The Brandon Wheat Kings' recent penchant for giving up a lot of shots burned them on Saturday in Edmonton.
The host Oil Kings pelted Brandon goalie Curtis Honey — who was pressed in the action due to an injury suffered by Corbin Boes on Friday — with 52 shots on their way to a 5-2 Western Hockey League victory over the Wheat Kings.
Brandon has given up 187 shots in its past four games, allowing 44 or more in each of those contests. Head coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk said defensive zone coverage, turnovers and a failure to compete for loose pucks and clear them from the Wheat Kings' end is resulting in too many chances for opponents.
"Curtis Honey was left alone a lot of times and he stood tall in there for us," said Gylywoychuk, whose team fell into last place in the Eastern Conference with an 18-28-2-2 record. "He made some big saves … or the score would have been a lot worse."
Curtis Lazar scored two goals for the conference-leading Oil Kings (34-11-2-3), while Dylan Wruck had a goal and two assists. Michael St. Croix and Stephane Legault also scored, with Henrik Samuelsson dishing out three assists.
Jayce Hawryluk scored for the Wheat Kings and assisted on Eric Roy's marker.
The Oil Kings outshot the Wheat Kings 15-3 in the first period and took a 2-0 lead, but Hawryluk scored on a nice individual effort late in the frame and Roy wristed a point shot in the second that bounced off an Edmonton defender and into the net to tie the game.
Just when it looked like the Wheat Kings had stolen the momentum back, Edmonton replied with three goals in a span of 6:05 to take a three-goal lead into the second intermission.
"We had an opportunity where we were back in the game," Gylywoychuk said. "They came and scored on a line change and I just didn't think that we competed after that to give ourselves a chance to get back in the game."
Now 1-1 on their Alberta road trip, the Wheat Kings wrap up three games in three nights on Sunday against the Calgary Hitmen (4:35 p.m., CKLQ) and Gylywoychuk said the players need to wipe the slate clean and focus on a successful finish to the weekend.
"It's an opportunity for us to get some points in a building where we've got to go in and compete," he said. "We've got to put this one to rest and forget about it and realize what we have to do on the road to be successful."
ONE-TIMERS: Edmonton G Tristan Jarry made 26 saves … The Wheat Kings were 0-for-2 on the power play, while the Oil Kings were 1-for-2 … Gylywoychuk said he wouldn't know the extent of Boes' lower-body injury until the veteran saw a doctor … With Boes out, G Jordan Papirny was called up from midget to back up Honey … The Wheat Kings also scratched LW/RW Richard Nejezchleb (hand, four weeks), C Tyrel Seaman (concussion, indefinite) and D Kord Pankewicz.