Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Wheat Kings look to go on Offensive in Game #3

Eric Roy says Brandon needs to get back to basics,
simplify things as they look to get their offence on track
The Brandon Wheat Kings host the Edmonton Oil Kings in Game #3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal on Tuesday night (7:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

The Wheat Kings are coming off a pair of one-goal losses in the opening two games in Edmonton this past weekend and will be looking for an offensive spark after being held to four goals on 58 shots in the opening two games.

"It's tough. I think we continue to get chances, we'll eventually score," said Brandon captain Mark Stone after Monday's practice, "If you get bodies to the net and get pucks there, I think we're going to score most of our goals that way."

The Wheat Kings averaged 3.8 goals per game during the regular season, with their 273 goals for tied for the second best total in the Eastern Conference.

However, the playoffs have been a different story, with the club scoring 20 goals in seven games and just 14 goals in their last six playoff games after opening the post-season with a 6-2 win in Calgary on March 22nd.

"We got away from our game plan. We have to throw pucks on net and crash the net and pucks will start bouncing in for us," added Brandon defenceman Eric Roy, "We just have to work on that and it'll get better."

Brandon has just one player averaging better than a point per game in the playoffs as import Alessio Bertaggia leads the team in scoring in the post-season with four goals and seven points in seven games.

Meanwhile, at least part of the Wheat Kings' scoring woes can be traced to their power-play, which is 0-for-5 in the series and just 2-for-22 in the playoffs.

"We were trying to make things too cute and it's not working out," said Brandon defenceman Eric Roy, "We just have to keep it simple and, hopefully, it goes in."

"There's a few little adjustments but I think we have to stick to what we've been doing all season." added Stone.

In a case of timing outshining quanity, the most glaring of those missed power-play opportunities came on a chance with six minutes to go in the third period of Game #2.

The Wheat Kings registered just one shot on goal with the man advantage at a crucial time (they were trailing by a goal, 4-3 at the time), and had possession of the puck in the offensive zone for less than 45 seconds of the two minute penalty.

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