Saturday, 8 March 2014

Playoff Grip Loosens for Wheat Kings

Wheat Kings' F Richard Nejezchleb takes a check from
Edmonton D Dustin Mayo during Friday's game.
  The Brandon Wheat Kings' grip on a playoff spot is starting to slip away.

  Edmonton scored three times in the opening seven minutes, led 4-0 after the first period and went on to a 6-3 victory over the Wheat Kings Friday night.

  "We didn't move our feet in the first period at all.  I wouldn't signal anyone, but I wouldn't leave anyone out either," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ's post-game show, "We didn't move the puck, our defence did a very poor job of getting the puck moving out of our zone.  Our forwards never won a shift in the first period where he played in their end for an entire shift and sustained pressure."

  Curtis Lazer and Mads Eller scored a pair of goals each for the Oil Kings while John Quenneville, Rihards Bukarts and Ryley Lindgren scored for Brandon.

  The loss coupled with wins by Red Deer and Prince Albert on Friday night leaves the Wheat Kings tied with the Rebels for seventh-place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the ninth-place Raiders.

  Next up for Brandon - a trip to Prince Albert on Saturday night.

  "Pretty simple math.  We need to win a game," said McCrimmon, "That has to be clear in everyone's minds in terms of importance, and that'll be our focus."

  Brandon could be without top scorer Jayce Hawryluk for Saturday's contest.

  Hawryluk took a charging major in the second period of Friday's contest and is facing a possible (probable) suspension.

  It would be the second-year forward's third suspension of the season.

  Hawryluk has suspended 23 days apart in December, the first was for two games under supplemental discipline and the second for three games for a checking-from-behind major.

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