Friday, 3 February 2012

'Canes Double Wheat Kings

Damien Ketlo
Damien Ketlo stopped 41 shots to lead the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 4-2 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings on Friday night.

It was Brandon's sixth straight home-ice loss and 12th in their last 16 games overall.

"I'm not sure what it is about that first game back after a long road trip," said Brandon head coach Cory Clouston on CKLQ's post-game show, "We were lethargic, at times, and we just weren't sharp enough around the net. We had enough chances, we fired 40-plus shots on net and with the guys we have, we should be able to score on more chances than we did."

Mark Stone and Ryan Pulock scored the goals for Brandon while Corbin Boes made 30 saves in the Wheat Kings' net.

The 'Canes dropped out to a 2-0 lead in the second period on goals by Graham Hood and Juraj Bezuch after the teams were scoreless after the opening 20 minutes.

Adam Henry and Max Moline, with the first of his WHL career, traded goals with Stone and Pulock in the third period for Lethbridge.

"At times, right in front of our net, we need to lock down and be better there," said Pulock, "I think on chances, we have to get pucks deep and start going to their net."

Friday's game marked the 14th time in 17 games since the Christmas break that the Wheat Kings have scored three or fewer goals and several players are in prolonger offensive slumps.

"They have to do the little things -- stops and starts, they have to go to the net and they have to do it consistently," said Clouston, "When we do it consistently, we're a good team. If we do it sporadically, we allow our opponents to get momentum and, tonight, Lethbridge didn't get a lot of momentum and they capitalized on their chances and made good on them."

The loss drops Brandon back to .500 on the season at 25-25-1-2 but the club still has a two point lead over Red Deer for eighth-place and the final playoff spot after the Rebels fell 3-2 in Edmonton on Friday.

The Wheat Kings will visit the Swift Current Broncos on Saturday night (6:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

Chaff...former Wheat King Spencer Galbraith returned to the Hurricanes' lineup after missing two games with a lower body injury but played only one shift early in the first period and watched the rest of the game from the bench...Friday's crowd of 4,228 pushed the Wheat Kings over 100,000 for the season but the club's season average of 4,050 fans per game is down more than 200 from a year ago...former Wheat King Erik Christensen was dealt by the New York Rangers along with a conditional seventh round pick in 2013 to the Minnesota Wild Friday for forward Casey Wellman...Regina's Jordan Weal and Calgary's Chris Driedger were named Player and Goaltender of the Month respectively by the WHL on Friday.

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