Sunday, 30 January 2011

Wheat Kings Fall to Tigers

The Brandon Wheat Kings closed out their Central Division road trip on Saturday night with a 4-3 loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Ryan Pulock, Eric Roy and Mark Stone scored the goals for the Wheat Kings, who battled back from 2-0 and 4-1 deficits and came within a pair of Matt MacKay third period goal posted of sending the game to extra time.

The game was Brandon’s fourth in five nights and compounding the Wheat Kings’ energy level is a flu bug that caused both Brenden Walker and David Toews to see limited action on Saturday night.

“The second and third period, I thought we played really hard,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “Guys are tired…it’s a tough trip. I thought guys were out of gas and fought hard all night.”

Kale Kessy and Linden Vey scored first period power-play goals for Medicine Hat as the Tigers led 2-0 after 20 minutes despite getting just five shots on the goal in the opening frame.

After Pulock pulled Brandon to within one with his fifth of the year at 3:11 of the second period, Wacey Hamilton’s 15th of the season just past the six minute mark on Medicine Hat’s eighth shot spelled the end of the night for Wheat Kings’ starting goaltender Corbin Boes.

Cole Grbavac greeted Liam Liston with a wraparound goal just 43 seconds after he entered the game but Liston was solid the rest of the night, turning aside 14 of 15 shots overall in relief of Boes.

Roy, with a power-play goal at 11:38, and Stone with 44 seconds left in the second period got Brandon to within a goal for the second intermission.

In the third, the Wheat Kings 4-5 good scoring chances but were unable to solve Devan Dubyk, who finished with 21 stops for Medicine Hat.

The loss means Brandon returns home with a 2-and-2 record on the four-game road trip, something that should be deemed a success.

“There’s a lot of things from the entire four-game trip that probably we weren’t ready or weren’t prepared enough to do before Christmas that I now see our team finding ways to do,” says McCrimmon, “We have to take a lot of positives out of this trip.”

Brandon is tied with Lethbridge for eighth-place in the Eastern Conference, three points back of seventh-place Swift Current and one ahead of both Prince Albert and Regina.

The Wheat Kings have 19 games remaining in the regular season, 13 of which will be on home ice.

Brandon’s next game is Wednesday night when they host the Swift Current Broncos (7:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff…Matt MacKay finished with two assists and now has 13 points (3 G, 10 A) over a six-game point-scoring streak…Shayne Wiebe and Scott Glennie both had five-game point streaks end on Saturday while Mark Stone has points in five straight games.

No comments: