|Jordan Papirny stopped 17 shots for the shutout|
Jayce Hawryluk recorded this fifth hat-trick of the season to account for all three of Brandon's goals while Jordan Papirny made 17 saves for his sixth shutout of the season and 12th of his Wheat Kings' career, tying Tyler Plante for the franchise record in both categories.
"He allowed us to keep momentum, and that's what those big saves do," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ's post-game show, "He didn't have a lot of work but he was very sharp. You could tell that he was here to play, and to play well."
Among Papirny's stops was a glove save on a Cole Sanford penalty shot with seven minutes left in the third period.
Hawryluk, meanwhile, opened the scoring with his 45th goal of the season 6:44 into the second period.
He added his 46th 2 1/2 minutes later just four seconds after a Brandon power-play had ended, and completed his hat-trick 8 1/2 minutes into the third period.
Hawryluk finished atop the Wheat Kings' scoring race and fourth in the WHL with 106 points on the season (47 G, 59 A), including 24 goals and 60 points in 22 games since February 1st.
The Wheat Kings finished the regular season on a nine-game winning streak, and points in 13 straight games (11-0-2-0), en route to finishing with a 48-18-4-2 record -- good for first-place in the Eastern Conference and second-place in the overall WHL standings.
Brandon still doesn't know who they'll face in the first round of the playoffs.
Medicine Hat and Edmonton tied for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after the Tigers doubled Lethbridge 4-2 and Red Deer beat the Oil Kings 7-2 on Saturday night.
The teams will play a sudden death game Tuesday in Medicine Hat to decide who gets the final playoff spot.
The Wheat Kings will host the winner to open their first round series Thursday and Friday (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place.).
Chaff...D Ivan Provorov finished even Saturday and led the WHL with a +64 rating, tying the Wheat Kings' single season club record...Provorov and Macoy Erkamps finished 1-2 in defenceman scoring in the WHL, the first teammates to accomplish that since Regina's Derek Morris and Perry Johnson in 1996-97...Brandon scratches Saturday were F Tyler Coulter (lower body), F Ty Lewis (upper body) and F/D Jordan Thomson (healthy)...Brandon won 18 of their last 20 homes games to finish with the 5th-best home record in the WHL at 25-8-1-2...the Wheat Kings finished atop the Conference despite having approximately 211 man games lost due to injuries, suspensions, international commitments and other absences...Brandon led the WHL with an average of 39.4 shots per game, were +804 for the season (shots for/against differential) and outshot their opponents in 59 of 72 games this season...Brandon allowed fewer than 200 goals against in a season for the third time in franchise history.
Brandon also dished out their year-end award winners during Saturday's contest...
Meighen Haddad LLP Most Valuable Player
Brad McCrimmon Defenceman of the Year
MNP Rookie of the Year
Regent Custom Cresting Art Marshall Top Graduating Player Award
Brandon Sun Scoring Champion
UCT Dennis Truscott Most Improved Player
Shoppers Drug Mart Fans' Choice Award
Manitoba Hydro Turk Broda Top Manitoba-born Player
Precision Toyota Unsung Hero Award
Coca Cola Rob Stouffer Memorial Trophy for Most Inspirational Player
Keystone Centre Most Sportsmanlike Player
Canad Inns Hardest Working Player
Manitoba Blue Cross Three Stars Award
McDonald's Frank King Most Community Minded
Maggie Janz Scholastic Player of the Year