Thursday, 13 January 2011

Wheat Kings Drop Key Matchup

The Brandon Wheat Kings failed to close the gap between themselves and a playoff spot Wednesday night, dropping an 8-4 decision to the Prince Albert Raiders.

Jonathan Parker had three goals and two assists to pace the Raiders offensively and Prince Albert beat the Wheat Kings for the third time in nine days, and moves five points ahead of Brandon for eighth-place in the WHL’s Eastern Conference.

The Raiders led 4-0 after the first period and while the Wheat Kings were able to get back to within two three times, were never able to really stop the bleeding in their own zone.

Brandon’s cause was hurt by the absence of fourth-year defenceman Brodie Melnychuk.

Melnychuk hurt his leg late in Tuesday’s game in Saskatoon and was unable to play Wednesday, ending his consecutive games played streak at 208 (regular season, playoffs & Memorial Cup).

“I really thought our young defence tonight, early in the game, struggled. I thought they got better as the game went on,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon, “I guess that was, perhaps, to be expected with Melnychuk out of our lineup and five rookie D and a rookie goalie, that can happen but that doesn’t mean we can be happy with it.”

In fact, the entire blueline core Wednesday had 256 games of WHL experience while Melnychuk alone has 245.

To Brandon’s credit, the club tried to rally in the second and third periods, cutting the gap to 4-2, 5-3 and 6-4 but were, ultimately, stymied by the fact the Raiders always got that all-important next goal.

“Sounds like hollow positives when you lose a four-point game on the road like we did here tonight but there were a lot of really good things,” added McCrimmon.

Dominick Favreau, Jordan Fransoo, Scott Glennie and Brenden Walker scored the goals for Brandon while Corbin Boes and Liam Liston split the goaltending duties, combining for 35 saves.

Brandon’s next action is Friday night when they host the Red Deer Rebels (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place) to begin a four-game home stand.

Brandon Wheat Kings 4 at Prince Albert Raiders 8

First Period
1. Prince Albert, Parker 25 (Bettauer, Herrod) 3:54 (pp)
2. Prince Albert, Herle 5 (Berry-Lamontagna, Yaworski) 5:28
3. Prince Albert, Herrod 18 (Revenko, Parker) 13:09
4. Prince Albert, Parker 26 (Revenko, Danyluk) 19:22

Penalties: Miller Bdn (kneeing) 2:46, MacKay Bdn (goaltender interference) 8:49, Yaworski PA (tripping) 15:51.

Second Period
5. Brandon, Favreau 5 (Swyripa, Roy) 8:32
6. Brandon, Fransoo 3 (MacKay, Wiebe) 9:50
7. Prince Albert, McNeill 20 (Fiddler, Wells) 14:23

Penalty: McNeill PA (high-sticking) 18:23.
Third Period
8. Brandon, Glennie 18 (MacKay, Pulock) 1:08 (pp)
9. Prince Albert, Yaworski 1 (Parker, Bourhis) 6:28
10. Brandon, Walker 16 (Hunter) 6:49
11. Prince Albert, Berry-Lamontagna 2 (Hlinka, Yaworski) 7:41
12. Prince Albert, Parker 27 (Herrod, Deck) 16:26

Penalties: Herrod PA (tripping) 0:22, McNeill (tripping) PA 0:39, Walker Bran (double high-sticking) 8:49, Wiebe Bdn (slashing) 14:39, Bettauer PA (high-sticking) 14:55, Corbin PA (tripping) 17:37.

Shots on goal by
Brandon 15 16 10 - 41
Prince Albert 14 7 23 - 43

Goal (shots-saves): Brandon: Boes (L,1-9-6)(21-16), Liston (0:00 third, 10-7); Prince Albert: Tucker (W,9-14-2).

Power plays (goals-chances): Brandon: 1-6; Prince Albert: 1-5.

Referee: Derek Zalaski; Linesmen: Derek Craig, Darren Spurgeon.

Attendance: 2,067.

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