|Tim McGauley scored Brandon's only goal in his final|
game as a Wheat King on Wednesday
The Brandon Wheat Kings saw their season come to an end Wednesday night with a 2-1 overtime loss to the Red Deer Rebels.
Evan Polei scored 3:50 into overtime for the Rebels, who extracted some revenge on Brandon after the Wheat Kings eliminated Red Deer from the WHL playoffs in the Eastern Conference Final.
Brandon finished 0-and-3 at the Memorial Cup tournament, but the club did win their first Western Hockey League title in 20 years just under two weeks ago.
“We have so much to be proud of. I’ve never been part of such a close team and such a great team, we’ve accomplished so much. I don’t think we were ever clear-cut favourites to win the league but we did and pushed through adversity all season long,” said Brandon centre Tanner Kaspick on CKLQ’s post-game show, “This week didn’t go the way we wanted to, we came up short for whatever reason...we just didn’t bring out best game. That’s unfortunate but, at the end of the day, we have a lot to be proud of.”
Tim McGauley scored Brandon’s only goal in his last game in a Wheat Kings’ uniform, giving Brandon a 1-0 lead at 11:26 of the second period.
Adam Musil got the game-tying goal with 5:05 left in regulation to set the stage for overtime.
Both goaltenders were solid with Jordan Papirny making 32 saves in Brandon’s net and Rylan Toth making 35 saves for Red Deer.
McGauley is one of at least seven players that played their final game with the Wheat Kings on Wednesday, and the four-year forward says he’ll remember his time in the organization fondly.
“It was an unbelievable experience. The fans in Brandon, I can’t say enough about them...they’re unbelievable and they gave me a hell of a four years here,” said McGauley on CKLQ’s post-game show, “It’s hard to put into words, pretty emotional, but I’ll never forget this...never in my life.”
Mitch Wheaton and Macoy Erkamps are Brandon’s other graduating 20-year olds while John Quenneville, Jayce Hawryluk, Ivan Provorov and Reid Duke are all expected to play professionally next season.
Hawryluk missed what would have been his final junior game, being scratched because of a suspected upper body injury.
Chaff...F Garrett Armour replaced Hawryluk in Brandon’s lineup while F Caiden Daley and F/D Mark Matsuba were the Wheat Kings’ other scratches...Red Deer and now face Rouyn-Noranda in Friday’s semifinal, with the winner to then play the London Knights in Sunday’s final...former Wheat Kings and two-time Memorial Cup participant Michael Ferland was among the spectators at the game on Wednesday...Brandon is now 7-14 all-time at the Memorial Cup tournament...the Wheat Kings are expected to arrive back in Brandon at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Thursday.