Friday, 27 February 2015

Bittersweet Result for Wheat Kings

Eric Roy played his 312th career game Friday, good for
fourth all-time.
  It was a bittersweet clinching of the East Division title for the Brandon Wheat Kings on Friday night.

  The Wheat Kings dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the Kootenay Ice, but the single point coupled with Regina's 2-1 home-ice loss to Medicine Hat allowed Brandon to earn the East Division pennant for the first time since 2010.

  "You want to get that title with a win but we'll take whatever we can get here," said Brandon forward Morgan Klimchuk on CKLQ's post-game show, "It was a real close game, right from start to finish.  We're happy with the one point...we'd obviously like to have won but we'll learn from it moving forward."

  Klimchuk scored Brandon's first goal of the game with 37.8 seconds left in the second period, tying the contest at 1-1 after Sam Reinhart's power-play goal had given the Ice a 1-0 lead earlier in the period.

  The goal was confirmed by video review after a shot by Eric Roy went over the net, came off the end glass and bounced off Klimchuk's shoulder into the net.

  "Sometimes it doesn't always end up on Plays of the Week, but we'll take that one," said Klimchuk, "I was just making sure it didn't hit my hands because that was what I was kind of planning on doing on that play."

  Matt Alfaro gave Kootenay a 2-1 lead with 9:18 left in the third period, with Rihards Bukarts then scoring for the Wheat Kings with 3:27 left in regulation.

  Both goaltenders played well on the game as Brandon's Jordan Papirny finished with 35 saves and Kootenay's Wyatt Hoflin stopped 32 shots.

  The Wheat Kings and the Ice will meet against Saturday night (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff...Tim McGauley assisted on Bukarts' goal to extend his point-scoring streak to 18 games, the longest for a Brandon player since Mark Stone opened the 2011-12 season by scoring a point in the first 18 games of the season...Brandon scratched D Mark Taraschuk (healthy), D Kale Clague (lower body), F Nolan Patrick (upper body) and F Reid Duke (lower body)...goaltender Alex Moodie returned to Brandon's lineup after missing 11 games with a suspected concussion and backed up Papirny...Eric Roy played his 312th career game to move into sole possession of 4th-place on the Wheat Kings' all-time list...a battle of Wheat Kings' prospects at the Canada Winter Games Friday saw Ian Mitchell, Jarrod Gourley, Jeremy Klessens and Team Alberta defeated Connor Gutenberg, James McIsaac, Leif Mattson and Team Manitoba 3-1 in the semifinals.  Alberta will play Ontario in Sunday's gold medal game while Manitoba faces Quebec for bronze on Saturday.

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