Thursday, January 31, 2013

Makarov Stones Wheat Kings

Andrey Makarov was Wednesday's first star, stopping 38
shots including 17 in the first period
Former Brandon Wheat King Michael Ferland scored the winning goal 2:10 into the second period as the Saskatoon Blades downed the Brandon Wheat Kings 5-1 on Wednesday night.

Ferland's goal came right after he exited the penalty box as he snapped a shot past Brandon goaltender Curtis Honey on the short-side to break a 1-1 tie and lead a three-goal second period outburst for the Blades.

Darren Dietz and Lukas Sutter also scored in the second period with Sutter's goal with nine seconds left in the middle frame being counted after a video review at the end of the period.

The puck was a couple of inches over the goal line before being swatted back out of the net by Honey, who finished the night with 29 saves.

The second period was only part of the story on Wednesday night, however, with Saskatoon netminder Andrey Makarov stealing the headline along with two points for the Blades.

Makarov made 38 saves including 17 in the first period in sending Brandon to their sixth loss in their last seven home games.

"We came out and did a lot of good things, got some puck at their goalie and didn't let him get settled too quick," said Brandon coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk on CKLQ's post-game show, "It would have been nice to get another one go in for us. I thought we had a good first period, we established a lot of things and had our team game."

Jayce Hawryluk scored Brandon's only goal, and it came in the first period just 29 seconds after Nathan Burns had opened the scoring for Saskatoon.

It was just the 12th goal in the last eight games for the Wheat Kings.

Colin Valcourt scored the game's only other goal with 90 seconds remaining in the third period.

The loss dropped Brandon (18-30-2-2) 13 points out of a playoff spot in the WHL's Eastern Conference, the furthest the team has been out of a playoff spot in the last 21 years.

"We have to worry how we're playing, we've got to take care of our job as much as we can and get as many points as we can," said Gylywoychuk, "It's starting to creep into that, there's a lot of talk in the media about it and it's going to start getting into our player's heads but we need to concentrate on how we're playing and make sure we're doing our best job every night to give ourselves to play every night and get those two points."

Next action for the Wheat Kings is Friday night when they visit the Regina Pats (6:35 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

Chaff...the Wheat Kings went 0-for-4 on the power-play Wednesday and have gone 30 straight power-play chances without scoring...Brandon D Ryan Pulock was #15 and Wheat Kings' D Eric Roy was #59 in Bob McKenzie's mid-season draft rankings on TSN Wednesday night. You can check out those rankings here...the Columbus Blue Jackets placed former Wheat Kings' co-captain Matt Calvert on injured reserve Wednesday because of an upper body injury.

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