Friday, 28 December 2012

Wheat Kings Can't Finish Warriors

Tyler Coulter made his WHL debut with the
Wheat Kings on Friday night
  The Brandon Wheat Kings lacked finish in more ways than one in dropping a 4-3 decision to the Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday night.

  Brandon held a 2-1 lead after two periods but failed to capitalize on numerous scoring chances over the first 40 minutes and Moose Jaw made them pay for that failure, scoring three times in the final frame including Travis Brown’s game-winning goal with 4:41 remaining.

  “We were a little snake-bit around the net but when that happens, you have to bear down and make sure you put those away at that time,” said Brandon coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk on CKLQ’s post-game show, “I don’t think we were as focused or as gritty as we needed to be in the second period to find one, and then we started to get a little pretty at times.  We can’t afford to get pretty.  When we have an opportunity to put a team’s back against the wall, we need to find a way to do it.”

  The Wheat Kings outshot Moose Jaw 18-4 in the second period and, even though they were outshot 15-12 in the first, likely had the more dangerous of the scoring chances in the opening 20 minutes as well.

  Daniel Wapple stopped 36 shots overall in the Moose Jaw net while Tanner Eberle had a goal and two assists to pace the Warriors offensively.

  The loss was a bitter pill to swallow for the Wheat Kings who may have deserved a better fate.

  “We had the lead going into the third and we just can’t have those mental lapses where you miss five minutes of the game and, before you know it, you’re trailing,” said Brandon defenceman Ayrton Nikkel, “Points are pretty hard to come by in the second half of the season and we’re going to have to be able to hold our leads.”

  Jack Palmer, Eric Roy and Taylor Cooper did the scoring for the Wheat Kings while Corbin Boes stopped 29 shots in the Brandon net.

  The loss drops the Wheat Kings to 13-20-2-2 on the season and leaves them five points behind the eighth-place Warriors for the final playoff spot in the WHL’s Eastern Conference.

  Brandon’s next action is Sunday when they open a three-game Alberta road trip in Red Deer.

Chaff...Wheat Kings' prospect Ryley Lindgren had a goal and an assist to help Team West to a 5-2 victory over Slovakia in exhibition action at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Quebec.  Wawanesa product Jordan Thomson of the Kamloops Blazers also scored for Team West, who play Sweden to open their round-robin on Saturday.  Meantime, the United States scored six unanswered goals to beat Team Pacific 6-2 in their tuneup game Friday. Wheat Kings' prospect Jordan Papirny allowed four goals during the final 30 minutes of Friday's contest.  Team Pacific plays Russia in their first round-robin game on Saturday.

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