Sunday, 22 March 2015

Wheat Kings Welcome Scotty Into Fold

The Brandon Wheat Kings celebrate their regular
season championship Saturday.
  The Brandon Wheat Kings own the Western Hockey League's best record for the first time in 19 years.

  Nolan Patrick had a goal and three assists as the Wheat Kings downed the Moose Jaw Warriors 9-2 in their regular season finale Saturday night, a victory that allowed the Wheat Kings to finish first overall in the WHL standings for the first time since the 1995-96 season.

  "It feels really good.  We have a special group here and it's really huge to accomplish this goal, especially in my last year," said 5th-year Brandon defenceman Eric Roy on CKLQ's post-game show, "We're just looking forward to the playoffs to start."

  Morgan Klimchuk's 20th goal as a Wheat Kings with just under five minutes left in the second period broke open a 2-1 game, and Nolan Patrick gave the Wheat Kings a three-goal cushion 1:19 later with this 30th of the season.

  "When we dominated the way we did, it would have turned into a dangerous game had that stayed 2-1," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon, whose team outshot Moose Jaw 22-3 in the middle frame, "Two big goals at the end of the second period to give us the 4-1 lead going into the third and then the early goal in the third which really, I thought, was a backbreaker for them and our guys continued to play hard right through."

Stelio Mattheos scored in his
WHL debut Saturday

  Brandon then scored five straight goals in the third period to take all doubt out of the contest including a goal from Stelio Mattheos, the first overall pick in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.

  Mattheos, who missed the last six weeks of the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League season because of a lower body injury, was making his WHL debut as an affiliate player.

  The Wheat Kings finish the regular season with a 53-11-4-4 record for 114 points, the third-most in franchise history.

  Brandon will now prepare for the start of the WHL playoffs, with the Wheat Kings hosting the Edmonton Oil Kings Thursday and Friday to open the Best-of-Seven Eastern Conference quarter-final.

Chaff...Roy became the 6th defenceman in Wheat Kings' history to reach 200 career points with an assist on Patrick's second period goal...F Nolan Patrick is just the third 16-year old player in the last 20 years to reach 30 goals in his rookie season in the WHL...F Rihards Bukarts scored his 33rd goal of the season Saturday, the most ever in a single season for a Wheat Kings' import...D Macoy Erkamps and F Jayce Hawryluk both recorded their 100th career assist in Saturday...F Duncan Campbell, who was injured Friday in Moose Jaw, did not play for Brandon on Saturday...joining Campbell on the sidelines were D Mark Taraschuk (healthy), F Tanner Kaspick (upper body), F Reid Duke (lower body), F Quintin Lisoway (lower body) and G Logan Thompson (healthy).

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