Sunday, 21 September 2014

Wheat Kings Complete Season-Opening Sweep

Jesse Gabrielle notched his first career hat-trick Saturday
   Jesse Gabrielle’s first career hat-trick led the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 6-1 victory over the Regina Pats on Saturday night.

  The victory allowed Brandon to complete a sweep of their season-opening home-and-home series with their East Division rivals, and extended their personal winning streak against the Pats to eight straight games.

  Tim McGauley gave the Wheat Kings a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal, the only marker in an opening 20 minutes that saw Brandon outshoot Regina 13-4.

  The score stayed 1-0 until late in the second period, with Gabrielle notching his first two goals of the season in the final 3 ½ minutes to extend the Wheat Kings’ lead to 3-0 after 40 minutes.

  “Nice plays by his linemates.  Peter (Quenneville) put him right in on the first one and then the second one, he was real aggressive right off the faceoff to get himself to the front of the net and found a loose puck,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “He didn’t just whack away at it, he took that extra step to get past the goaltender and demonstrated some skill to finish off the play.”

  Gabrielle then completed the natural hat-trick with a power-play goal 1:15 into the third period, the first of three goals the Wheat Kings would score with the man advantage in a penalty-filled final frame.

  Import defenceman Ivan Provorov and Brandonite Duncan Campbell also scored power-play goals in the third period, the first for each in the Western Hockey League careers.

  The only question as the third period went only was whether or not Jordan Papirny would get the shutout, with his bid being broken with 12.5 seconds left on a Dryden Hunt power-play goal.
The 'Wheat City Line' of Tanner Kaspick, Duncan Campbell
and Brett Kitt on Saturday

  “Guys felt awful.  Sometimes, as a coach, when that happens, it’s a product of guys not being honest or playing for your goaltender or getting a little bit greedy or selfish offensively but that wasn’t the case at all,” said McCrimmon, “Our guys were talking about it the entire third period but it’s just one of those things.  We sure wish it was 6-0, it feels better, it sounds better, and everyone obviously contributes when you have a shutout. But Jordan was real good about it, happy to get two wins to start the season and that’s the bottom line.”

  Papirny finished with 23 saves while Daniel Wapple made 29 saves in goal for Regina.

  The Wheat Kings are now idle until Friday night, when they host the Saskatoon Blades (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff...Brandon’s scratches were John Quenneville (New Jersey), Jayce Hawryluk (Florida), Richard Nejezchleb (NY Rangers), Ty Lewis (upper body), Eric Roy (upper body), Mark Taraschuk, Mark Matsuba, Michael Mylchreest and Kirklan Lycar (all healthy)...Tim McGauley has playing in his 150th career game as a Wheat King on Saturday...the Wheat Kings have swept a season-opening home-and-home series each of the last four times the two teams have played to open the WHL regular season (2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014).

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