Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Wheat Kings Move On

  The Brandon Wheat Kings decisively moved into the second round of the Western Hockey League playoffs on Tuesday night, beating Edmonton 10-3 to take their Eastern Conference quarter-final four games to two.

  Kale Clague had a career-high two goals and two assists to lead the Wheat Kings offensively while Reid Duke added two goals and one assist.

  Brandon overcame losing the opening two games of the series on home-ice by winning four straight against the Oil Kings, the previous three at Rexall Place in Edmonton.

  "Our guys persevered to get the job done," said Clague on CKLQ's post-game show, "When we came back for Game Six, we wanted to end it as soon as we could.  I'm really happy for our guys that we got it done."

  Clague has six points in six playoff games this spring, and has 38 points and a +23 rating in 43 games since the Christmas break.

  Last spring, Clague some limited action in the post-season so being able to contribute in a bigger way to this series victory was very gratifying.

  "Last year, I think I had less of a role and to have a much bigger role this year and to be able to contribute offensively and defensively and help the guys win, it's obviously huge," said Clague, "I take a lot of pride in that and I just want to keep doing what I do to help our team go as far as we can."

  Nolan Patrick added a goal and three assists for Brandon on Tuesday while six other players scored for the Wheat Kings including Ty Lewis, James Shearer and Garrett Armour, who all scored their first career WHL playoff goals.

  Brandon outshot the Oil Kings 67-24 in the contest, registering 19 shots in the first period, 21 in the second and 27 in the third.

  "We had the puck a lot.  We didn't turn it over much and we had real good puck protection and moved the puck well and really seemed to have control of the game because of that," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon, "Tonight was, obviously, the most one-sided of the games we're talking about but I thought all four of our wins, that part of our game was really strong."

  Brandon will now face the Moose Jaw Warriors in the second round, with the opening two games this Friday and Saturday at Westman Communications Group Place.  Full schedule for the series is below.

Chaff...Brandon scratches were F Tyler Coulter (suspension) F/D Mark Matsuba and D Schael Higson...Edmonton lost captain Brandon Baddock early in the first period with a suspected shoulder injury and Oil Kings' defenceman Aaron Irving also didn't see another shift after suffering an injury in the first period...John Quenneville had two assists Tuesday to move him into 12th-place all-time on the Wheat Kings' playoff scoring list with 41 points...Brandon was 2-for-8 on the power-play, with both goals coming from their third and fourth lines with the game out of reach in the third period...Edmonton was 1-for-4 on power-play...attendance was 5,124...former Wheat Kings' defenceman Daniel Tetrault, a member of Brandon's last championship team in 1996, was among those in attendance at Tuesday's game...the Warriors' coaching staff, including head coach Tim Hunter, was also in attendance Tuesday.

Brandon Wheat Kings vs. Moose Jaw Warriors
(Best-of-Seven Eastern Conference Semifinal)

Note: All Times CDT

Friday, April 8 - Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 9 - Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 12 - Brandon at Moose Jaw, 8:05 p.m.
Wednesday, April 13 - Brandon at Moose Jaw, 8:05 p.m.
*Friday, April 15 - Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
*Sunday, April 17 - Brandon at Moose Jaw, 5:05 p.m.
*Tuesday, April 19 - Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7:00 p.m.
* - if necessary

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