Thursday, 8 March 2012

Ferland Hat-Trick Leads Wheat Kings Past Pats

Michael Ferland mixes it up with Regina defenceman
Art Bidlevskii during Wednesday's game
 The Regina Pats hosted First Nation and Metis Awareness night Wednesday and Wheat Kings’ forward Michael Ferland gave those in attendance something to be proud about.

Ferland had his fourth hat-trick of the season including his ninth game-winning goal, helping Brandon to a 5-2 victory over the Pats.

The Wheat Kings dressed just 15 skaters for the contest because of injuries and illness but that didn’t faze Brandon, who have played some of their best hockey over the last six weeks when they’ve been a little short-staffed.

“We’re played some of our best hockey this year when we’re shorthanded. I think when you are shorthanded, you do keep it simple,” said Brandon assistant coach Darren Ritchie on CKLQ’s post-game show, “We got pucks in real well today, we didn’t turn pucks over too often in dangerous spots tonight and we had a lot of guys step up.”

One of the major keys to the win came late in the third period when, with the Pats already shorthanded, Regina captain Brandon Davidson flipped the puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty.

Ryan Pulock scored for Brandon on the ensuring 5-on-3 power-play chance to break a 1-1 tie, and Ferland added his second goal of the game just 15 seconds later on the 5-on-4 to give Brandon a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.

“They kind of had some momentum coming our way a little bit and I thought the power-play changed things around,” said Ritchie, “Sometimes when you get that first goal, you sit back but give our guys credit…they made a great play to get another goal on it.”

Darian Dziurzynski also scored for the Wheat Kings while Mark Stone had three assists and Corbin Boes made 30 saves in the Brandon net.

Martin Marincin scored a pair of power-play goals for the Pats while Adam Beukeboom made 27 saves in goal for Regina.

Marincin’s goal 6:49 into the second period tied the game 1-1 and ended Brandon’s streak of killing off opposition power-play chances at 24 in a row.

Despite the victory, Brandon remains in eighth-place in the Eastern Conference but just one point behind both Regina and the Saskatoon Blades.

The Wheat Kings host the Blades for a doubleheader this Friday and Saturday at Westman Communications Group Place.

Chaff…D Colton Waltz assisted on Brandon’s first goal for his first career WHL point…D Ryan Pulock had two assists in the contest to give him 100 points for his Wheat Kings’ career…F Jason Swyripa (illness) made the trip to Regina but was not well enough to play.

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