Kolten Olynek got the Raiders on the board on the first shift of the game 23 seconds into the opening period.
After a pair of unsuccessful Brandon power-play chances, Prince Albert blueliners Jesse Lees and Brendan Guhle scored goals 1:07 apart at 14:25 and 15:32 to give the Raiders a three-goal cushion.
“I thought they were more determined, and I thought they put us on our heals a bit,” said Brandon assistant coach David Anning on CKLQ’s post-game show, “Our energy and our competitiveness wasn’t there and it took as 20 minutes to regroup. When you have a tough start, you have to do a better job of digging in and making sure you keep it a one-goal game and work your way through the period and I don’t think we did a very good job of that.”
Tyler Coulter got Brandon the board with a shorthanded goal 8:16 into the second period, but the Raiders restored their three-goal lead with Jordan Tkatch scoring on the same Prince Albert power-play chance.
Reid Duke then got Brandon back to within two 46 seconds after the Tkatch goal, with the game at 4-2 through 40 minutes.
The Wheat Kings managed just three shots on goal in the final 20 minutes, with Prince Albert’s Luke Coleman completing the scoring with an empty-net goal with 1:06 left.
“I thought we tried to do things the right way. I don’t think our puck recovery on our forecheck was anywhere near where it needed to be,” said Anning, “They got a lot of pucks out by simply going D-to-D and going up the wall and we didn’t do a good job of getting the puck back. As a result, it was back-and-forth and we didn’t have a lot of zone time.”
The loss reduces Brandon’s lead atop the East Division to two points over the second-place Raiders, with Prince Albert holding a game in hand.
The Wheat Kings are now on a seven-day Christmas break.
They’ll return to action December 27th when they host the Regina Pats (4:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).
Chaff...Brandon scratches Saturday were John Quenneville (Cdn Jr. Team), Jayce Hawryluk (Cdn Jr. Team), Ivan Provorov (Russian Jr. Team) and Stelio Mattheos (upper body)...Quenneville was held pointless in Canada’s 7-1 exhibition win over Belarus on Saturday while Hawryluk did not play in Saturday’s contest...Brandon F Tanner Kaspick left the game late in the second period with an upper body injury and did not return...Brandon D Colton Waltz missed a late portion of the first period with an equipment issue...Coulter’s second period goal extended his point-scoring streak to eight games.