Sunday, 22 May 2016

Wheat Kings Drop Memorial Cup Opener

  A good start and an excellent third period highlighted the Brandon Wheat Kings’ first game at the 2016 Memorial Cup on Saturday night.

  Brandon dropped a 5-3 decision to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, giving up five straight goals to the QMJHL champions after jumping out to a 1-0 lead 2:44 into the contest on a goal by Reid Duke.

  “We had a bad start.  We got a goal but we weren’t playing good hockey at all,” said Brandon’s John Quenneville post-game, “We were really flat, had no speed and it cost us the game.”

  A.J. Greer scored the tying goal at the 14:06 mark of the first period, and then Gabriel Fontaine and Timo Meier scored 63 seconds apart in the final 90 seconds of the first to turn a 1-1 game into a 3-1 contest.

  “When they scored their first goal, that had been coming for a few shifts.  We didn’t respond well enough to get to the intermission at 1-1 or 2-1.  It was a 3-1 game by the time we were done the first period,” added Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon, “I thought in the second period, we had a pretty decent push to the start the period, we were better...and then we took three straight minors, so.”

  The two goals near the end of the first period was one turning point.

  Another was Ivan Provorov failed to capitalize on a shorthanded breakaway midway through the second period, and the Philippe Myers then scoring the Huskies fourth goal on the same power-play.

John Quenneville
  Tyler Coulter and John Quenneville scored in a third period that saw Brandon outshoot Rouyn-Noranda 20-4 but it was a case of too little, too late for the Wheat Kings.

  “I was encouraged with the third period that we played harder, but we didn’t have that going for us earlier in the game,” added McCrimmon.

  Quenneville’s goal was a highlight reel marker.  On a breakaway, Quenneville performed a deft between the legs deke and buried a shot to the top corner behind Rouyn-Noranda netminder Chase Marchand.

  Marchand finished with 38 saves in the Huskies’ goal while Jordan Papirny made 24 saves for Brandon.

  The Wheat Kings’ next game is Monday night when they take on the OHL Champion London Knights.

  Sunday’s game has 1-and-0 Rouyn-Noranda taking on the 0-and-1 Red Deer Rebels.

Chaff...Brandon dressed the same lineup for the 16th straight game, sitting F Garrett Armour, F Caiden Daley and D Mark Matsuba...they’re keeping track of individual shots and faceoffs at the Memorial Cup, with Brandon’s Tanner Kaspick winning 12 of 16 faceoffs and four players (Mattheos, Quenneville, Patrick and Clague) having four shots each...the Wheat Kings were 0-for-5 on the power-play and 4-for-5 on the penalty-kill...this is Brandon’s sixth appearance in the Memorial Cup (1949, 1979, 1995, 1996, 2010 and 2016)...Rouyn-Noranda captain Francis Perron led all scorers with three assists in the contest.

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