Thursday, 26 March 2015

Wheat Kings Stumble in Playoff Opener

Peter Quenneville scored Brandon's only goal on Thursday.
  A tentative and disappointing start to the 2015 Western Hockey League playoffs Thursday night for the Brandon Wheat Kings as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Edmonton Oil Kings.

  Brandon fell behind 2-0 in the first period before Peter Quenneville scored Brandon's only goal on a second period power-play to cut the lead in half going into the third.

  However, the Wheat Kings surrendered the only two goals in the final 20 minutes while registering just five shots on net.

  "The second period would have been when we had momentum for pretty good stretch at the start of the period, a pretty good stretch at the end of the period and, obviously, scored the power-play goal in that time," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ's post-game show, "Tentative in the first, decent in the second and poor in the third would be how I saw the game tonight."

  Tyler Robertson got Edmonton on the board, scoring on an offensive zone faceoff just 11 seconds into the contest while Brett Pollock made it 2-0 with his first of two goals at the 11:55 mark of the opening frame.

  Pollock added his second on an Oil Kings' power-play 1:35 into the third period that restored Edmonton's two-goal lead before setting up Lane Bauer for the fourth Oil Kings' goal just after the minute mark.

  "We just didn't play our game," said Brandon captain Peter Quenneville on CKLQ's post-game show, "When we're playing our best, we're making it hard on the other team and we just didn't do that tonight and it showed on the scoreboard."

  Jordan Papirny made 30 saves in the Wheat Kings' net while Tristan Jarry stopped 25 shots in the Edmonton goal.

  Brandon will host Game #2 of the Best-of-Seven series Friday night (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  "You play right away again, so you take out of the game what we need to take out of it, realize where we need to be better," said McCrimmon, "To me, there's a lot of areas where we can be better (Friday) and then channel it towards a better performance in Game two."

  After Game #2 Friday, the series will shift to Edmonton for the next three contests.

Chaff...Brandon scratched F Reid Duke, F Quintin Lisoway, F Duncan Campbell, F Tanner Kaspick, D Mark Taraschuk and G Logan Thompson...Brandon went 1-for-4 on the power-play while Edmonton was 1-for-2...after making his WHL debut in Brandon's regular season finale Saturday, 2014 first overall pick Stelio Mattheos made his WHL playoff debut on Thursday...attendance for Game #1 was 3,086.

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