Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lanigan Blanks Wheat Kings

Curtis Valk (#18) had a pair of goals for Medicine Hat on Wednesday
  Cam Lanigan stopped 32 shots to pace the Medicine Hat Tigers to a 3-0 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings on Wednesday night.

  It was Brandon's third straight loss as they fell to 20-34-2-2 by being shut out for the sixth time this season.

  "We're just trying to get shots on the net and create as much offence as we can but I think we're struggling a little bit there as a whole," said Brandon defenceman Nick Walters on CKLQ's post-game show, "It's been ac ouple of games since our forwards had a goal here but that's part of the game, especially when you're rebuilding, and there's not much you can do about it."

  Elgin Pearce opened the scoring for Medicine Hat 3:58 into the first period after the Wheat Kings had peppered Lanigan with seven shots in the first 3 1/2 minutes.

  Curtis Valk made it 2-0 with 3:13 left in the opening frame and, after a scoreless second period, scored his second of the game on a power-play 3:54 into the third period to put away any thoughts of a Wheat Kings' comeback.

  Lanigan was not only sharp in the opening minutes but again in the second period, when the Wheat Kings outshot Medicine Hat 13-8.

  "Early on, there were some pucks bouncing off him but he's a veteran goaltender and as the game went on, we dug in and started smothering our chances," said Brandon coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk, "We had a lot of one-and-outs and we needed to have some grind time and make their defence work a lot harder than they had to tonight."

  Curtis Honey bounced back from a sub-par start Saturday with a solid effort in the Brandon net, stopping 33 shots in the contest.

  The Wheat Kings remain 15 points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and, with 14 games left in the regular season, they're trying to keep their heads up.

  "The worst thing to do is get negative, you just want to stay postitive," said Walters, "You always want to have a positive attitude, come to the rink every day, work hard and still try to have some fun even though it's hard to do that sometimes.  You don't want to be down, banging your stick or yelling, you just want to stay positive."

  Next action for the Wheat Kings is this Friday and Saturday when the team hosts the Kootenay Ice for a doubleheader weekend at WCGP.

Chaff...the Wheat Kings played without rookie forward Jayce Hawryluk, who wasn't dressed because of a school-related issue...attendance Wednesday was 2,964, the second Wednesday crowd below 3,000 in as many weeks and just the second crowd below 3,000 in nearly seven years...Brandon product Joel Edmundson returned from a four-game suspension to score his sixth goal of the season in Kamloops' 4-1 win over Vancouver on Wednesday...former Wheat King Carter Proft got his seventh goal of the season in Spokane's 4-3 win over Calgary on Wednesday...former Wheat King Jordan DePape has joined the Red Deer Rebels. Troy Gillard has more here.

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