Monday, 22 February 2016

Blades Edge Wheat Kings in OT

Nolan Patrick was 'trending on
Twitter' for a while Monday afternoon
  Nick Zajac scored one minute into overtime to lift the Saskatoon Blades to a 6-5 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings on Monday afternoon.

  The overtime heroics for the Blades’ captain were made possible thanks to Ryan Graham’s second goal of the game with 1:29 left in regulation that tied the contest 5-5.

  It was a disappointing results for a Brandon team that had given up a combined seven goals to the Blades in their previous four meetings this season.

  “You can touch on every aspect of playing good defence. I didn’t think Logan Thompson played well, I didn’t think he responded from letting in two goals early,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon, “But I think it goes a lot deeper than that...I don’t think we were committed defensively.”

  “When you look at our best stretch of hockey, we were giving up zero goals against, one goal against of two goals against,” added McCrimmon, “For me, what’s happened is we’ve starting to score so much more, we’ve put less of a priority on defence.”

  Nolan Patrick had his first career hat-trick in a losing cause for Brandon, extending his goal-scoring streak to ten games.

  Patrick has 16 goals during the streak, and 25 goals and 23 games since the Christmas break.

  Tanner Kaspick and Reid Duke also scored for Brandon while Jayce Hawryluk had three assists, giving the Florida Panthers’ draft pick 30 points in ten games this month.

  The Wheat Kings did earn a single point with Monday’s overtime loss, leaving Brandon seven points ahead of second-place Prince Albert in the East Division standings.

  The Wheat Kings also moved to within two points of first-place Lethbridge in the Eastern Conference standings.

  Brandon will continue their road trip Wednesday when they visit the Kootenay Ice (7:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

Chaff...Brandon scratches Monday were D/F Jordan Thomson (upper body), F/D Mark Matsuba (healthy), F Linden McCorrister (upper body) and F Connor Gutenberg (lower body)...former Brandon captain Ryan Pulock recalled from the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers Monday and could make his NHL debut with the New York Islanders Tuesday in Minnesota...Wheat Kings’ prospect Brad Goethals, who led the MMHL in scoring this season, has committed to Bemidji State University...’Pink the Rink’ raffle tickets (3 for $10) are available at the Canadian Cancer Society office in Brandon (415 1st Street) until Wednesday. Jaeger White’s Pink #22 jersey is the prize...the loss was Brandon's first in Saskatoon since March 1, 2013. The club had won ten straight against the Blades at SaskTel Centre prior to Monday...more than 10,000 fans, most of them school-aged children, were in attendance at Monday's game as part of the Blades' Team Up for Respect initiative.

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