Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hitmen Add to Wheat Kings' Woes, Again

Alessio Bertaggia was held pointless in his return to the
Wheat Kings' lineup on Tuesday
It may be the lowest point of the season for the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Brady Brassart had a goal and two assists as the Calgary Hitmen downed the Wheat Kings 7-2 on Tuesday night, handing Brandon their fifth straight loss in sixth in seven games since the Christmas break.

It was a loss that also dropped Brandon into last-place in the Western Hockey League's Eastern Conference with a 14-25-2-2 record.

A poor start hurt the Wheat Kings, again, with Brooks Macek setting a Hitmen franchise record by scoring nine seconds into the contest and Greg Chase made it 2-0 Calgary at the 4:14 mark.

"We have to come ready to play," said Brandon coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk on CKLQ's post-game show, "We get scored on first shift...we just couldn't get ourselves going again."

Geordie Maguire got Brandon to within one with his third of the season at 16:06 of the opening frame but Zane Jones restored Calgary's two-goal lead in the final minute of the first period, extending his goal-scoring streak to six games.

Brandon closed to within a goal for the second time when Richard Nejezchleb potted his ninth of the season at the 16:46 mark of the second period but Spencer Humphries scored 42 seconds later to, once again, restoring Calgary's two-goal lead at 4-2 and after Pavlo Padakin made it 5-2 1:47 into the third period, it was all over.

"We keep pushing our backs against the wall.  We give ourselves some life but we can't put two or three shifts together," added Gylywoychuk, "We have one line going at one point of the game, then we have nothing else going or we have two lines going after a little while, we just have nothing going. We just don't have any consistent pressure on the visiting team."

The Hitmen padded their advantage in the final 62 seconds after a curious decision by the Wheat Kings to pull their goaltender while down three goals and enjoying a 5-on-3 power-play, resulting in a pair of empty-net shorthanded goals from Brassart and Carson Samoridny.

Chris Driedger made 27 saves in the Hitmen net while Corbin Boes stopped 23 shots for Brandon. Next action for the Wheat Kings is Friday when they visit the Moose Jaw Warriors.

Chaff...20-year old F Michael Ferland had an assist in what was, quite likely, his last game in a Wheat Kings' uniform...F Alessio Bertaggia went pointless in his return to the Brandon lineup...Brandon F Richard Nejezchleb left the game late in the third period with an unknown injury...the WHL trade deadline will pass prior to the Wheat Kings' next game.  It falls at 4:00 p.m. (CST) on Thursday...Tuesday's attendance was 3,315, dropping Brandon's season average to 3,879 or roughly 250 fewer fans per game than the team's 2011-2012 average.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it looked like on that final penalty where I think it was Buonassisi was tripped, didn't his skate come up, clip someone on the bench. I didn't catch it at first, but on the replay that's what it looked like, when I saw Nejechleb going off to the dressing room with the trainer I just kind of guessed he may have taken a skate to the face.