Thursday, 19 January 2012

Wheat Kings Snap Losing Skid

Brenden Walker
The Brandon Wheat Kings snapped a four-game losing streak with a 6-4 win over the Saskatoon Blades on Wednesday night.

Brenden Walker had his second career hat-trick plus an assist for the Wheat Kings, who scored five goals in the third period after trailing 2-1 through 40 minutes.

“We had to keep our pace, keep our structure to our game and just stay with it and things will happen for you,” said Brandon assistant coach Darren Ritchie on CKLQ’s post-game show, “Lately, we’ve been finding ways to lose the game in the third period...tonight, for our guys to really stick with it and get rewarded for their hard work is well deserved.”

Paul Ciarelli, who returned from a two-game absence, Darian Dziurzynski and Michael Ferland also scored for the Wheat Kings.

Brandon offensive outburst in the final frame was surprising considering the club had scored five goals in a game just once in their previous ten outings.

One of the keys – goals from being around the net for capitalize on loose pucks, the so-called ‘greasy goals’ around the net.

“We kind of stressed it early and we weren’t doing it and I thought as the game went along, we did it and we got rewarded,” added Ritchie, “Once the guys start seeing you get rewarded, then the next line goes it and they get rewarded. It’s like an avalanche, it just keeps coming and coming…give our guys full credit.”

Brandon Anderson made 25 saves in the Wheat Kings’ net but was victimized by some sloppy team play late that allowed the Blades to score twice in the final two minutes.

The victory allowed Brandon to move six points ahead of ninth-place Red Deer in the race for the final playoff spot in the WHL’s Eastern Conference.
The Wheat Kings and Blades will play the second half of their doubleheader in Saskatoon on Friday night (6:35 p.m., 880 CKLQ)

Chaff…Darian Dziurzynski tangled with Saskatoon’s Lukas Sutter in the third period, Dziurzynski’s first fight since November 26th…Dziurzynski’s goal was his fifth shorthanded goal of the season, moving him into second in the WHL in that department…Brandon went 0-for-5 on the power-play and have scored ten power-play goals in their last 16 games (10-for-65)…Wheat Kings’ captain Mark Stone was held without a point for just the fifth time this season but second straight contest. Brandon is 1-4-0-0 in those games…D Brodie Melnychuk appeared in his 292nd career game Wednesday, tying Brett Thurston for ninth-place on the Wheat Kings’ all-time list…Kevin Sundher celebrated his 20th birthday on Wednesday.

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