Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wheat Kings Blanked by Ice

Wheat Kings' F Tim McGauley battles with Kootenay's
Jakub Prochazka Saturday in Cranbrook
The Brandon Wheat Kings saw their losing streak hit four games Saturday night with a 4-0 loss to the Kootenay Ice.

MacKenzie Skapski stopped 28 shots for the shutout while Sam Reinhart scored a pair of goals for Kootenay, both coming in the opening 8:16 of the first period.

The effort Saturday was better for the Wheat Kings than in Friday’s 5-3 loss to Kootenay but the club, who’ve been outscored 35-20 in the first period this season, still played from behind most of the night.

“We’re learning the hard way that we can’t get down early like we were again tonight,” said Brandon assistant coach Darren Ritchie on CKLQ’s post-game show, “For the most part, I thought our guys were around the net more tonight than we were (Friday). We had some real good chances in the second period to get on the scoreboard and, obviously, their goalie made some great saves so give them some credit.”

Skapski’s best two stops of the night came off scoring chances for Jack Palmer and Nick Buonassisi on the same shift late in the second period with the Ice still holding a 2-0 lead.

The Wheat Kings then failed on four power-play chances over the game’s final 22 minutes, going 0-for-6 on the power-play overall.

“It’s still a work in progress, we’re still working at it, we’re trying some different guys on it. It’s something we need to get going. In the second period, we score one on the power-play, it gets us momentum,” said Ritchie, “It’s such an important thing in the game of hockey, the power-play and special teams and both of our special teams need to get better.”

Curtis Honey stopped 31 shots in the Brandon net, being victimized by goals from Zach McPhee and Luke Philp that put the game out of reach in the final four minutes of the third period.

The loss was Brandon’s tenth in their last 13 games (3-8-1-0), with the Wheat Kings having scored just 30 goals in that 13-game span.

Brandon will close out their three-game in three-night road trip Sunday when they visit the Lethbridge Hurricanes (6:35 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

Chaff…former Wheat King Jordan DePape announced his retirement from the Western Hockey League on Saturday night. DePape, who was dealt to Kamloops in December of 2009 for Shayne Wiebe, is slated to have surgery on his right shoulder after missing most of the 2011-2012 season because of surgery on his left shoulder…Brandon product Carson Perreaux scored his second goal of the season in helping Prince Albert to a 4-3 overtime victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings on Saturday night.

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