Thursday, 27 March 2014

Hawryluk's Hat-Trick Sparks Wheat Kings' Comeback

Jayce Hawryluk in action during Game Three
 on Wednesday
  Jayce Hawryluk's hat-trick goal with 4:50 left in the third period lifted the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 5-4 win over the Regina Pats on Wednesday night.

  Hawryluk's goal capped a comeback from a 4-1, first period deficit for the Wheat Kings and gave Brandon a 3-0 lead in their Eastern Conference Quarter-Final series.

  Hawryluk's first two goals came in the final four and a half minutes of the first period to allow the Wheat Kings to close the gap to just a single goal after 20 minutes.

  "I think we were deflated for a couple of shifts, but the guys rallied together," said Brandon centre Chad Robinson on CKLQ's post-game show, "We just bought into our system.  We knew we needed to get back in the game as quick as possible."

  Robinson's shorthanded tally 3:21 into the second period tied the game 4-4, and the teams didn't produce a goal again up until Hawryluk's winner with under five minutes left in regulation.

  Jesse Gabrielle also scored for Brandon while John Quenneville chipped in with three assists.

  Jordan Papirny shut the door after being beaten four times in the opening 13:55 and ended the night with 29 saves.

  "He's done that before.  He's had games where he's given up some goals early, and he's got the poised, maturity or the mindset to not let it affect him," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon, "In fact, it's almost like knows that he has to be sharp because we've dug ourselves a hole...he was really solid for us in the second and third (periods) and allowed us to claw back in."

  The Pats grabbed their first period lead by scoring four straight goals after Gabrielle had given Brandon a 1-0 advantage 5:27 into the opening frame.

  Jesse Zgraggen tied the game just under two minutes later and then Regina scored three times in a 1:45 span including a pair of power-play goals by Dryden Hunt.

  Daniel Wapple returned from a seven-game absence, reportedly to an ankle injury, and made 20 saves in the Pats' net but looked uncomfortable throughout the contest.

Chaff...The Pats were 2-for-4 on the power-play while Brandon was 0-for-2...attendance was 3,547...former Wheat Kings' great Marty Murray, who now coaches the NAHL's Minot Minotauros, was in attendance at Wednesday's game...former Wheat Kings Ron Hextall and Brad Treliving were named assistant GM's by Hockey Canada Wednesday and will assist in putting together the team for the 2014 World Hockey Championship.

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