Saturday, 1 February 2014

Wheat Kings Fall in Calgary

Ryley Lindgren had a career-high three points Friday.
  The Brandon Wheat Kings are 0-for-3 on this week’s road trip after a 7-4 loss to the Calgary Hitmen on Friday night.

  The Hitmen jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead before the Wheat Kings rallied for three unanswered goals in the final 8:20 of the second period to enter the third in a 3-3 tie.

  That second period stretch was, perhaps, the lone highlight for Brandon as they surrendered four third period goals to the Hitmen while being outshot 16-7 over the final 20 minutes.

  “We were awful, no excuses, we didn’t play well,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “We had zero structure to our game.  We didn’t have one aspect of our game that was played with any structure.”

  Greg Chase had a goal and two assists for Calgary including the go-ahead goal 5:32 into the third period while Ryley Lindgren had a goal and two assists for Brandon.

  Eric Roy, Quintin Lisoway and Jayce Hawryluk also scored for the Wheat Kings, with Hawryluk’s goal an inconsequential power-play marker in the final minute of the third period.

  The loss drops Brandon to 26-19-5-1 on the season and leaves the Wheat Kings two points behind first-place Swift Current in the WHL’s East Division.

  I asked McCrimmon is he felt it was a lack of preparation or focus that was an issue on Friday.

  “I think it’s a lack of understanding the situation, is what I think.  This isn’t minor hockey, these are big games,” added McCrimmon, “We’re in a playoff race, we’re trying to win a division, we’re trying to make the playoffs and, for me, we’re getting on in the year and we have to be a lot more committed than we showed here tonight.”

  Brandon will conclude their four-game road trip Saturday night when they visit the Saskatoon Blades (6:35 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

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