Tuesday, 30 December 2014

First Period Outburst Propels Wheat Kings to Win

Rihards Bukarts has six points in the last two games.
  The Brandon Wheat Kings scored three times in a five minute and 41 second span of the first period and went on to a 4-1 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders on Tuesday night.

  Jayce Hawryluk, Tim McGauley and Braylon Shmyr scored in the first period outburst for Brandon, which came after the Wheat Kings had already failed to capitalize on three straight power-play opportunities.

  "I thought the first period, in general, we played well and back-to-back starts on home-ice where I thought our first period was real good.  The Moose Jaw game on Sunday, it was 0-0 after one period and yet I thought we played well," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ's post-game show, "Tonight, we scored three great goals in the first period to take an early lead in the game and that was key as the night went on."

  Jayden Hart notched a power-play goal just past the eight minute mark of the second period to get Prince Albert back to within two, and then the Wheat Kings got some help later in the second period as the Raiders twice hit the post behind Brandon netminder Jordan Papirny, who finished with 31 saves.

  The Wheat Kings are dodged bullet when the Raiders had an apparent goal waved off with just over nine minutes left in regulation after video review revealed the puck had been kicked into the net.

  Peter Quenneville then completed the scoring for the night by scoring a power-play goal with just under five minutes left in the third period.

  Rihards Bukarts set up Brandon's second and third goals and now has six points in the last two games, including five assists.

  "After my injury and I missed six games in a row, I have my confidence back and I feel way better on the ice," said Bukarts on CKLQ's post-game show, "The biggest thing was to get 100 per cent ready to play hockey again.  The last games when I played before Christmas break, I was probably playing 60 per cent so right now I'm feeling really good and you can see how I'm playing."

  The teams also combined for 120 penalty minutes in the contest, 104 of each came in a third period that featured three fights, four misconducts and two game misconducts.

  The victory allowed Brandon to maintain their four-point lead over second-place Medicine Hat in the Esatern Conference standings.

  The Wheat Kings next game is New Year Day, when they visit the Saskatoon Blades (3:35 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

Chaff...Brandon scratched D Kale Clague (upper body), D Ivan Provorov (WJHC), F Jesse Gabrielle (illness) and F Ty Lewis (healthy)...McGauley's goal was the game-winner, giving him seven game-winning goals on the season -- second-most in the WHL...Papirny is now tied for the league-lead in wins with 23...the Wheat Kings have the WHL's best home-ice record at 14-2-3-0 (.816 winning percentage).

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