Thursday, 30 January 2014

Wheat Kings Fall in Shootout to Rebels

Ryan Pilon set up Brandon's game-tying goal on Wednesday
  The Brandon Wheat Kings were stymied by a hot goaltender on Wednesday night, dropping a 4-3 shootout decision to the Red Deer Rebels.

  Patrik Bartosak stopped 39 shots in regulation and overtime and six of seven Brandon attempts in the shootout as the reigning WHL and CHL Goaltender of the Week continued his strong January.

  Peter Quenneville scored the game-tying goal for Brandon with 1:42 left in the third period while Rihards Bukarts and Ryan Pulock also scored for the Wheat Kings.

  Brandon trailed 2-1 after the opening 20 minutes but outshot Red Deer 32-13 over the final 45 minutes but could only beat Bartosak twice in that span.

  “We gave up 13 shots in 45 minutes so I thought that was important for us and, because of that, we were able to generate a lot of offence,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “The game got better for sure as the game went along.”

  The Wheat Kings also played the game short-staffed up front after Rihards Bukarts was assessed a kneeing major a couple of shifts after be had opened the scoring for Brandon in the first period.

  With Brandon having dressed 11 forwards and seven defencemen for the game, it left the Wheat Kings basically playing three lines for most of the night.

  “Once we lost Bukarts, it was a ten forward game and it was just impossible to play four lines and it turned into a three-line game,” said McCrimmon, “The length of shifts become important and I thought, for the most part, our guys did a really good job.”

  Jordan Papirny stopped 26 shots for Brandon including 14 in the first period.

  The Wheat Kings did earn a single point with the regulation tie, moving Brandon to 26-18-5-1 and leaving them tied with Swift Current for top spot in the WHL’s East Division.

  The Wheat Kings will continue their road trip Friday when they visit the Calgary Hitmen (7:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

Chaff…Bukarts’ major will automatically be reviewed by the WHL office for a possible suspension…rookie Braylon Shmyr scored Brandon’s only goal in the seven-round shootout…Ryan Pulock extended his point streak to seven games while Peter Quenneville has points in six straight contests…Killarney product Reid Gow scored twice including the game-tying goal with 4:36 left in the 3rd period to help the Spokane Chiefs rally from a 5-2 deficit to beat Kelowna 6-5 in a shootout.

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