|Reid Duke notched his 11th of the season in Brandon's |
win Saturday in Moose Jaw
Jordan Papirny made 29 saves for his third shutout of the season and fourth of his career as the Wheat Kings improved to 25-7-3-1 overall and increased their lead atop the WHL’s Eastern Conference to four points over second-place Medicine Hat.
Reid Duke scored a power-play goal midway through the first period for the only goal in the opening 20 minutes, his 11th of the season.
Jayce Hawryluk, who missed the last three games before the Christmas break with a lower body injury, scored seven minutes into the second period to give Brandon a 2-0 lead while John Quenneville completed the scoring with an empty-net goal with 90 seconds left in the contest.
“In the second period, we really carried the play territorial and didn’t have a lot to show for it but did outshoot them 15-5 and scored another goal to take a 2-0 lead into the third period,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “I thought we were the better team, I thought we deserved to win.”
Another key to the Brandon victory was a penalty-kill that went a perfect 4-for-4 including a kill for the first 1:55 of the third period and another full two minutes later in the final frame.
“The timing is always important,” said McCrimmon, “The later penalty in the third, they did have more chances and we run around a little bit in terms of our coverage but still, at the end of the night, 100 per cent on our kill and only had one power-play opportunity and scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal.”
Brandon has now scored 16 power-play goals in their last 13 games and lead the WHL with a 27.7% success rate with the man advantage (43-for-155).
The Wheat Kings will host the Warriors Sunday (4 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place) to complete the home-and-home series.
Chaff...Tim McGauley has held goalless and pointless Saturday, ending his goal-scoring streak at five games and his point-scoring streak at 12 games...it’s the second straight year Papirny has recorded a shutout in the first game after the Christmas break. He made 30 saves in Brandon’s 8-0 home-ice win over Regina on December 27, 2013 for his first shutout of his career...Brandon scratches Saturday were F Jesse Gabrielle (illness), D Kale Clague (upper body), D Ivan Provorov (WJHC) and F Ty Lewis (healthy)...Provorov and the Russia team play Switzerland Sunday at the World Junior Hockey Championship...Saturday’s victory was Brandon 13th road win of the season, matching their total from the entire 2013-2014 season.