Saturday, 29 March 2014

Wheat Kings Move to Round Two

Jayce Hawryluk was, surprisinly, in the Wheat
Kings' lineup for Game Four
  Jayce Hawryluk was a surprise spark to the Wheat Kings' lineup on Friday night, scoring once and adding an assist in a 5-1 victory over the visiting Regina Pats.

  Linemate John Quenneville added a goal and two assists for Brandon as they completed a four-game sweep of the Eastern Conference Quarter-Final and moved into the second round of the Western Hockey League playoffs.

  Hawryluk was taken to hospital shortly after Game Three Wednesday complaining of shortness of breath and lightheadedness, but was released around noon on Friday and medically cleared to play.

  "I was feeling fine (Friday) morning and the doctor cleared me to play so I was going to do whatever I could to be in the lineup tonight with the guys," said Hawryluk on CKLQ's post-game show, "After all the support I've been receiving from them, I want to be there for them.  I was able to play so it was good."

  "The didn't really know until the cardiologist and our team doctor clearned him at noon and said it was up to us whether we wanted to use him or not," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon after the game, "He came and skated around 1:00 p.m..  His energy wasn't great but there was absolutely no risk and, really, there was no reason not to play him...I thought he was able to make a real good contribution to the game."

  Jesse Gabrielle added a goal and an assist for the Wheat Kings while Richard Nejezchleb and Ryley Lindgren scored the other Brandon goal.

  Brandon was a popular pick to upset the pennant-winning Pats in the series but no one could have predicted a four-game sweep.
Brandon's Jordan Papirny stopped 115
of 127 shots in the series.

  Wheat Kings' goaltender Jordan Papirny felt their success can be traced all the way back to a four-goal first period in Game One.

  "It's nice to get off to a good start in Game One there with four goals like that," said Papirny, who made 28 saves in Game Four, "I think it gave our players a lot of confidence in that they can score goals and that we can dominate."

  "We said after the game here tonight.  We've been in the playoffs for seven days and it's just invaluable the experience you gain, and how much you learn and improve," said McCrimmon, "I've always felt the teams that get that playoff experience, their players are getting an opportunity to get better that the teams that aren't in the playoffs or lose out early don't get.  Great for the development of our young players."

  Brandon will face the Edmonton Oil Kings in the second round, with the series expected to open Thursday in Edmonton.


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  Meanwhile, Hawryluk tweeted out the following after Friday's game...


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