Sunday, 16 March 2014

Wheat Kings Double Pats, Earn Post-Season Berth

Peter Quenneville scored his first career WHL hat-trick
Saturday
   It took until the final game of the regular season, but the Brandon Wheat Kings clinched a spot in the Western Hockey Laegue playoffs on Saturday night.

  Peter Queneville had a hat-trick and Nolan Patrick scored his first career WHL goal as the Wheat Kings downed the Regina Pats 6-3 to earn a post-season berth for the 13th time in 14 years.

  Quenneville had five goals and seven points in the last two games after returning from a ten-game absence due to a lower body injury.

  "It was really good to be back with the boys.  More than anything, just missed playing hockey and being able to have that feeling of winning games," said Quenneville on CKLQ's post-game show, "Aside from having a good personal weekend, just being able to get those two crucial wins with the stakes where they were at, and to finish things off at home was pretty special."

  Ryan Pulock added a goal and two assists for the Wheat Kings, who played before their largest crowd of the season at 5,247.
  The victory not only allowed the Wheat Kings to earn a playoff spot, it was also the 364th career coaching victory for Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon.

  The pushes him past Bob Lowes and into top spot on the club's all-time list.

Nolan Patrick scored his first
career WHL goal Saturday

  "As I said to the guys, it's lots of wins," said McCrimmon, "I enjoy winning with good people, and this particular win realy significant in terms of what it meant for our team."

  The Wheat Kings finish the season with a 34-29-6-3 record and 77 points, a 21-point improvement over last season.

  Brandon will face Regina in the first round of the playoffs, with the series starting Saturday and Sunday (March 22-23) in Regina.

  The rest of the series schedule is expected to be released either late Sunday or Monday.

Chaff...Quenneville's hat-trick gave him 21 goals on the season, becoming the seventh Brandon player to score 20 or more goals.  The Wheat Kings are one of two WHL teams to have that many (Portland is the other)...Tim McGauley had three assists to extend his point streak to eight games (3 G, 8 A)...McGauley's older sister Patricia sang the national anthem.  She plays hockey at Yale...Brandon D Ryan Pilon left the game briefly in the third period with a skate problem but returned before the end of the game.

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