Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Strong Third Powers Wheat Kings past Warriors

Tim McGauley reached the 100-point mark for the season Tuesday.
  The Brandon Wheat Kings scored three unanswered third period goals to defeat the Moose Jaw Warriors 5-3 on Tuesday night.

  Jayce Hawryluk scored twice including the game-winning goal on a Brandon power-play 8:23 into the final frame, allowing the Wheat Kings to record their 49th win of the season and move into a tie with idle Kelowna for first-place in the WHL's overall standings.

  "I think we just stuck to what's made us successful this season," said Hawryluk on CKLQ's post-game show, "Chipped pucks deep, worked out, put everything below their D and grinded it out."

  Tim McGauley added a goal and two assists for the Wheat Kings as he extended his point-streak to 23 games, move into a tie with Medicine Hat's Trevor Cox for the WHL scoring lead and become the third Wheat Kings' player in the last 15 years to record 100 points in a season.

  The Wheat Kings' strong third period came after some subtle line changes, which were necessary following John Quenneville's ejection from the game 45 seconds into the first period for being involved in a 'staged fight' with Moose Jaw's Jesse Shynkaruk.

  "I thought it gave us some life when we moved Bukarts up with McGauley and (Peter) Quenneville and, in turn, put Klimchuk with Kaspick and Hawryluk....seemed to give us a little bit of life," said Brandon GM/Coach kelly McCrimmon, "I thought we were good in the third, but that's as far as I could go tonight."

  The Quenneville ejection came on a night that Wheat Kings dressed just 11 forwards, including rookie defenceman Mark Matsuba, due to injuries.

  "It's tough losing John in the first like that.  I think we had to realize that we only had three lines, we were missing a lot of our top guys and we just had to keep things simple," added Hawryluk, "I think we realize that, finally, in the third period that that's how we need to play to win and we did that and came up with the win."

  Morgan Klimchuk had a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to 11 games while Rihards Bukarts also had a goal and an assist for Brandon.

  The Wheat Kings (49-11-4-3) will now be looking to hit the 50-win plateau Friday when they host the Saskatoon Blades (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  It would be the fifth time in the franchise's 48-year history in the WHL that they'll hit the 50-win mark.

Chaff...Brandon scratched F Quintin Lisoway (lower body), F Reid Duke (lower body), D Kale Clague (lower body) and F Nolan Patrick (upper body)...the Wheat Kings were 1-for-2 on the power-play Tuesday and are now 8-for-15 in their last seven games...Brandon D Eric Roy's first period assist gives him 197 career points, three short of becoming the sixth defenceman in Wheat Kings' history to record 200 or more points...Wheat Kings' F Peter Quenneville had his four-game goal-scoring streak snapped...Brandon has now scored 314 goals, the most for an Eastern Conference team since the 2009-2010 edition of the Wheat Kings finished with 321.

Note: I mentioned during Tuesday's broadcast and the post-game show that it was Brandon's first ejection for a staged fight since the rule came in prior to the 2012-2013 season.  That is incorrect.  Brett Kitt was ejected this season during the Wheat Kings' second game of the season in Regina for a staged fight with Regina's Luc Smith.

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