Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Wheat Kings Drop Game #3

For the first time in the 2010 Western Hockey League playoffs, the Brandon Wheat Kings find themselves trailing in a series.

Calgary jumped out to a 4-0, first period lead Tuesday night and went on to a 6-3 victory over the Wheat Kings in Game #3 of the Eastern Conference Final.

The victory gives Calgary a 2-1 series lead with Game #4 set for Wednesday night (7:08 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

The Wheat Kings likely deserved a better fate after 20 minutes, outshooting Calgary 21-10 in the opening frame but still trailing by four goals.

"We were real good coming out at the start, and we ended up giving up four goals on seven shots," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ's post-game show, "We just ended up giving up goals on mistakes on plays."

In the second period, Matt Calvert almost singlehandedly brought the Wheat Kings back into the contest.

Calvert notched a WHL record three shorthanded goals in a span of six minutes and 45 seconds in the middle frame to get Brandon to within a goal heading into the third period.

However, the Wheat Kings' comeback effort would fall short despite having several opportunities to tie the game including a shot from Travis Hamonic three minutes in that went off the post.

Brandon outshot Calgary 10-5 in the third period and 43-21 overall in the contest, just the second time in 16 playoff games the Hitmen had been outshot by their opposition.

"I think when you lose to a team like that and you outshoot them that bad, it puts a bit better feeling in your stomach after losing," says Calvert, "I think we just have to play a full 60 minute effort and continue to do a lot of things we did tonight. I think we had a first defensive breakdowns in the first but other than that, we liked our game."

Cody Sylvester, Michael Stone, Joel Broda and Matt MacKenzie all scored in the first period for the Hitmen while Tyler Fiddler added two third period goals, one with 1:50 remaining and the other into an empty Brandon net.

Martin Jones stopped 40 shots in the Calgary net while Jacob De Serres made 15 saves for Brandon.

Chaff...Calvert's second period feat is, unofficial, as the WHL hasn't listed the playoff record for shorthanded goals in a game or a period. However, the WHL playoff record for goals in a period is three, accomplished 24 times, and the WHL regular season record for shorthanded goals in a game is three, accomplished four times including once by Brandon's Peter Schaefer in 1997...Brandon scratches Tuesday were D Ryley Miller, D Darren Bestland, F Jesse Sinatynski and G Liam Liston...the Edmonton Oil Kings announced Tuesday that head coach Steve Pleau and assistant coach Rocky Thompson would not return for the 2010-2011 season.

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