Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Brandon Pushes Oil Kings to Brink

Rihards Bukarts scored one of Brandon's goals on Tuesday.
  Another night, another stellar performance from Brandon Wheat Kings’ goaltender Jordan Papirny.
  Papirny stopped 34 shots to lead the Wheat Kings to a 3-2 win over Edmonton on Tuesday night, giving Brandon a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference quarter-final series.
  The Wheat Kings have grabbed a stranglehold on the series with back-to-back one-goal victories at Rexall Place.
  “That what’s playoffs is all about, it’s about winning games 3-2 and that’s kind of our mindset,” said Papirny, “Playing at Rexall, we have to take their crowd of it early and keep it simple.”
  Papirny has stopped 138 of 147 shots in the series including 75 of 79 shots in Games 3 and 4 in Edmonton Sunday and Tuesday.
  Tuesday’s game was goalless in the opening 20 minutes, with the Wheat Kings taking a 1-0 lead on Tyler Coulter’s second of the series 8:24 into the middle frame.
  Rihards Bukarts then roofed a rebound from a Ryan Pilon point shot on a Brandon power-play at 13:45 to give the Wheat Kings a two-goal lead.
  Andrew Koep scored with 57 seconds left in the second to get the Oil Kings to within one at the break, but Nolan Patrick restored Brandon’s two-goal lead 36 seconds into the third period, his first career WHL playoff goal.
  Brandon Baddock completed the scoring, getting Edmonton back to within one with 39 seconds left in the third.
  The Wheat Kings now have a chance to advance to the second round of the WHL playoffs Wednesday, when they visit the Oil Kings in Game #5.
  “We need to expect more of the same.  We didn’t think we were good enough in Game 3, we thought were better tonight and it’s going to take that same type of effort (Wednesday),” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “We’re trying to end a team’s season, a team that isn’t used to being done hockey early.  We know they’re going to have their best game and we need to do the same to match them.”
  Game #5 Wednesday is a 9:12 p.m. faceoff (CDT), with 880 CKLQ’s pre-game show beginning at 8:40 p.m. (CDT).
Chaff...Brandon F Morgan Klimchuk was scratched for Game #4 due to an undisclosed injury...with Klimchuk out, the Wheat Kings put Mark Matsuba back in the lineup after he sat  out Game #3...the Wheat Kings also sat G Logan Thompson, D Mark Taraschuk, F Reid Duke, F Quintin Lisoway and F Stelio Mattheos...Duncan Campbell assisted on Patrick’s third period goal for his first career WHL playoff point...Brandon D Ryan Pilon played sparingly throughout the contest.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Quenneville a Playoff Performer


John Quenneville was among the Wheat Kings
to take part in Brandon's optional skate
on Monday in Edmonton.
  The playoffs are John Quenneville’s favourite time of the year, and for good reason.

  Quenneville leads the Wheat Kings with five points in the opening three games of their first round series and has 18 points in 12 career playoff games.
  “It’s the playoffs, that’s all you have to say.  It’s the most exciting time of the year, it’s just electric out there,  you want to win so bad, it feels like do-or-die,” said the 2014 New Jersey first round pick on Monday, “No better time for me to play well and I want it so bad.  It’s the playoffs and you want to play your best...you don’t want to leave anything on the table at all.”
  Quenneville 17 goals and 47 points in 57 regular season games this season, numbers that were below his expectations heading into his third WHL season.
  The Edmonton product may be looking to make up for a tough regular season with strong play in the post-season.
  “It’s seven games and you have to play well and  you have to wear down the other team while you’re winning,” said Quenneville, “For me, I think that’s definitely something that is part of my game in the regular season but when it comes to the playoffs, it’s something that’s amped up and is on another level.”
  Quenneville and the Wheat Kings will visit the Edmonton Oil Kings on Tuesday night as they continue their Eastern Conference Quarter-Final (8:40 p.m. CDT, 880 CKLQ).
  Brandon has won back-to-back games at Rexall Place after going nearly five years between victories in the Alberta capital, taking the final regular season meeting between the two teams by a score of 2-1 on January 13th while also winning Game #3 of this series 3-2 on Sunday.
  “Before it seemed like we couldn’t win here and now we feel really confident...it feels like we’re going into any other barn and it feels good to play here,” said Quenneville, “I think the stakes have changed playing Edmonton and if we play or game, we’re not worried about the other stuff like we used to be.”
  Brandon held an optional skate on Monday so there was no update on the status on forward Morgan Klimchuk.
  Klimchuk finished Game #3 on Monday but was in obvious discomfort throughout after a collision with the end boards in the first period.

Lisoway Undergoes Season-Ending Knee Surgery

Quintin Lisoway
(courtesy www.wheatkings.com)

Brandon Wheat Kings veteran center Quintin Lisoway underwent successful season ending knee surgery Monday.

The 19-year old Neepawa product, who suffered the injury during the Wheat Kings game against the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes on March 4th, is expected to make a complete recovery and be ready for training camp in September.

Surgery to repair Lisoway's ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) and MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) in his left knee was done Monday morning by Winnipeg Jets' Head Team Physician/Surgeon Peter MacDonald.

