Saturday, 27 February 2016

Big Third Sends Wheat Kings Into First

Brandon's win Friday moved the Wheat Kings into
first-place in the Eastern Conference.
  The Brandon Wheat Kings scored three times in the opening six minutes of the third period and went on to a 5-2 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Friday night.

  The victory allowed Brandon to leapfrog past Lethbridge and into first-place in the Eastern Conference, the first time this season the Wheat Kings have held top spot.

  Tim McGauley, Nolan Patrick and John Quenneville scored those goals early in the third for Brandon, who trailed Lethbridge 2-1 after 40 minutes.

  Patrick’s goal extending his goal-scoring streak to 12 games, and gives him 37 on the year including 27 in 27 games since the Christmas break.

  The offensive outburst came after the Wheat Kings had killed off four Lethbridge power-plays in the second period, with the final 32 seconds of the fourth one coming in the third period.

  Brandon held the Hurricanes’ top-ranked power-play to zero goals on eight opportunities on the night, including six in a row for Lethbridge over the final 40 minutes.

  “The less time you can kill with them set up, running their looks they want to run, the better chance you’re going to have of having success,” said Wheat Kings’ GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “I sure wouldn’t of thought we’d be able to get away with eight penalties here tonight but our penalty-kill was really good and, of course, you get some saves in there as well.”

  Brandon netminder Jordan Papirny made 22 saves in the contest, with his best two saves coming on a Wheat Kings’ penalty-kill in the 90 seconds of the second period that preserved a one-goal deficit.

  Papirny robbed Jordy Bellerive from the middle of the slot on a 3-on-1 rush, and then denied Bellerive again moments later on a goal-mouth re-direct in front of the Wheat Kings’ net.

  Kale Clague had a first period goal while Tyler Coulter completed the scoring with an empty-net goal.

  Now that they’re sitting atop the Conference, the challenge for the Wheat Kings is to remain there over the final ten games of the regular season.

  “Guys are looking forward to trying to meet that challenge,” said McCrimmon, “It’s where we wanted to be and certainly the goal now is, starting (Saturday) night is to hold up our end of the bargain.”

  The Wheat Kings conclude their five-game road trip by visiting Medicine Hat Saturday night (8:00 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

Chaff...McGauley’s goal was his 100th as a Wheat Kings, and his 250th career point...the Wheat Kings’ penalty-kill is now 27-for-28 (96.4%) over their last eight games...Brandon F Ty Lewis left the game after the first period with an upper body injury and did not return...Wheat Kings’ scratches Friday were F Garrett Armour (healthy), F Jaeger White (healthy), F Connor Gutenberg (lower body) and F Linden McCorrister (upper body)...Tyler Coulter extended his point-scoring streak to ten games Friday, his second double-digit scoring streak of the season...Jayce Hawryluk had an assist Friday, giving him points in 11 of 12 games this month and 33 points overall in February...John Quenneville now has goals in four of the last five games.

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