Saturday, 10 September 2011

Wheat Kings Fall in Pre-Season Opener

Alessio Bertaggia
Eric Arnold and Sebastien Svendsen scored a pair of goals each to lead the Woose Jaw Warriors to a 6-4 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings in Western Hockey League pre-season action on Friday night.

The Wheat Kings rallied from an early 3-0 deficit to take a 4-3 lead midway through the second period but watched as the Warriors' scored the game's next three goals including a Torrin White shorthanded marker with 1:40 left in the middle frame that snapped a 4-4 tie.

"The last two periods, I thought we played very well. I just looked at what the chances were, and we had 24 chances and they had 12," said Brandon coach Cory Clouston in CKLQ's post-game show, "It was a situation where we had a lot of opportunities to extend the league, we didn't and, unfortunately, they capitalized on a couple of our turnovers."

Dominick Favreau and Alessio Bertaggia had a goal and an assist each for Brandon while Paul Ciarelli and Jens Meilleur scored the other goals for the Wheat Kings.

It was Brandon's first pre-season contest while the Warriors were playing their fourth pre-season game and, according to Clouston, that may have also had an impact on the contest.

"It takes a while to adjust to the pace," said Clouston, "You can practice all you want, you can scrimmage all you want but until you get against a real opponent, it's a different story."

Liam Liston went the distance in the Brandon net and stopped 26 shots while Winnipeg product Spencer Tremblay stopped 35 shots for the Warriors.

The other factor was Brandon failing to capitalize on a full two-minute 5-on-3 power-play chance in the third period when they were trailing by a pair of goals.

"I think we had four real good chances there that, obviously, would have made a big difference," says Clouston, "That's what happens sometimes when you haven't played in a real game in months."

The two teams will meet again Saturday night in Moose Jaw (7:50 p.m., CKLQ).

Chaff...Brandon scratches were D Ryan Pulock (healthy), D Ryley Miller (healthy), D Jordan Fransoo (Ottawa, NHL), D Brodie Melnychuk (wrist), F Brenden Walker (concussion), F Mark Stone (Ottawa, NHL) and F Michael Ferland (Calgary, NHL)...Among Moose Jaw's scratches were former Wheat King Dallas Ehrhardt (Calgary, NHL) and Brandon products Joel Edmundson (St. Louis, NHL) and F Brayden Cuthbert (concussion)...former Wheat King Jamie Hodson has been hired as the Warriors' goaltending coach.

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