Friday, 1 April 2016

Wheat Kings Even Things Up

Jordan Papirny recorded his first career WHL playoff
shutout on Thursday.
  A pair of Edmonton products led the Brandon Wheat Kings to a shutout victory in their hometown on Thursday night.

  John Quenneville had two goals and an assist and Jordan Papirny stopped 15 shots for his first career WHL playoff shutout as the Wheat Kings blanked the Oil Kings 5-0.

  The Brandon victory ties the Eastern Conference quarter-final series 2-2.

  “It felt more like our team.  (Wednesday’s) was a really important win because we were down 2-0 in the series, and yet I didn’t feel we played as well as we could have played (Wednesday),” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “Tonight, I thought we played much better game and were really solid pretty much for a full 60.”

  Quenneville’s shorthanded goal 9 ½ minutes into the first period gave Brandon a 1-0 lead, with Kale Clague making it 2-0 just under three minutes later.

  The two Brandon goals came before Edmonton registered an official shot on goal in the opening period.

  Clague then set up Quenneville for a power-play goal four minutes into the second period to make it 3-0, with Reid Duke and Jayce Hawryluk (how-rih-luk) then adding third period goals for Brandon.

  The Wheat Kings looked more like their normal selves in Game Four, and McCrimmon feels there was one key aspect in their game that allowed them to do that.

  “We didn’t turn the puck over.  (Wednesday), we turned the puck over and every time you turn the puck over, you’re going the other way and you’re chasing it...not playing under control like you want to,” said McCrimmon, “Tonight, we played very much a North-South game, we got pucks up the ice in a hurry, we got pucks worked in deep and, as a result, our team just looked way faster.”

  The Wheat Kings limited an Edmonton team that averaged 34.1 shots per game in the regular season to a season-low 15 shots on goal.

  Game Five is set for Sunday at Rexall Place in Edmonton (4:40 p.m., 880 CKLQ), with Game Six now guaranteed to be played in Brandon on Tuesday (7:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  Tickets for Game Six will go on sale Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. at the Keystone Centre box office.

Chaff...there were no changes in Brandon’s lineup Thursday, with Schael Higson, Garrett Armour and Mark Matsuba being the Wheat Kings’ scratches...former Wheat King Bill Derlago was named #18 on the WHL’s countdown of the Top-50 players of all-time on Thursday...former Wheat Kings’ captain Ryan Craig was named Lake Erie’s nominee for AHL Man of the Year on Thursday...Brandon prospect Rylan Bettens had a goal as the Winnipeg Wild beat Notre Dame 3-1 Thursday in their opening game at the Telus Cup Western Regionals in Saskatoon.

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