Thursday, 21 October 2010

Wheat Kings Close Again

The Brandon Wheat Kings opened their B.C. Division road trip with a 5-3 loss in Prince George on Wednesday night.

Brett Connelly scored a pair of goals for the Cougars to run his goal-scoring streak to six games while former Wheat King James Priestner stopped 31 shots in the Prince George net.

Brandon led 2-1 after the opening 20 minutes despite being dominated for much of the opening frame by the Cougars, who ended up outshooting the Wheat Kings 16-8.

Brenden Walker and Paul Ciarelli scored for the Wheat Kings after Connelly had opened the scoring 4:24 into the opening frame.

The second period began on the opposite foot, with Brandon controlling play for the first 10 minutes but were unable to extend their lead thanks to some quality saves from Priestner.

After James Dobrowolski scored 9:57 to tie the game at 2-2, the tide seemed to shift in the Cougars’ favour and they then capitalized on a four-on-four situation, with Greg Fraser and Connelly scoring 35 seconds apart to give Prince George a 4-2 lead.

“We made poor decisions in that situation,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “We really did a poor job through that stretch.”

Dominick Favreau scored his first goal as a Wheat King late in the second period to get Brandon to within a goal but Wheat Kings were unable to find twine again despite a 5-on-3 power-play chance early in the third period.

Troy Bourke then put the game away for Prince George, nudging home a loose puck in the crease with just under six minutes left.

The loss was Brandon’s seventh in a row, with six of those seven contests being by two goals or less.

“90 per cent of the way there isn’t enough. We have to get a little bit more at different times,” adds McCrimmon, “If we can be as good as we are to be in all these games, then there’s something we have to do in order to start winning some of those games.”

Liam Liston stopped 33 shots in goal for Brandon.

The Wheat Kings’ next action is Friday, when they visit the Vancouver Giants (9:00 p.m., CKLQ).

Chaff…the victory was the 400th in the WHL coaching career of Cougars’ head coach Dean Clark. He’s the 12th coach in WHL history to reach the 400-win mark, with 86 of those coming with Brandon from 2001-2003…the loss was Brandon’s first in Prince George since November 25, 1997…Brayden Schenn was a healthy scratch for the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night.

Brandon Wheat Kings 3 at Prince George Cougars 5

First Period
1. Prince George, Connolly 10 (Stefishen, Acolatse) 4:24
2. Brandon, Walker 5 (Gustafsson) 16:54
3. Brandon, Ciarelli 3 (Galbraith, King) 18:16

Penalty: Gustafsson Bdn (interference) 14:46.

Second Period
4. Prince George, Dobrowolski 3 (Bourke, Buonassisi) 9:57
5. Prince George, Fraser 1 (Buonassisi, Carlson) 14:21
6. Prince George, Connolly 11 (Marincin, Stefishen) 14:56
7. Brandon, Favreau 1 (Seaman, Hunter) 16:47

Penalties: Melnychuk Bdn (roughing) 11:10, Stefishen PG (goaltender interference) 11:10, Walker Bdn (tripping) 11:39, Miller Bdn (kneeing) 13:59, Acolatse PG (high-sticking) 14:05, Wiebe Bdn (slashing) 17:50.

Third Period
8. Prince George, Bourke 3 (Buonassisi, Acolatse) 14:05

Penalties: Forsberg PG (hooking) 4:51, Acolatse PG (cross-checking) 5:54, Mieritz Bdn (interference) 6:37, Stefishen PG (hooking) 17:24.

Shots on goal by
Brandon 8 15 11 -- 34
Prince George 16 14 8 -- 38

Goal: Brandon: Liston (L,2-3-0); Prince George: Priestner (W,5-3-1).

Power plays (goals-chances): Brandon: 0-4; Prince George: 0-5.

Referee: Pat Smith; Linesmen: Adam Hyatt, Richie Rogers.

Attendance: 1,797.

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