|Alex Moodie made 25 saves for his first win as a |
Wheat King Sunday
Rihards Bukarts had a goal and three assists for the Wheat Kings for his first multi-point game since November 7th while Alex Moodie made 25 saves to collect his first win in a Brandon uniform.
“This one’s getting a date on it,” said Moodie when asked on CKLQ’s post-game show about getting the game puck for his mantel, “The feeling, it’s like my first win on the WHL again. There’s no better feeling.”
Moodie was making his first home start since being acquired from Saskatoon on November 26th and just his second straight overall, with his other being a 5-4 shootout loss in Moose Jaw on December 10th.
“I felt a lot calmer. I felt like I was just seeing it as opposed to Moose Jaw, where I felt really scrambly and hadn’t played in a while,” added Moodie, “This one was definitely a lot more calmer and really good for the confidence.”
After a goalless opening period, Brandon jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Tim McGauley’s team-leading 23rd goal of the season 48 seconds into the second period.
Torrin White tied it for Moose Jaw less than five minutes later, but Jayce Hawryluk and Colton Waltz scored 77 seconds apart late in the second period to give Brandon a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.
|Rihards Bukarts had a goal and three assists Sunday|
Jiri Smejkal made things interesting by scoring a 6-on-5 goal with 2:18 left before Bukarts salted away Brandon’s 26th win of the season with an empty-net goal with 16 seconds left.
Bukarts had just one goal and two points in the last ten games he had played heading into Sunday’s contest but busted out in a big way and looked more like the player he was early in the season, when he was challenging for the WHL’s scoring lead.
“His best today in quite a while. He had an injury and missed six games there, went into the break gingerly but really tonight as more the guy we’re used to seeing,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon, “I thought he was exceptional tonight.”
The Wheat Kings return to action Tuesday night when they host the Prince Albert Raiders (7:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).
Chaff...Brandon D Ivan Provorov was pointless and +3 in Russia’s 7-0 win over Switzerland Sunday at the World Junior Hockey Championship...in addition to Provorov, the Wheat Kings’ other scratches Sunday were F Jesse Gabrielle (illness), F Ty Lewis (healthy) and D Kale Clague (upper body)...Mark Matsuba’s assisted on Brandon’s second goal for his first career WHL assists...McGauley’s second period goal was the 150th point of his WHL career.