|The Wheat Kings set up for one of their six power-play chances Monday|
Mads Eller had a goal and two assists to spark an Oil Kings offence that erupted for three unanswered second period goals after the teams played to a 0-0 tie after the opening 20 minutes.
Brandon outshot Edmonton 13-6 in the opening period and Wheat Kings’ GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon said on CKLQ’s post-game show that being unable to get a lead from that strong start proved to be one of their downfalls.
“Not scoring in the first when we had as good a start as we did to the game, it sure would have been helpful to play with the lead,” said McCrimmon, whose team was playing their third game in as many days.
The Oil Kings got goals from Andrew Koep and Eller in the first half of the second period to grab a 2-0 lead, and then Brandon allowed what was likely the back-breaking goal...a shorthanded marker to Cole Benson that made it a 3-0 game.
“Our power-play is pretty good at getting us back into hockey games and we ended up instead of scoring a power-play goal to make it 2-1, we gave up the breakaway to make it 3-0,” said McCrimmon, “That made it very difficult.”
Eric Roy and Rihards Bukarts scored third period power-play goals for Brandon, but the club wasn’t able to close the gap any closer than to two goals at any point in the final frame.
The Wheat Kings lost the final two games of their Alberta road trip, scoring four goals in the process and three of those came with the man advantage.
“The concerning thing for me when you look at the last two games, one 5-on-5 goals,” added McCrimmon, “We have to look at different ways to generate goals on the road than what we have been.”
Despite the outcomes the last two days, Brandon still sits atop the WHL’s East Division with a 6-2-1-0 record.
The Wheat Kings return to action Friday when they host the Swift Current Broncos (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).
Chaff...Brandon scratched F John Quenneville (upper body), F Ty Lewis (upper body), D Mark Taraschuk (healthy) and F Tanner Kaspick (healthy)...Brandon has lost 14 straight games at Rexall Place (nine regular season, five playoff), and haven’t won in Edmonton since December 31, 2009...Bukarts now has points in five straight games (2 G, 6 A).