|Duncan Campbell (middle) celebrates his 2nd period goal with teammates |
Braylon Shmyr (right) and Tyler Coulter (Photo by Jon Howe)
Richard Nejezchleb scored in his season debut for Brandon while Duncan Campbell had the other Wheat Kings’ goal, his fourth of the season.
Pilon also had an assist on Nejezchleb’s first period power-play goal and is tied for the league-lead in defenceman scoring in the Western Hockey League with 18 points including nine power-play assists.
“I think it’s more than just his offensive game, I think he’s taken a real step as a player period,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “I think he’s been more involved in our leadership, has had more ownership of the team. He’s formed a great pairing for (Ivan) Provorov, and I think they’d be quick to credit each other on how well they’ve played as a pair.”
Provorov had two assists Tuesday and is second among rookies in the WHL and tied for third among all defenceman in scoring with 16 points.
Tuesday’s game was the tale of two contests, with the teams combining for 34 shots in the first period when Victoria’s Travis Brown and Nejezchleb traded power-play goals.
The teams combined for 23 shots the rest of the way, with Jordan Papirny finishing with 23 saves in the Brandon net and Coleman Volrath stopping 29 shots for Victoria.
“That’s life on the road is things go along and teams get playing at a higher level, you just don’t see the higher scores that we’ve been fortunate enough to have on the road,” said McCrimmon, “It’s hard for our guys to embrace the fact that a lot of wins on the road are going to be 3-2...give our guys credit, when we took the lead I didn’t think we gave up a lot of chances after.”
It was the first time this season Brandon had recorded a one-goal victory, and the first time the club had scored fewer than four goals in a win.
The victory coupled with Medicine Hat’s 5-3 loss in Red Deer Tuesday leaves Brandon (11-3-1-0) tied with the Tigers for top spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Wheat Kings have a chance to take over sole possession of first-place when they visit the Vancouver Giants on Wednesday (8:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ).
Chaff...with Nejezchleb making his season debut, the Wheat Kings scratched top scorer Rihards Bukarts to balance their import situation...Brandon also sat F Tanner Kaspick, D Mark Matsuba and D Mark Taraschuk (all healthy) and F Ty Lewis (upper body)...Tuesday’s game was the final one for a couple of weeks for Brandon rookies Nolan Patrick, Kale Clague and Tanner Kaspick, who all leave Wednesday morning for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sarnia-Lambton, Ontario.