Tyler Coulter scored 30 seconds into Monday’s game and Ryan Pulock and Tim McGauley padded Brandon’s lead before the game was eight minutes old.
Red Deer pushed back in the second period to twice pull within a goal but the Wheat Kings made a 4-3 lead hold up by shutting down the Rebels in the final 20 minutes, allowed just six shots against.
“It was a good effort by our guys,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “The second period was a little loose so with the our play in the third period, holding them to six shots, I thought that was a pretty good job of our guys refocusing for the third.”
Included in Brandon’s stingy third period effort was a key penalty-kill when Richard Nejezchleb was sent to the penalty box with 2:10 remaining, his third minor penalty of the contest.
“I don’t think we gave up a shot, we got a couple of blocks by defenceman,” said McCrimmon, “ I thought the guys on the kill really stepped up there for us at a critical time in the game.”
Nejezchleb also had his team-leading 21st goal of the season for Brandon while Peter Quenneville contributed a pair of assists and Jordan Papirny stopped 18 shots in the Wheat Kings’ net.
Brandon improved to 20-15-3-0 overall and moved into sole possession of fifth-place in the Eastern Conference for the second time in less than a week.
The Wheat Kings are also now 18-1-0-0 when allowing three of fewer goals this season.
“That’s where our focus has to be,” said McCrimmon, “I think the more guys understand that better defence is going to lead to more offensive opportunities, that’s how you get a little more buy-in for guys to do that.”
Brandon continues their road trip Tuesday night when they visit the Edmonton Oil Kings (6:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ).
Chaff...Team Pacific defeated Team West 6-3 Monday at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Wheat Kings’ F Braylon Shmyr (Team Pacific) and Jesse Gabrielle (Team West) were both held off the scoresheet. Brandon prospect Colt Conrad scored twice for Team West...Brandon product Carson Perreaux had his 10th goal of the season in helping Prince Albert to a 4-0 win over Regina on Monday night...Saskatoon announced Monday that defenceman Nelson Nogier will undergo season-ending should surgery in mid-January...Portland F Nic Petan signed a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets on Monday...15-year old D Kale Clague joined the Wheat Kings in Red Deer on Monday and is expected to remain with the team for the remainder of their Alberta road trip this week.