"We are happy Quintin's surgery went well," says Wheat Kings' general manager and head coach Kelly McCrimmon. "He is an important member of our team and we wish him a full recovery."

In 64 games this season, Lisoway scored nine goals and 20 points.

Lisoway was recently named winner of the Frank King Memorial Trophy as the WHL club's Most Community Minded Player.

Papirny Stones Oil Kings

Jordan Papirny starred in Brandon's victory Sunday.
  A pair of third period goals and a stellar performance from Jordan Papirny propelled the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings on Sunday night.

  Jayce Hawryluk and Macoy Erkamps scored goals 3 ½ minutes apart early in the third period as Brandon overcame a 2-1 deficit after 40 minutes to grab a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference quarter-final series.

  “Johnny’s (Quenneville) line was going that whole time and (Braylon) Shmyr made a pass to me and a I saw an open lane,” said Erkamps of his first career WHL playoff goal, “I put my head down and it ended up going in so I’m pretty thankful for that.”

  Papirny made that one-goal lead hold up for the rest of the third period, thanks in part to a Edmonton goal that was disallowed after video review.

  The no-goal at the 8:48 mark of the third period came after it was ruled Brandon Baddock had intentionally directed the puck into the Brandon net off his chest.

  Papirny, an Edmonton product, stopped all 16 shots he faced in the third period including a goal-mouth stop on Edgars Kulda with just under a minute remaining and the Oil Kings’ net empty for an extra attacker.

  “He was really, really good.  The first thing that comes to mind is his play down the stretch in the final five minutes and in the last minutes with the goalie out,” said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon on CKLQ’s post-game show, “He was not going to let a goal in and you need to have that at playoff time.”

The Wheat Kings celebrate their Game #3 win.
  John Quenneville had given Brandon a 1-0 lead with 27 seconds left in the first period, with Davis Koch and Ben Carroll scoring in the opening 6 ½ minutes of the second period for Edmonton to give the Oil Kings the 2-1 advantage they carried into the third.

  Brandon was won back-to-back games after losing the series opener but Erkamps says they can still improve heading into Game #4 on Tuesday.

  “It was kind of a slow start but the guys battled back and we were able to get the greasy win,” said Erkamps, “We, for sure, have to better the next game.”

Chaff...Brandon was 0-for-3 on the power-play while Edmonton was 1-for-4...Brandon welcomed F Duncan Campbell and F Tanner Kaspick back to their lineup Sunday after both rookies had missed the opening two games of the series.  It was the WHL playoff debut for both...the Wheat Kings scratched G Logan Thompson, D Mark Taraschuk, D Mark Matsuba, F Stelio Mattheos, F Reid Duke and F Quintin Lisoway...Duke, who has missed the last 16 games of the regular season and the first three of the playoffs, took part in Brandon’s optional gameday skate on Sunday...Lisoway is expected to undergo season-ending knee surgery on Monday.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Gow Addition Paying Dividends in a Lot of Ways


Reid Gow's contribution to the Wheat Kings can't be
measured by statistics alone.
  Reid Gow likes to think of himself as the best road hockey goalie there is out there!

  The 20-year old defenceman has brought an element to the Brandon Wheat Kings in his three short months with the club that wasn’t prominent before his acquisition in early January.
  Shot-blocking!
 “I don’t think I have much form at all,” said Gow after Brandon’s practice in Edmonton Saturday, “I want to do anything to win and if that’s how I’m going to contribute to the Brandon Wheat Kings, I’ll block everything I can.  You have to make sure to get in lanes...no one likes to block shots but if there’s one part of my game that I pride myself on, it’s definitely that.”
  Gow’s modest offensive numbers during the regular season don’t tell the whole story of what his addition has meant to the Wheat Kings.
  The former Spokane Chiefs’ captain has an easy-going nature about him but make no doubt, his competitive nature is something that’s definitely rubbed off on his Brandon teammates.
  It was something Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon was hoping would happen when he acquired Gow from Spokane and enticed him to return to the WHL after he spent the first half of the season with the University of Manitoba Bisons.
  “Don Nachbaur, my coach in Spokane, I like to give a lot of credit for that competitive nature.  He’s all about compete...I want to earn everything I get through compete and that’s how I like to play my game,” said Gow, “I’m happy if it rubs off on guys.  There’s lot of guys on this team blocking shots and willing to play greasy and I hope I’m a contributor to that.”
  Gow and the Wheat Kings have a quick turnaround, as they visit Edmonton on Sunday in Game #3 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final series.
  After splitting the opening two games in Brandon, the club will play three in a row at Rexall Place beginning with Sunday’s contest.
Chaff...F Duncan Campbell and F Tanner Kaspick, both of whom missed the opening two games of the series, practiced without restrictions with the Wheat Kings on Saturday...F Reid Duke, who missed the last 16 games of the regular season with a lower body injury, skated on his town ahead of Brandon’s practice Saturday...the Wheat Kings’ 2-1 regular season victory in Edmonton on January 13th broke Brandon’s 14-game losing streak at Rexall Place...Brandon’s 26 road wins during the regular season tied a franchise record...Brandon’s penalty-kill is 7-8 in the series and 35-40 (87.5%) in their last 14 games overall.