Sunday, 17 March 2013

Wheat Kings Ends Season with Win

Brandon closed out their season Saturday with a
2-1 shootout victory over Moose Jaw
  The Brandon Wheat Kings closed out their season with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors on Saturday night.

  Rene Hunter scored the tying goal with 2:42 left in regulation, setting the stage for Nick Buonassisi to score the shootout winner in the final game of his WHL career.

  Corbin Boes stopped 40 shots in regulation and overtime and all three Moose Jaw attempts in the shootout to help the Wheat Kings end the 2012-2013 campaign on a positive note.

  The Wheat Kings finish the season with a 24-40-4-4 record and finish in last-place in the WHL's Eastern Conference, missing the playoffs for the first time in 13 years.

  "When you have a season like we did, when you miss the playoffs, I think it's imperative that you take a long, hard look at everything you do to see areas where you needed to be better, areas where you can make improvements," said Brandon general manager Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ's post-game show, "From a hockey operations standpoint, that would include everything that we do in relation to our team."

  McCrimmon says one of the things he observed on a lot of nights was a lack of consistency and an inability to battle through hard situations.

  However, he does feel the club's younger players did get better as the season wore on.

  "I think our players did get better and, to be honest, our team got better," said McCrimmon, "Did we make the strides that we expected, did we make them as quickly as what we realistically anticipated, probably not."

  McCrimmon added that it's an important off-season for the club, and the returnees need to make a commitment over the next 5 1/2 months to coming back as bigger, stronger players next fall.

  As they do every year, the Wheat Kings will conduct player exit interview over the next few days before beginning the off-season.

  The next couple of dates for Brandon fans to have circled include this Wednesday (March 20), when the WHL Draft Lottery will  be held and Thursday, May 2 when the WHL Bantam Draft will take place in Calgary.

Chaff...Wheat Kings' prospect Jordan Papirny stopped 40 shots as SSAC beat Lloydminster 2-1 in overtime Saturday to win the AMHL's Dodge Division Final.  Papirny now has a 1.32 GAA and .956 SPCT in nine playoff starts in helping the Athletics reach the League Final...the AMHL's Chrysler Division final has Wheat Kings' prospect Braylon Shmyr and the Calgary Buffaloes up 2-1 on Red Deer with Game #4 on Sunday afternoon in Calgary.  Shmyr has two goals and five points in ten playoff games.

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