Saturday, 13 February 2016

Wheat Kings Fall in Regina

  The Brandon Wheat Kings closed out a disappointing week with a 5-2 loss in Regina on Saturday night.

  Cole Sanford scored twice and Adam Brooks had a goal and an assist for the Pats, with Brooks’ goal coming just 22 seconds into the contest.

  That alone didn’t doom the Wheat Kings, but the club then proceeded to go 0-for-4 on the power-play in the opening frame including over a minute with a two-man advantage.

  “When you have four power-plays in the first period including a 5-on-3 and aren’t able to capitalize and get back to even, I thought that hurt us,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “It wasn’t a case where our power-play wasn’t clicking...I thought our power-play was pretty good, I thought it did give us momentum.”

  Brandon finally did get back to even ground on a Tyler Coulter goal 9:23 into the second period, but the Pats re-took the lead just 34 seconds later on a Riley Woods’ goal.

  “If we could stop time right there, I think that’s where the mistakes that really hurt us happened.  For me, unacceptable to give up a goal right after we tied the game,” said McCrimmon, “Too soft on the next shift.  I think we have to play a lot harder at this time of year than what we did.”

  Sanford gave the Pats a two-goal cushion 2:21 into the third period, with Nolan Patrick getting the next goal, pulling the Wheat Kings to within one at 3-2 with just under seven minutes left in regulation.

  However, the Pats restored a two-goal lead just 32 seconds after the Patrick goal, with Sanford notching his second of the game.

  Tyler Brown stopped 30 shots in the Pats’ net including all 15 he faced in the first period while Jordan Papirny made 25 saves in the Brandon goal.

  The loss leaves the Wheat Kings with a six-point lead over second-place Prince Albert in the East Division, and five points behind the front-running Lethbridge Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference standings.

  Brandon is idle until they host the Kootenay Ice on Wednesday (7:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff...Patrick extended his goal-scoring streak to six games Saturday, tying him for the longest streak in the WHL this season...Jayce Hawryluk had two assists Saturday, extending his point streak to six games and giving him 26 points in the last 11 contests...F Reid Duke (upper body) was among Brandon’s scratches, while F/D Mark Matsuba (healthy), F Connor Gutenberg (lower body) and F Linden McCorrister (upper body) were also out of the lineup...Brandon product Calen Addison, the second overall pick by the Hurricanes in the 2015 Bantam Draft, made his WHL debut Saturday in Lethbridge’s 4-3 overtime loss in Edmonton...Jordan Thomson’s Pink the Rink jersey was auctioned off during Saturday’s broadcast on CKLQ, netting a high bid of $600.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Hawryluk Paces Wheat Kings past Blades

Ty Lewis snapped a 13-game goalless streak by
scoring a pair of goals in Friday's win.
  Jayce Hawryluk had two goals and three assists to pace the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 7-1 victory over the Saskatoon Blades on Friday night.

  The victory pulled Brandon past Red Deer and back into second-place in the Eastern Conference standings, four points behind the first-place Lethbridge Hurricanes.

  Hawryluk’s night included scoring his 100th career goal, becoming the 29th player in franchise history to reach that milestone, and the Florida Panthers’ draft pick now has ten goals and 24 points in the last ten games.

  “I don’t know if he’s ever played better.  I think he’s playing exceptional, and not just for a game here or a game there but night in and night-out,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “Even on Tuesday, on a night we didn’t play all that well, I thought Jayce was our best guy.”

  Nolan Patrick added goal and three assists for the Wheat Kings, extending his goal-scoring streak to five games and giving him 15 goals and 26 points in the last 16 games.

  Ty Lewis scored a pair of power-play goals and added an assist for the Wheat Kings, ending a 13-game goalless streak for the Brandon rookie.

  “Playing with (Hawryluk) and (Patrick), they’re great players and they’re very skilled.  Hawryluk gave me a great pass on the second goal and Patrick threw me a great pass cross-ice on the first one,” said Lewis on CKLQ’s post-game show, “It helps playing with those guys, it keeps the game simple.  It was a good win tonight.”

  Tanner Kaspick also scored in his return to the Brandon lineup after a 19-game absence due to an upper body injury while Duncan Campbell scored the other Wheat Kings’ goal.

  Former Wheat King Braylon Shmyr scored the lone goal for Saskatoon with Brock Hamm making 48 saves in the Blades’ net.

  Logan Thompson made 19 saves in the Brandon net to improve to a perfect 8-and-0 in eight home starts this season.

  Brandon will hit the road to visit the Regina Pats on Saturday night (6:35 p.m., 880 CKLQ).

Chaff...Brandon scratches Friday were F Connor Gutenberg (lower body), F Linden McCorrister (upper body), D Jordan Thomson (healthy) and F/D Mark Matsuba (healthy)...F Reid Duke picked up his 100th point as a Wheat King on Friday, in his 106th career game...Brandon D Ivan Provorov was +4 on Friday and leads the WHL with a +41 rating...Brandon is 17-0-0-1 in their last 18 regular season meetings with Saskatoon...attendance Friday was 4,725.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Wheat Kings Look for Bounce Back Friday

Tim McGauley sits at 97 career goals going into
Friday's game.
  The Brandon Wheat Kings close out a four-game home stand Friday night when they host the Saskatoon Blades (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  The Wheat Kings will be looking for a bounce-back effort after one of the club's worst performances in recent weeks in Tuesday's home-ice loss to the Prince Albert Raiders.

  "Obviously, it was a bad game for us on Tuesday but there's two points up for grabs every night and that's the case Friday and Saturday," said Brandon forward John Quenneville on Thursday, "We need to bring our best effort, regroup and be ready to play."

