Kings in the Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals beginning Friday.

Chaff...for the second time this week, the Wheat Kings established a single-game attendance record. Saturday's paid attendance was 6,042...Brandon's final attendance for the season was 171,356, an average of 4,760 per game...Brandon scratches Saturday were Paul Ciarelli (thumb), Ryley Miller (jaw) and Jesse Sinatynski (healthy).

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