|Jayce Hawryluk had a goal and three|
assists in Tuesday's game
The Brandon Wheat Kings dropped a 7-5 decision to the Saskatoon Blades on Tuesday night in game that may have been better suited for a Community Centre than the Keystone Centre.
It was a wide-open affair from start to finish, with the teams combining for 93 shots including 53 for the Blades.
Yes, it was river hockey and its best and was likely an enjoyable game to watch from a fan standpoint but any semblance of defence went out the window about the same time the anthem ended.
"We have some young guys that are not getting pucks deep, but it's not only them, it's top to bottom," said Brandon coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk on CKLQ's post-game show, "We have veteran defencemen who are carrying the puck up that are being soft on plays, we have veteran forwards that aren't getting pucks deep and it's continually killing us."
Tuesday's effort left the Wheat Kings last in the Western Hockey League defensively, having allowed 138 goals in 33 games (4.2 per game) and goaltender Corbin Boes, who had played well in his previous three starts, struggled with his rebound control and has a 4.21 goals against average and .883 save percentage overall this season.
Jayce Hawryluk had a goal and three assists and Richard Nejezchleb scored twice for Brandon, who have lost seven of their last eight home games and seven straight against East Division opponents.
Former Wheat King Brenden Walker had a goal and an assist in the contest, with his goal with just under five minutes remaining snapping a 4-4 tie and helping Saskatoon to a third consecutive victory.
"We did it again -- we shot ourselves in the foot for another game here," said Brandon forward Nick Buonassisi, who had a goal and an assist in the contest, "It's the second time in three games we've done that, having bad mistakes at bad times of the game, letting in those goals that we can't afford to let in, especially late in the game in a tie game like that. Obviously, that cost us the game but I think we're coming along here and I think in the next couple of games, we should be able to pull a couple of wins together."
The Wheat Kings are five points behind eighth-place Moose Jaw for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with an important home-and-home against the Warriors coming up this weekend.
Chaff...Brandon had gone two straight games without allowing a power-play goal against for the first time this season, but the Blades scored twice with the man advantage Tuesday night while the Wheat Kings went 2-for-6 on the power-play...Nick Buonassisi's goal snapped a 14-game goalless drought for the 20-year old veteran...Jayce Hawryluk is now tied for sixth in rookie scoring in the WHL with 23 points...Brenden Walker not has 17 points (8 G, 9 A) in the Blades' last eight games.