  The loss Tuesday was somewhat costly in the standings as Brandon will enter Friday's game with a six-point lead over second-place Prince Albert in the East Division and sitting in third-place in the Eastern Conference standings, one point behind Red Deer and four behind front-running Lethbridge.
  All four teams have 18 games left in the regular season.

  Quenneville feels they learned some lessons from Tuesday's contest.

  "A lot of things, mostly that you can't rest on a good start," said Quenneville, "You can't expect to play a good team and take your foot off the gas at any point and get away from your game plan."

  Friday's game will be the first game back in Brandon for former Wheat Kings Colton Waltz and Braylon Shmyr, who were dealt to Saskatoon as part of a four-player trade on January 4th.

  The Wheat Kings also hope to have Tanner Kaspick back in their lineup Friday night.

  He's missed the last 19 games with an upper body injury.

Chaff...Wheat Kings' F Nolan Patrick takes a four-game goal-scoring streak into Friday's contest...Brandon forwards Jayce Hawryluk and Tim McGauley are in a race to 100.  Hawryluk enters Friday's game with 98 career goals and McGauley has 97.  They're racing to become the 29th player in Wheat Kings' history to reach 100 career goals...the Wheat Kings' Pink the Rink promotion in support of the Canadian Cancer Society is one week away.  In advance of the special night on February 19th, we'll auction off Jordan Thomson's pink jersey during Saturday's broadcast on 880 CKLQ...the next five players in the WHL's Top-50 players of all-time countdown were released Thursday.  They were Pavel Brendl (#45), Brent Sutter (#44), Sam Reinhart (#43), John Davidson (#42) and Marian Hossa (#41).

Kaspick Closing In on Return

Tanner Kaspick practiced without restrictions for the
second straight day on Thursday.
  Tanner Kaspick is close to returning to the Brandon Wheat Kings' lineup, and he could be back Friday night when the Wheat Kings host the Saskatoon Blades (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  The second-year forward has been sidelined since December 19th with an upper body injury but has practiced without restrictions the last two days.

  "A return is near, for sure.  Still not 100 per cent sure when that's going to be," said Kaspick this week, "I'm just trying to get prepared for as soon as possible and make sure I can come back and contribute to the team."

  Kaspick was having a solid 2015-2016 campaign with the Wheat Kings before the injury, scoring ten goals and 17 points in 35 games including five goals and ten points in the last 14 games he played before the injury happened.

  "I thought my play was solid, I thought I was really focused on being a consistent, reliable guy and I think I really was for our forward group," said Kaspick, "That's something I  just want to continue to do upon my return.  I have every expectation to be as good as I was before the injury, and maybe even better."

  Kaspick was ranked 76th among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting Service's midterm rankings last month, and hopes to finish his draft-year season on a strong note.

  "When the injury happened, there was nothing I could do about it other than try to use it to my advantage and really capitalize on the rest at the start, and then try to get in better shape than I was before the injury and I think I've done that," said Kaspick, "I think I've really prepared myself, and I have every intention of coming back and playing an increased role in this last bit of games here."

  The Wheat Kings are looking to bounce back Friday night after a disappointing effort in Tuesday's loss to Prince Albert.

  Brandon will enter the game with a six-point lead over the second-place Raiders in the East Division standings, and sitting four points behind Lethbridge and one point behind Red Deer in the race for the Eastern Conference pennant.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Raiders Dump Wheat Kings

  The Prince Albert Raiders scored four unanswered third period goals to beat the Brandon Wheat Kings 6-3 on Tuesday night.

  Nolan Patrick had two goals and an assist for the Wheat Kings, who missed an opportunity to increase their lead over the second-place Raiders in the East Division standings and move into a tie for top spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

  "Huge game in the division, huge game in the Conference.  It's disappointing that we played the way that we played for sure," said Wheat Kings' GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ's post-game, "I think we play our best, by far, when we play fast.  We had a lot of guys that did not work hard tonight and, as a result, it affects you everywhere on the ice."

  Tyler Coulter also scored for the Wheat Kings while Jayce Hawryluk had three assists, helping Brandon jumped out to a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes.

  Jesse Lees scored a power-play goal late in the second period to get Prince Albert within one.

  Simon Stransky and Brendan Guhle had a goal and two assists each for the Raiders, with Stransky's goal tying the game 3-3 just 45 seconds into the third period.

  Prince Albert captain Tim Vanstone put the Raiders in front for good just 11 seconds later.

  "We started off pretty good, I think we came out hard.  Then, we kind of fell apart," said Brandon captain Macoy Erkamps, "They were clogging up the neutral zone and we just weren't making plays.  It was definitely a disappointing loss."

  Rylan Parenteau made 28 saves in the Prince Albert net while Jordan Papirny made 24 saves for Brandon.

  The loss reduced the Wheat Kings' lead in the East Division to six points over the second-place Raiders.

  Brandon's back in action Friday when they host the Saskatoon Blades (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff...Brandon scratched were F Jaeger White (healthy), F Tanner Kaspick (upper body), F Connor Gutenberg (lower body) and F Linden McCorrister (upper body)...Patrick's two goals give him 14 in the last 15 games and 26 overall on the season...the Raiders' line of Stransky, Jordan Tkatch and Reid Gardiner combined for eight points (3 G, 5 A) and were +12...both teams were 1-for-3 on the power-play...attendance was 3,649...the WHL Board of Governors announced a five-year contract extension for Commissioner Ron Robison on Tuesday.