|Richard Nejezchleb had a goal and two assists Sunday|
The Brandon Wheat Kings have back-to-back road victories for the first time since early December, and they couldn’t have come at a better time.
Tim McGauley had two goals and an assist to pace the Wheat Kings to an 8-4 victory over the Regina Pats on Sunday night, giving Brandon a 2-0 lead in the Best-of-Seven Eastern Conference Quarter-Final series.
Coming off a 6-3 win in Game One on Saturday, the Wheat Kings weathered an early storm from the Pats despite falling behind 1-0 on a goal by Connor Gay 1:37 into the contest.
Fourth-year forward Jens Meilleur tied the game with 8:30 left in the opening period and Tim McGauley scored his first goal just over three minutes later to give the Wheat Kings a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
“I think that was, for me, the key stretch in the game. They scored first, gave them momentum, and (Saturday) night, we had so much trouble getting the momentum back,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “Tonight, I thought we had so much poise and composure and pushed back, scored the next goal, put 16 shots on goal in the first period, added to the lead to go into the break 2-1 so, for me, that was real good sign for our team.”
Richard Nejezchleb added a goal and two assists for the Wheat Kings, who were playing without right-winger Peter Quenneville and defenceman Eric Roy due to undisclosed injuries.
Those injuries not only meant Kord Pankewicz and Tyler Coulter made their WHL playoff debuts, it also meant more minutes for a few other players that were in the lineup for Game One.
“We didn’t know that we’d put that to the test in Game Two, but this is something we talked to our team about before playoffs ever started,” said McCrimmon, “When you’re playing at this time of year, there’s a good chance you’re going to need to use people that weren’t in the lineup on the opening night of the playoffs.”
Coulter had a pair of assists while playing on a very effective ‘fourth line’ with Meilleur and Ryley Lindgren, who finished with a goal and an assist.
Ryan Pulock also had a goal and an assist with Chad Robinson and John Quenneville notching the other Brandon goals.
Connor Gay, Morgan Klimchuk, Boston Leier and Dryden Hunt scored the goals for the Pats.
The series now shifts to Brandon for Games three and four on Wednesday and Friday.
Chaff...the Wheat Kings have had 11 different players score goals in the series...Brandon was 2-for-8 on the power-play Sunday while Regina was 0-for-3...after missing the final two games of the regular season and Game One Saturday with what is reportedly a broken hand, Dyson Stevenson returned to the Pats’ lineup on Sunday...the WHL announced a fine of $500 to the Pats on Sunday for violation of WHL Media Services Policy.