Friday, 13 September 2013

Wheat Kings Edge Pats in Shootout

Rihards Bukarts had a goal and an assist Friday, giving him
six points in three pre-season games.
  Chad Robinson notched the shootout winner as the Brandon Wheat Kings beat the Regina Pats 4-3 in Western Hockey League pre-season action Friday night.

  John Quenneville sent the game to extra time by scoring the game-tying goal on a 5-on-3 power-play with 7:35 left in the third period.

  It was a sloppy, scrambly game that featured a combined 17 power-play chances and 20 minor penalties, only two of which were coincidental.

  "I thought it was really sloppy for long stretches, and the penalties made it really hard to get people in the game, you had guys that were sitting for extended periods.  The game did not allow us to get any pace or tempo, and we didn't help ourselves in too many situations," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ's post-game show, "From an evaluation standpoint, it wasn't as good a game for us to be in as last weekend's were."

  Curtis Honey stopped 24 shots in regulation and overtime and four of six attempts in the shootout, put was victimized twice by former teammate Geordie Maguire.

  The ex Wheat King scored a goal on a penalty shot 3:05 into the third period that gave the Pats a 3-2 lead and also scored one of Regina's two goals in the shootout.

  "I think tonight, as a group, we did a good job of keeping the shots to the outside," said Honey, "I think we just really competed hard until the hard and we were able to tie it up at the end there."

  Latvian import Rihards Bukarts continued to impress for the Wheat Kings, scoring a first period power-play goal and setting up Tim McGauley for another goal with the man advantage in the second period.

Former Wheat King Geordie Maguire scored on a penalty
shot in the third period Friday
  Bukarts has six points in three pre-season games for the Wheat Kings.

  "He's made some great plays off the rush.  In the zone, he finds seams," said McCrimmon, "He has good vision to find teammates...he looks like a guy that is going to really be a good offensive player for our team."

  The victory improved Brandon's pre-season record to 2-1-0-0 and while it is, of course, the pre-season, Honey feels the wins are important for a team that experienced victory just 24 times last year.

  "I think it's really important to get a taste of what it feels like...nobody likes losing," said Honey, "We've just started fresh this year, last year is in the past and we're ready to rock."

  The Wheat Kings finish their pre-season schedule Saturday afternoon when they visit the Pats in Regina (4:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

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