Sunday, 27 December 2015

Wheat Kings Power Past Pats to Open Second Half

Garrett Sambrook (left) and Caiden Daley both made their
WHL debuts in Sunday's victory
  The Brandon Wheat Kings opened the second half of the WHL season Sunday with a 6-3 win over the Regina Pats.

  Brandon captain Macoy Erkamps scored a power-play goal with 1:11 left in the third period to break a 3-3 tie, with Tyler Coulter and Jayce Hawryluk then adding goals before the end of the contest.

  "(Braylon Shmyr) made a great one-touch pass to me and I kind of closed my eyes and it ended up in the back of the net," said Erkamps on CKLQ's post-game show, "It felt good, and I'm happy we got the win."

  "Starts off the faceoff, it was an important faceoff win and always good to start with the puck on the power-play," added Brandon assistant coach David Anning, "Real good skilled play and Macoy going to the net with his stick on the ice, it's a good play at a critical time."

  Reid Duke and Duncan Campbell had a goal and an assist each for the Wheat Kings while Ty Lewis had the other Brandon goal.

  Lewis also left the game in the third period with a leg injury and did not return.

  Brandon led 3-1 after 40 minutes but watched the lead evaporate in the first six minutes of the third, with Lane Zablocki and Adam Brooks scoring goals for the Pats to tie the contest.

  The victory was the culmination of an interesting 24 hours for the Wheat Kings, who learned on Boxing Day that fourth-year defenceman Colton Waltz was not going to return to the team and has requested a trade.

  Waltz had 12 goals, 75 points and a +25 rating in 241 games with Brandon in his 3 1/2 seasons with the team.

  "I think we just treated it like any other day...we have to move on fast from it," said Erkamps, "He's a good players and it's an unfortunate situation but we're moving on from it and guys logged some good minutes tonight."

  Waltz's unexpected departure, injuries to forwards Tanner Kaspick and Stelio Mattheos plus John Quenneville and Ivan Provorov being away at the World Junior Hockey Championship left the Wheat Kings two players short of filling out a lineup.

  The club brought up 2015 draft picks Caiden Daley and Garrett Sambrook, both of whom spent the entire pre-season with the Wheat Kings.

  Daley, who was Brandon's first round pick, has eight goals and 18 points in 21 games with the Winnipeg Wild of the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League this season while Sambrook has one goal and 14 points in 25 games with the MMHL's Southwest Cougars.

  Both are also expected to play Tuesday, when the Wheat Kings host the Moose Jaw Warriors (7:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff...Prince Albert and Lethbridge both registered victories Sunday, leaving Brandon with a two-point lead over the second-place Raiders and still three points behind the front-running Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference...Jordan Papirny stopped 23 shots in the Brandon net while Jordan Hollett finished with 28 saves for Regina...attendance Sunday was 4,325...Swift Current traded Boston Bruins' 2015 first round pick Jake DeBrusk to Red Deer Sunday, getting F Lane Pederson, 18, a first round pick in 2017 and a third round pick in 2016 in return.

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