Thursday, 14 April 2016

Wheat Kings Grab 3-1 Series Lead

John Quenneville's three points Wednesday moved him
into 10th-place on the Wheat Kings' all-time playoff scoring
list with 47 points.
  A bounceback performance for the Brandon Wheat Kings has pushed the club to within one win of the Eastern Conference Final.

  Reid Duke and John Quenneville had a goal and two assists each to pace the Wheat Kings to a 6-2 win in Moose Jaw Wednesday night, giving Brandon a three games to one lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

  Tim McGauley added a goal and an assist for Brandon, giving the re-united line a combined eight points and a +9 rating in the contest.

  Coming off a 7-1 loss in Game Three, the Wheat Kings look much more like the team that had won six straight playoff games before Tuesday’s setback.

  “Guys were just more prepared, more committed, more mindful of the situation that we had lost momentum, we had lost a game and that if we didn’t play well tonight, it would be tied at two games apiece,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “I think all those things put us in a much better frame of mind.”

  Brandon gave up the first goal of the game for the third time in four games in the series, this one coming from Game Three star Jayden Halbgewachs just 24 seconds into the opening period.

  Brandon bounced back with three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead before a Brayden Point power-play goal with just over four minutes left in the opening period closed the Warriors to within one.

  The Wheat Kings came out of the first intermission with a dominant second period, getting goals from Quenneville and Nolan Patrick to take a 5-2 lead while also outshooting the Warriors 14-2.

  “We had the puck almost the entire time.  We didn’t turn it over, we didn’t give them opportunities by making mistakes with the puck,” said McCrimmon, “We just played a lot of time in their zone.”

   With a three-goal lead heading into the 3rd period, Brandon locked things down as the teams combined for 11 shots in the final frame, six by the Wheat Kings, with Brandon getting a shorthanded empty-net goal with 45 seconds left.

   The Wheat Kings will now look to advance to the third round of the playoffs when they host Moose Jaw in Game Five on Friday night (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff...Wheat Kings' F Tanner Kaspick was named the Eastern Conference finalist for the WHL's Scholastic Player of the Year on Wednesday...Brandon has dressed the same lineup for all four games in the series, with Schael Higson, Mark Matsuba, Garrett Armour and Caiden Daley the Wheat Kings’ scratches again for Game Four...Brandon went 2-for-3 on the power-play and 4-for-5 on the penalty-kill...attendance was 3,632...among those in attendance in Games Three and Four was former Wheat King Bryan McCabe, who is currently the Director of Player Development for the NHL’s Florida Panthers...the Canadian Under-18 team, which includes six WHL players, will open the World U18 Hockey Championship in Grand Forks, North Dakota on Friday.

No comments: