Thursday, 1 December 2011

Wheat Kings Down Giants, Break Streak

Brenden Walker had a goal and two assists
in Wednesday's win over the Giants.
Mark Stone's goal 38 seconds into the third period snapped a 4-4 tie and lifted the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 5-4 win over the Vancouver Giants on Wednesday night.

The victory snapped Brandon's three-game losing streak and moved the Wheat Kings to within one point of first-place Saskatoon in the East Division.

"They're a hard-working team. They like to go to the net, they like to crash the net, and I think we held them to 26 shots tonight so we played a lot tighter defensive game," said Stone on CKLQ's post-game show, "I think, going forward, we're going to have to keep on D Zone tight, and that's what's going to bring us a lot more victories down the road."

The Wheat Kings were particularly stingy in the third period after Stone had given them a one-goal lead, allowing just seven shots over the final 20 minutes.

"There wasn't a lot of time and space out there at both ends of the rink and, to me, it wasn't a 5-4 score," said Brandon coach Cory Clouston, "The way they were checking and the way we were checking, it was a very tight-checking game. We had to chip pucks and I thought we did a good job of that."

Brenden Walker added a goal and two assists for Brandon while Alessio Bertaggia, Brodie Melnychuk and Dominick Favreau also scored for the Wheat Kings.

The goals by Bertaggia and Melnychuk came on back-to-back power-plays 59 seconds apart, turning a 4-2 deficit into a 4-4 tie with about seven minutes remaining in the second period.

The game included more than 150 penalty minutes, 90 of which came at the end of the third period when a near melee broke out.

When all was said and done, three players from each team were assessed fighting majors and game misconducts.

The multi-fight situation will likely result in a $250 fine to both teams.

Brendan Gallagher had a hat-trick for Vancouver with Leiv Bews notched the other goal for the Giants.

The victory moved Brandon to within one point of first-place Saskatoon in the WHL's East Division.

Next action for the Wheat Kings is Friday night when they host the Red Deer Rebels (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff...Brandon product Landon Cross scored his first career WHL goal, helping Kamloops to a 6-5 overtime win over Victoria on Wednesday night...Winnipeg Jets' general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff was among those in attendance at Wednesday's game.

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