Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Bad Start Leads to Loss

A poor first period came back to haunt the Brandon Wheat Kings in a 6-3 loss to the Calgary Hitmen on Tuesday night.

Alex Gogolev and Alex Roach scored before the game was six minutes old, and the Hitmen had a 3-1 lead through the opening 20 minutes while outshooting the Wheat Kings 20-8.

"We got ourselves behind the eight-ball very quickly, and it was very difficult to recover from that," said Brandon coach Cory Clouston on CKLQ's post-game show, "We were playing our fourth game in five nights, we had a bunch of guys playing their fifth game in six nights and we had a couple of guys playing with the flu. It was very evident that we just didn't have the energy and push back that we needed, especially when we got down early in the first."

The Wheat Kings did have some spurts, with Darian Dziurzynski's shorthanded goal 16:40 of the first period making it 2-1 and Alessio Bertaggia's marker at 11:25 of the second making it 3-2.

However, in both instances, the Hitmen were able to reply quickly to restore a two-goal advantage.

Mark Stone also scored for Brandon while Brandon Anderson made 35 saves in the Wheat Kings' net.

"We didn't have any forecheck established so we were pretty easy to play against, and we have to do a better job of rebound control," added Clouston, "I thought (Anderson) played well but I thought his rebound control, at times, wasn't what it needed to be. Then, you end up running around in your D Zone instead of having a nice whistle and a good D Zone faceoff and get some structure back into your zone."

The loss leaves the Wheat Kings with a 16-8-1-1 record overall and three points behind Saskatoon for first place in the East Division and the WHL's overall standings.

Chaff...Craig Conroy, special assistant GM for the Calgary Flames, was in Brandon last night. He was likely checking out Flames' prospect Michael Ferland...Brandon product Brock Sutherland was pointless and +1 for the Hitmen in what may have been his last regular season visit of his WHL career to his hometown...Brandon product Alex Plante was in the Edmonton Oilers lineup Tuesday for their 6-2 win in Nashville. Plante was recalled from the Oilers' AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City prior to the contest, and was pointless in 14:47 of icetime. Former Wheat King Jordin Tootoo had his first goal of the season in a losing cause for Nashville...former Wheat King Brayden Schenn was activated off long-term Injury Reserve by Philadelphia on Tuesday and then assigned to the Flyers' AHL affiliate in Adirondack.

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