Thursday, 27 January 2011

Walker Hat-Trick Leads Wheat Kings to Road Win

The Brandon Wheat Kings snapped a seven-game road losing streak on Wednesday night with a 5-4 victory over the Kootenay Ice.

Brenden Walker had his first career hat-trick for Brandon while Scott Glennie and Matt MacKay also scored for the Wheat Kings.

It was a bit of an offensive outburst for Walker, who had just one assist in the previous five games.

“He was shooting the puck and sometimes you get a guy with a hot hand,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “He had some other chances aside from the ones that he did score. The first and third one were great shots, he did a good job and was really shooting the puck well.”

Cody Eakin had a goal and two assists for the Ice while Joe Antilla, Brayden McNabb and Elgin Pearce also scored for the Ice.

One of the keys in the victory for Brandon was escaping their dreaded first period ‘blahs’ by getting through the opening 20 minutes in a 1-1 tie and outshooting the Ice 13-10.

The club had been outscored 16-3 in the first period of their previous seven road games.

“We were good in the first period,” said McCrimmon, “Because of that, we had the ability to work out way through the game instead of trying to climb out of a hole.”

It was Brandon’s third win in the last four games and in the world of junior hockey, fortunes can change in a week.

The Wheat Kings have gone from seven points out of a playoff spot last week to within one point of Prince Albert and Lethbridge, who are tied for eighth-place in the Eastern Conference.

“You get caught up looking at the standings and we’re fighting in that 9, 10, 11, range that we’ve been in and you sometimes think that’s where you belong,” says McCrimmon, “What you try to do is get guys to believe in themselves and a game like tonight will go a long way in that regard.”

Corbin Boes stopped 32 shots in the Brandon to pick up his third victory of the season.

Brandon’s continues their road trip Friday night when they visit the Calgary Hitmen (7:30 p.m., CKLQ).

Chaff…Glennie’s third period goal was Brandon’s third shorthanded marker in the past two games after scoring just one shorthanded goal in their first 49 games of the season…Wednesday’s win was Brandon’s first in a Central Division building this season…16-year old Dakota Conroy made his WHL debut on Wednesday…D Brodie Melnychuk (ankle) was a late scratch for Brandon, sitting for the second time in three games.

Brandon Wheat Kings 5 at Kootenay Ice 4

First Period
1. Brandon, Walker 17 (Toews) 16:44 (pp)
2. Kootenay, Antilla 14 (King, Eakin) 17:29

Penalties: Galbraith Bdn (instigator, fighting, misconduct), Hurley Ktn (fighting) 7:59, Benoit Ktn (tripping) 15:11.

Second Period
3. Kootenay, McNabb 12 (King, Eakin) 17:15
4. Brandon, Walker 18 (Swyripa) 18:03

Penalties: Fransoo Bdn (holding) 3:15, Hurley Ktn (goalie interefence) 8:24, Meilleur Bdn (tripping) 10:29, Hurley Ktn (interfernce) 12:44, Brandon bench (too many men) 15:04.

Third Period
5. Brandon, Walker 19 (unassisted) 2:33
6. Brandon, Glennie 22 (Stone, Pulock) 8:45 (sh)
7. Kootenay, Pearce 8 (Ismond, Czerwonka) 9:29 (pp)
8. Brandon, MacKay 14 (Stone, Wiebe) 11:07
9. Kootenay, Eakin 21 (Rintoul, McNabb) 13:53

Penalty: Gustafsson Bdn (slashing) 7:52.

Shots on goal by
Brandon 13 12 10 - 35
Kootenay 10 16 10 - 36

Goal (shots-saves): Brandon: Boes (W,3-9-6); Kootenay: Teskey (L,8-3-0) (30-25), Lieuwen (11:07 third, 5-5).

Power plays (goals-chances): Brandon: 1-3; Kootenay: 1-5.

Referee: Pat Smith; Linesmen: Steve Cochrane, Michael Roberts.

Attendance: 2,220.

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