|John Quenneville had four points in return to lineup Friday|
The Brandon Wheat Kings stretched their winning streak to four games Friday night with an 8-5 victory over the Kamloops Blazers.
John Quenneville had a goal and three assists for the Wheat Kings in his return from a six-game absence, while Jayce Hawryluk also had a goal and three assists and Rihards Bukarts ran his point-scoring streak to nine games with a goal and two helpers.
Brandon trailed 3-2 over the opening period but took control of the game with three goals in a 3:07 span of the second period starting with Bukarts’ goal at the 14:47 mark.
Despite leads of 5-3 and 7-4, Brandon never salted the victory away until Reid Duke’s second goal of the game into an empty-net with six seconds left.
Wheat Kings’ GM and Coach Kelly McCrimmon expressed concern on CKLQ’s post-game show over the club’s inability to ‘lock things down’ in the third period for the second straight game, and feels they are surrendering too many goals against.
“You have to be concerned with the number of goals we’re giving up for good hockey team. Compare our goals against to Medicine Hat, and it’s more than double,” said McCrimmon, “Over time, that’s going to have to get better or it’s not going to be good enough when it matters.”
Ivan Provorov, Tim McGauley and Jesse Gabrielle also scored for the Wheat Kings while rookie goaltender Logan Thompson made 29 saves in his second straight of the season.
The victory improved Brandon to 10-2-1-0, the fastest the Wheat Kings have gotten to ten wins since starting 10-3-0 in the 2001-2002 season.
The club continues to lead the East Division and is tied with Medicine Hat for top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Next up for the Wheat Kings on their B.C. Division swing is a matchup with the #1 ranked Kelowna Rockets on Saturday night (8:35 p.m., 880 CKLQ).
“Kelowna have been a really good franchise for a number of years and, this year, they’re off to a tremendous start with just one regulation loss all season,” said McCrimmon, “You only get one crack and, as a player, you can’t help but be excited about the game (Saturday).”
Chaff...Brandon scratches Friday were F Richard Nejezchleb (suspension), F Ty Lewis (upper body), F Tanner Kaspick (healthy), D Mark Matsuba (healthy) and D Mark Taraschuk (healthy)...Provorov’s goal extended his goal streak to four straight games...F Peter Quenneville had two assists to push his point streak to seven games...McGauley has points in five straight contests...the Wheat Kings have now scored 33 goals in their last four contests, all of them wins.