Friday, 22 January 2016

Wheat Kings Zero In on First-Place

Jordan Papirny recorded his 10th career shutout Friday.
  The Brandon Wheat Kings won a showdown to top spot in the WHL’s East Division Friday night, blanking the Prince Albert Raiders 3-0.

  Jordan Papirny made 33 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and tenth of his career, helping the Wheat Kings extend their lead atop the Division standings to three points over the second-place Raiders.

  Papirny was at his best in the first period, turning aside all 13 shots he faced while helping the Wheat Kings overcome being shorthanded for seven minutes and 34 seconds.

  “Penalty-kill was really the story of the game early,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “We took four in the first period and quick to credit Jordan Papirny and how well he played tonight.  He was our best penalty-killer, without question.”

  Nolan Patrick, Tim McGauley and Reid Duke scored the goals for the Wheat Kings, all of them coming in the second period and the latter two coming on Brandon power-play opportunities.

  Overall, Brandon went 2-for-5 on the power-play while also going a perfect 7-for-7 on the penalty-kill.

  The Wheat Kings have now scored eight power-play goals in their last five games, going 8-for-27 (29.6%) in that span.

  “Some different looks, likely a little bit more structure in what we’re trying to do and we’ve maybe simplified things a little bit,” said McCrimmon, “Based on that, it’s allowed guys to establish some things and make some plays.”

  Macoy Erkamps and Ivan Provorov added a pair of assists each for Brandon in the contest.

  The Wheat Kings continue their three-game Saskatchewan road trip Saturday night when they visit the Saskatoon Blades (6:35 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

Chaff...Brandon’s scratches Friday were F Tanner Kaspick (upper body), F Stelio Mattheos (upper body), F Connor Gutenberg (lower body) and D James Shearer (healthy)...Patrick’s goal extended his point-scoring streak to six games (6 G, 2 A)...Papirny is third on the Wheat Kings’ all-time shutout list behind Tyler Plante (12) and Andrew Hayes (11)...Brandon is now 26-2-1-1 this season when allowing three or fewer goals.

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