|Kord Pankewicz scored his first career WHL goal Saturday|
The Brandon Wheat Kings improved their early-season record to 4-0-0-0 on Saturday night with a 5-2 win over the Swift Current Broncos.
Jayce Hawryluk and John Quenneville had a goal and two assists each for Brandon, all in a third period that saw the Wheat Kings scored three unanswered goals after the Broncos tied the game 2-2 early in the final frame.
Tim McGauley also scored a key shorthanded goal for the Wheat Kings in the third period, with Brandon having outscored their opponents 12-6 in the third in their four games this season.
“From what I’ve seen of our group so far, we haven’t paniced or lost our composure in situations where things haven’t gone our way,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “Hopefully, that’s a sign of everybody being a year older, maturity and more mental toughness.”
Brett Lernout gave the Broncos a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal late in the first period, the third time in four games the Wheat Kings have surrendered the opening goal of a game.
Tyler Coulter tied it early in the second for Brandon before Kord Pankewicz gave the Wheat Kings a 2-1 lead at the 8:40 mark with his first career Western Hockey League goal.
The goal for Pankewicz, a third-year defenceman, came in his 88th career WHL game.
League scoring leader Jay Merkley tied the game with the Broncos’ second power-play goal of the game 6:08 into the third period, following by Hawryluk’s goal two minutes and 42 seconds later that gave Brandon a lead they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the night.
The Wheat Kings four straight victories to open the season is impressive, but Saturday’s game was certainly their most difficult test to date.
“We talked before the game about how good this game was going to be for us, to play a real good team and a team that we know is going to be a contender at the end of the year,” said McCrimmon, “I thought our defence moved the puck really well, I thought they made the game real easy for our team tonight, and it was a real good game.”
The Wheat Kings return home to Brandon for a pair of games this coming week, hosting the Tri-City Americans on Friday and the Red Deer Rebels on Saturday.
Chaff...Russell product Rylee Zimmer scored his first career WHL goal Saturday in Regina’s 4-3 win in Prince Albert. Zimmer’s goal came on a penalty shot in the third period that tied the game 3-3...Boissevain’s Meyer Nell scored his second goal of the season Saturday, helping the Red Deer Rebels to a 7-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice.