|Rihards Bukarts had two goals and three points Friday.|
Rihards Bukarts had two goals and an assist for the Wheat Kings including the tie-breaking, game-winning goal with just over five minutes left in the third period.
It was a breakout offensive performance for Bukarts, who had the shootout winner Wednesday in Spokane but had just two assists in his previous five games.
“His best game for sure, and not just the fact he had two goals. He played with Campbell and Stelio Mattheos, and I thought their line was exceptional all night,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “Rihards, in particular, had the puck on his stick all night and was really a threat.”
Mattheos, John Quenneville and Jayce Hawryluk, with an empty-net goal, also scored for Brandon while Nolan Patrick had a pair of assists.
The game turned in the second period when the Wheat Kings overcame a 2-1 deficit by scoring back-to-back special teams goals – a shorthanded marker from Quenneville and a power-play goal from Bukarts at 13:05 and 16:10 respectively.
“We were 100% on our kill tonight, and we took five in the second period so that was a big part of the win,” said McCrimmon, Our power-play, we had our first three again where we didn’t score, and didn’t get frustrated. I thought we had good momentum and then on our fourth power-play, Bukarts scored the great goal which, at that time, gave us the lead.”
The Wheat Kings have now won all five road games they’ve played this season, with Friday’s victory improving their overall record to 8-1-0-2.
Brandon will continue their road trip Sunday in Portland (6:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ).
Chaff...F Reid Duke (lower body) and F Linden McCorrister (upper body) were both out of the lineup Friday after being injured during Wednesday’s win in Spokane...F Tim McGauley (upper body) and F Ty Lewis (upper body) were Brandon’s other two scratches...Hawryluk’s empty-net goal allowed him to extend his point-scoring streak to eight games...Strathclair’s Morgan Geekie had an assist in the contest and the Tri-City rookie now has one goal and two points in ten games this season.